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A French-style bistro by Daniel Boulud in the Mandarin Oriental.
Bar Boulud, by world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud, is a jazzed-up French bistro in the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge. Its signature burgers are good enough to make ‘best of’ lists and even – on a good day – top them. The BB burger is a near-perfect triumph of juicy beef, pulled short rib, crunchy fried onions and buttery foie gras piled high on a salty black onion bun.
Besides the burgers, Bar Boulud is also known for its charcuterie, which is sourced from artisan purveyors Maison Vérot in Paris and served either individually or in large and small selections. The small plate comes with three cured meats and/or pâtés selected by the chef, but little thought seemed to go into our assembly of duck rillettes, pâté and ham. I remember the dish with three adjectives: cold, pink and boring. The texture and taste of the three selected meats got very samey very quickly, making it feel anything but curated. Good thing there were excellent bistro staples like hot garlicky escargot and French onion soup to break up the meat monotony. Also, the old school French desserts – pillowy soufflé rustled up in a new flavour every other week and delicious gateaux served with creamy homemade ice cream – were good enough to make Julia Child proud.
Service is proficient, but the ambience of the back seating area is a little lacklustre – the vibe is more generic business hotel than swanky Mandarin Oriental. And while sticky table mats should be unforgivable for somewhere with these prices, that burger is, thankfully, special enough to make you forget
The full à la carte bistro menu, served Monday to Saturday, plus Sunday evenings, is based on seasonal, rustic French cooking, and includes an array of charcuterie, house-made terrines, pâtés, hams, saucissons, boudins and more, specially prepared onsite.
Also featured are Boulud's popular American transplants, the 'yankee' and 'piggie' burgers, as well as the signature 'BB' burger - unique to London.
The seasonal bistro menu includes an impressive selection of house-made terrines and pâtés, as well as a handful of signature sausages and burgers, adding an American touch to this French inflected bistro and wine bar.
The interiors are inspired by a contemporary take on the craft of winemaking with a sleek open kitchen and vaulted ceilings, while the deep, red-leather banquettes and zinc-topped bar create a comfortable and welcoming surrounding for a truly unique London experience.
The wine list focuses on Burgundy and the Rhône Valley, including many fine selections by the glass, as well as a wide array of draught and bottled beers. Two private dining rooms await those seeking a more intimate gathering.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £135.|
|Opening hours:||Bar: Mon-Sat noon-1am; Sun noon-midnight. Restaurant: Mon-Sat noon-11.45; Sun noon-10.45pm|
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