There’s an irony in the corpulent form of Bibendum, the Michelin man, looking down upon the stick-thin ladies lunching at this relaxed seafood café in the tiled foyer of the Michelin building. Oysters are what to order, with four varieties offered, including a seasonal treat of six native Colchester No.2s for £19.75. Elaborate plateaux de fruits de mer are available, but we were delighted with a large crab (in the shell) with a mustard-rich mayonnaise. Shellfish is also sold to take home, from the crustacea stall outside. The menu incorporates salads and lighter dishes too: gravadlax or smoked salmon perhaps, or maybe roll-mops with crème fraîche and onion salad. Non-piscivores have the likes of egg mayonnaise, or the house terrine, and there are daily-changing specials. Veal polpettone meatballs with penne was let down by oddly crispy pasta. Desserts are excellent renditions of classics, like our crème brûlée. You can also order nibbles (crostini, a charcuterie plate) to accompany drinks from the concise wine list, which offers house wines by the glass or 469ml carafe. Vinophiles might prefer to choose from the impressive (if pricey) full list from the first-floor Bibendum restaurant, which is also available here.
|Venue name:||Bibendum Oyster Bar||Contact:|
81 Fulham Road
|Opening hours:||Meals served noon-10.30pm Mon-Sat; noon-10pm Sun.|
|Transport:||Tube: South Kensington tube|
|Price:||Main courses £8-£15.|
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Average User Rating
2.5 / 5
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I am local to Bibendum so am used to the prices and service restaurants can charge to the mindless "Chelsea Set". But this experience by any measure was poor for the following reasons:
1. Bottle of wine ordered. 2 glasses turned up. Finally corrected
2. Olives and quail eggs ordered. Advised after 10 minutes quails eggs not available. Olives never appear until asked for with main course
3. Sitting outside two "dog walkers" show up with two big dogs. They are allowed to sit outside in the restaurant area, Dogs barking and shaking about 6 feet from food prep. area. Owners had obviously just completed the ascent of Snowdonia.
4. I ask about this. "Oh, this is allowed. In fact dogs are allowed inside as well ! " Another allowance for the local lap dog carriers.
5. Table behind us are obviously old colleagues. They spend the hour I am there with two empty externally bought plastic coffee cups chatting to any member of staff they can get hold of. Service was not quick anyway. One waiter particularly spend about 25 minutes in conversation.
6. One of the waiters on finishing joins his ex comrades in the restaurant area (who are covered in blankets like homeless people) and proceeds to chat further with them. Nothing is bought by that table.
7. Wife's salad arrives at £4.00 consisting of about 20 salad leaves!
8. Wife's prawns arrive (6), tasty but at £9.50 overpriced.
9. My smoked mackerel fishcake arrives (£12.50). Yes...1 fishcake.
Tasty but 60% percent potato filling.
The bill arrives at £64.00 ! I refuse service with explanation that this feels more like a café than a top end restaurant.
Bill comes back with only service removed ! As expected. A quick apology but you leave knowing nothing will change in that particular location.
This might sound like the complaint of someone who expects too much but believe me this was bad.....by any persons measure. I have used the upstairs restaurant before and although overpriced, was acceptable.
Advice..... A Café Rouge or local Lebanese is far better value !
Don't waste your money here.