1. Bouchon Racine  (Simon Brown Photography)
    Simon Brown Photography
  2. Bouchon Racine  (Simon Brown Photography)
    Simon Brown Photography
  3. Bouchon Racine  (Simon Brown Photography)
    Simon Brown Photography
  4. Bouchon Racine  (Simon Brown Photography)
    Simon Brown Photography
  5. Bouchon Racine  (Simon Brown Photography)
    Simon Brown Photography
  • Restaurants | French
  • Farringdon
  • Recommended


Bouchon Racine

5 out of 5 stars

Buttery, rich and exemplary French cuisine from London food don Henry Harris


Time Out says

Bouchon Racine comes with history, baggage and devoted fans.

Firstly, it is on the top floor of a 300-year-old pub in the heart of Farringdon. Secondly, it is run by stalwarts of the industry, with renowned reputations. It has a lot to live up to. Which is does; in fact, it’s hard not to wax lyrical. 

Chef Henry Harris’s restaurant Racine, a French bistro in Knightsbridge, ran for 13 years, until 2015. A much-loved neighbourhood joint, it anchored itself in many a heart – west Londoners and beyond. But the neighbourhood changed and Harris decided to close. Since then he has been bringing French comfort to various pubs in and around London, before opening Bouchon Racine at the top of The Three Compasses at the end of 2022. With Harris in this venture is David Strauss, previously operations director for Goodman steak restaurants, which included, among over ventures, overseeing Beast restaurant in Mayfair. All this is to say that these two know London well and know restaurants even better, which is why I decided to go to Bouchon Racine accompanied by someone also in the industry and who is from Lyon. 

The ‘head of veal’ was a delight – the only challenging part of this dish might be the name

The menu is unashamedly French, with humble roots and an emphasis on hearty food. A ‘bouchon’ is a type of restaurant found in Lyon that historically catered to workers, and remains focused on the idea of relaxed conviviality, which captures Bouchon Racine perfectly. Bouchon Racine’s offerings are written on a blackboard and change often. But there are a number of staples, such as jambon de noir de bigorre, a cured meat from a heritage breed of black pigs near the Pyrénés, which had an almost smoky flavour and fat that melted in the mouth. 

Harris has brought back Racine favourites such as rabbit wrapped in smoked bacon, atop green beans, and mustard butter sauce that’s beautifully rich, where white wine added just the right layer of acidity to keep everything bright. The tête de veau, ‘head of veal’, was an absolute delight – the only challenging part of this dish might be the name. The veal was poached and soft, melting and rich, and eaten with dollops of ravigote – akin to mayonnaise, but without eggs and with herbs – and served off the bone with an incredible celery broth that gave a clean lightness to the dish. Surely the star of the show. 

The front of house team were the embodiment of hospitality, making us feel comfortable and special, and happy to explain the aspects of the menu that felt unfamiliar. The dining room layout has a few nooks and corners but instead of feeling cramped, it is cosy and intimate. Although Farringdon is more of a business hub than a neighbourhood, Bouchon Racine manages to cultivate the feeling of a second home. The word ‘restaurant’ comes from the French verb to restore; it’s a perfect fit for Bouchon Racine – in its comforting food and charming service it feels utterly restorative.

The vibe Cosy and romantic, but relaxed and perfect for a friend date too. 

The food Classic hearty French cuisine with a lot of butter and cream. 

The drink Mostly French wine, but great French spirits too. 

Time Out tip Book! It is a small restaurant. We chanced a walk-in at 6.30pm on a Monday and it was the last table available. 


Upstairs, 66 Cowcross St
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