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Probably the most successful of the recent US guests to London’s dining scene (others including Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market, Wolfgang Puck’s Cut 45, the hyped French Laundry at Harrods and the will-it-won’t-it London incarnation of Balthazar), Bar Boulud has allowed legendary three-Michelin star chef Daniel Boulud to establish a foothold and reputation in West London.
Located in the downstairs of the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental Hotel in affluent Knightsbridge, the restaurant – like its sister in Manhattan – specialises in relaxed high-end dining with an American twist. Expect world-class charcuterie – pates, saucissons and terrines – along with easily one of the best burgers in London. The Observer’s Jay Rayner called it “the kind of food you dream of getting in France, but rarely do”. Besides the thrilling array of cured meat and beautifully prepared sausages, Boulud’s Lyon and New York affiliations continue to shine – a range of salads that makes their contemporaries look insipid by comparison, and French classics like coq au vin and lemon sole executed with a deftness and precision that only a multiple-starred chef could consistently produce. Steaks are excellent and USDA certified (one of only a handful in the city).
Desserts are light, sophisticatedly decadent and beautifully presented; a hazelnut cocoa tuile with triple chocolate is almost default for the chocolate-obsessed, while the basque gateau pays tribute to the kitchen’s classical roots. For the quality, prices are competitive - £7 for starters, a little more for charcuterie and mains in the high teens. As with similar restaurants, the bulk of money is made back on the wine, so it can be tough to get away with a cheap option, even if wines are sold by the glass. But don’t let that put you off one of London’s most wonderfully buzzy and delicious dining rooms – and especially those stellar burgers.
Opening Times: Daily: Lunch: 12:00 - 14:30, dinner: 17:30 - 22:30
66 Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LAView Larger Map
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