“For me, the food I like to make is the food I can enjoy all the time anytime. It’s not too calculated or technical.” Daniel Boulud. But, what this quote doesn’t mention is the clever skill – and at Bar Boulud in the Mandarin Oriental hotel demonstrates just that. Disclaimer: We were invited for lunch at Bar Boulud – not long after enjoying lunch there as paying guests (read that review here.)
We met for lunch on a snow-filled day, one of those winter ones where your cheeks are rosy and you nestle as far into your scarf as you can.
It was the perfect kind of day to gather around a table, with the Bar Boulud menu held fast in our hands to try out their cocktails and burgers. To my delight, we began with a table full of their signature White Cosmopolitans.
I described mine last time as a sylph-like libation of French vodka, elderflower liqueur, lime & white cranberry, (whilst my last lunch date chose the To Bee or Not To Bee, a stronger cocktail deftly mixed with lime infused gin, elderflower cordial, soda water, dill and cucumber bee pollen.) I adored the simple touch that because the flower embedded ice sphere in my glass is so large, that my cocktail came with a delicate glass jug ready with the rest of my drink to pour straight into my glass.
We began our leisurely lunch with a delectable array chef’s charcuterie, a veritable wealth of flavours accompanied by sharp, sweet cornichon and pickled silverskin onions. Saucisson sec, pate grand pere (pork, chicken liver, black truffle & foie gras) and whisper-thin slices of jambon flashed upon our fork tines.
We also nibbled our way around the Poulpe Grille – grilled octopus, almond & rocket salad, the Foie Gras Poele – seared foie gras, mango & rum toasted brioche, and the Tartine de Crabe – grilled sourdough, Cornish crab avocado, aïoli & crudités.
But, the main event was the carnivorously inclined burgers – the Piggie; a beef patty, bbq pork, jalapeño mayo, red cabbage & Cheddar bun, and the BB; a beef patty, foie gras, short ribs horseradish mayo, confit tomato black onion seed bun.
How good were they? Barely a crumb remained.
We were also treated to an array of desserts – Daniels signature freshly baked Madeline(s? How do you pluralise Madeline?), a featherlight Souffle, the Pom Passion – hazelnut dacquoise, roasted apple sorbet, passion fruit jelly and vanilla mousse, the deconstructed Mont Blanc and the Citron/Noisette – a lemon sponge and cream, citric powder, hazelnut praline, lime gel.
This time though, we’d outlasted all the other diners for a quick few photos of the restaurant…
…and the cosy, cosy bar with the soft lighting that invites lingering.
We also snuck upstairs for a quick step through the newly redecorated Rosebery lounge where traditional afternoon teas are served.
It was hard to leave, not least to go out into the frosty day.
What is your favourite kind of burger?
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