A “sophisticated” Knightsbridge outpost of a top NYC chef, offering “consistently well-executed comfort food” (“out-of-this-world” burgers a speciality) in a “lively” setting – being a basement, though, it’s “best by night”.
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For our money, a good Parisian brasserie – offering straightforward food of high quality in a stylish but easy environment – is something near the perfect restaurant concept. As London has be...
Press Reviews (15)
Marina O'Loughlin (2nd July 2010)
Passing briefly through the “personality-free” bar, the critic visits this new Roux outpost, where the dining room is “a sea of cream and beige with all the edge, brio and atmosphere of a Vauxhall showroom”. The food is “pretty good, if a bit on the excitable, over-faffed side”, but she predicts the place “will happily settle into a role as Westminster’s new power-lunching hot spot”.
Jay Rayner (28th June 2010)
The critic perfectly captures the décor of this new Westminster establishment, finidng the dining rooms “an orgy of beige [as if] someone has been invited to go crazy with a John Lewis charge card. I can't believe the people responsible for this place stayed awake long enough over the visuals to approve them.” “Against this background, the food was always going to have to work very hard to take off, and it never quite manages it”, even if it is “all professional [and] well executed”.
Giles Coren (24th June 2010)
The critic takes up much of his review musing on the difference between the city that never sleeps, and our own dear capital, on which subject he is (in our view) extremely accurate as well as very amusing. “In New York there really is a ‘restaurant scene’, he opines. “There really are hip dining rooms, hot tables and places you’d flay your mom to get a reservation. People can impress each other in New York simply by telling each other where they had their tea. But that isn’t really so in London.” This, of course, “is because New York takes itself so seriously. It is the core personality disorder of the modern American, and of the New Yorker in particular. New Yorkers are just so pleased with their city and with themselves and with their mutual co-identification.”
Tracey MacLeod (24th June 2010)
Food 3/5 Stars, Ambience 2/5 Stars, Service 3/5 St
“Just when it seemed that chain cafés and bars would choke the life out of London’s creative heartland”, notes the critic, Soho “has been revived by an infusion of exciting, independently-owned new openings”. The lastest arrival is the creation of the chef who made his name at Roussillon in “patrician” Pimlico (really?).
Matthew Norman (7th June 2010)
Say it isn’t so! The critic, defying all who have come before him, leaves this new Knightbridge outpost of star NYC chef Daniel Boulud feeling that “the borderline rapturous reception for this newcomer, elsewhere and on the foodie blogs, must have more to do with imaginary imperial garments than anything else”.
Giles Coren (7th June 2010)
Michel Roux’s Westminster newcomer offers “perfect, precise, strangely effortless cooking”, says the critic.
Amol Rajan (7th June 2010)
“Not since the fabled exhibition of Japanese culture that took place between 1885 and 1887”, the critic tells us, “has this segment of SW1 been redeemed from its reputation as a shining vestibule of affluent stupidity… a kind of refined urban hell… But what Solzhenitsyn called ‘the censorship of fashion’ is a barrier to sound judgement, and such is the fuss about Bar Boulud, opened a few weeks ago in a previously defunct part of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, that running this weekend gauntlet promised sufficient reward to motivate your correspondent”.
Euan Ferguson (4th June 2010)
This “stiffly elegant” Westminster dining room, with its “overbearing” service, gets quite a drubbing. And, from a menu at £55, the food “should have been much more memorable” too.
John Walsh (1st June 2010)
Food 4/5 stars, Service 2/5 stars, Ambience 4/5 st
And yet another rave for this Knightsbridge import from one of New York’s most prominent chefs. “M Boulud's establishment may be more 1970s provincial French bistro than 2010 London eaterie, but when the carping stops, you notice that his attention to the old-fashioned virtue of flavoursome cooking is faultless. He and his Bar are hugely welcome in the metropolis.” The setting, however, “isn’t immediately appealing”.
Toby Young (1st June 2010)
“Will Roux at Parliament Square overcome the various challenges ranged against it?”, wonders the critic. His conclusion is that “it will, thanks to the talent of [the chef] newcomer Daniel Cox. People will flock from miles around for food of this quality. He may not be a Roux, but he is a worthy standard-bearer of the family's illustrious flag.”
Jay Rayner (1st June 2010)
“Proof – if proof were needed – that the capital is now attracting world-standard restaurateurs in the way damp dogs attract fat fleas.” This “smart, buzzy urban brasserie”, in Knightsbridge, offers “the kind of French food you would dream of getting in France, but rarely do”. The wine list is “confusing”, though, and comes at high prices, and the critic did not appreciate having a two-hour dining slot imposed.
Richard Vines (27th May 2010)
“French charcuterie and seasonal bistro-style cooking with a reasonably priced wine list, friendly service and a Manhattan buzz...It’s the point where fine dining meets fun dining.” Burgers and charcuterie attract particular praise, and while the restaurant “isn’t perfect”, the critic advises to “order a fine Bloody Mary and a burger...and you may feel that this imperfect eatery is close to perfection at its price level.”
Marina O'Loughlin (27th May 2010)
“Boulud, a superstar chef in New York, is charming and immensely talented and I truly love everything I taste from his funky, Manhattan-meets-Lyon menu.” High praise for the Knightsbridge newcomer - special mention is reserved for “awesome” burgers and the charcuterie boards “groaning with fine examples of Parisian master charcutier Gilles Vérot’s art.” All in all, “[i]t’s a slick, delicious operation from a man at the top of his game” - it's a shame, then, that the dining room is “as joyless and functional as anywhere recently vacated by Alan Partridge.”
Guy Dimond (20th May 2010)
“For cooking this exceptional, with such attention to detail and at such reasonable prices, this is an instant hit.” A rave review of the new Knightsbridge outpost of the famous New York chef, where the dining room is “beautiful” and service is “well-informed, well-mannered and utterly professional.” Menu highlights include “mouthwatering” charcuterie, “sublime” burgers and a “masterpiece” of an île flottante.
Fay Maschler (13th May 2010)
“A Big Step Forward.” High praise for the new Knightsbridge outpost of one of New York’s most famous chefs, where the brasserie-style menu “invite[s] flexibility and remove[s] any unspoken obligation to go down the three-course route.” Charcuterie is “fabulous”, with dishes such as Tagine d’agneau “gloriously vindicated.” Main courses of Coq au Vin, and “The Frenchie” burger, which “came close to ultimate satisfaction”, attract particular praise. The booking process, though, is “tedious”.