French Restaurants in Chelsea
1. Bibendum French restaurant in Chelsea 81 Fulham Rd - SW3
After a year at the stoves, ex-Hibiscus patron, Claude Bosi, is getting more into his stride in this “perennially wonderful dining room”, within “the iconic setting of the Michelin building”. True, there are still many reporters who are not persuaded by his new regime (“Come back Sir Terence Conran, all is forgiven…”) and also many who feel that the “results from the classic French high-falutin’ menu are dangerously close to ordinary at this price point” (“only an expense accounter could stomach the stratospheric bill”). Ratings have risen sharply since last year’s faltering debut, however, amidst accounts of “a return to form”, with “smiling staff gliding about smoothly as though on coasters” and “stunningly crafted dishes with fabulous flavours”.
2. Bibendum Oyster Bar Fish & seafood restaurant in Chelsea Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road - SW3
(Mostly) upbeat reports again this year on this luxurious café in the beautiful, if echoey tiled foyer of the Michelin Building, where Claude Bosi has added hot items to its traditional offering of cold seafood platters.
3. Gordon Ramsay French restaurant in Chelsea 68-69 Royal Hospital Rd - SW3
“He should concentrate on the cuisine at this price, not his celebrity!” The world-famous TV chef’s original solo HQ in Chelsea continues to divide opinion and scored even lower overall marks in the survey this year. Undoubtedly it still has many advocates who feel Matt Abé (who actually does all the cooking) produces a menu that’s “a total delight for the senses”, and that service is “unbeatable” (under longstanding “perfectionist” maître d’, Jean Claude Breton, plus “very helpful” sommelier James Lloyd). Critics, though, are more vocal than supporters, feeling the “food needs to move on”, or that the ambience (“limited by the layout of the room”) is “too manufactured and precious to be enjoyable”. All-in-all, Michelin’s continual failure to recognise the long-term slide here is baffling, and to continue to award this establishment three stars seems nothing more than cynical sucking up to the world’s biggest culinary media figure.
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