Claude Bosi at Bibendum, London: Two stars, twice the disappointment!

While we drive past the beautiful Michelin House building several times a week, we only recently became aware of the presence of a Michelin star in its midst.

The building housing the properties. Source : Wikipedia

So we decided to visit one of the restaurants. If I’m an oyster lover, I’d love to go to the Oyster Bar, but my wife doesn’t like it, so we’ll go to Bibendum. So we book a Sunday lunch at the end of the service.

The concept

The building houses two restaurants run by chef Claude Bosi. While the first floor is the Oyster Bar, a traditional Parisian brasserie, the second floor is the chef’s gourmet restaurant, awarded two Michelin stars and part of the Relais & Châteaux family.

The setting

The Bibendum restaurant, as you may have guessed, is themed around the mascot of the tire brand and the famous guide.

Even the smallest details, such as salt and pepper shakers and some serving elements, are branded.

The menu

Several different menus are available. We’ll be choosing a tasting menu of seasonal produce, with no heavy-handed food and wine pairings.

The meal and the dishes

Here are the dishes we enjoyed during this long lunch.

  • Foie gras and brioche revisited: a surprising combination of hot and cold
  • Onion soup revisited: excellent with onion confit underneath and bacon cream.
  • Lemon yuzu eel tartlet: excellent combination, very crunchy
  • Egg Bibendum: never eaten anything like this: diced cucumber in a cream of toasted pine nuts
  • French asparagus, burrata and caviar: an excellent balance of tastes
  • Scallop tartare: super fresh, excellent – the jelly enhances the whole dish
  • Turbot: one of the best dishes, enhanced by mustard risotto
  • Veal sweetbread – Exceptional: never eaten a sweetbread so soft and cooked to perfection – Olive sauce a little strong – Fortified wine accompaniment a little nauseating.
  • Duck – just right, but served with onions again…
  • Perfect cheese platter, excellent crackers
  • Very fresh pre-dessert shaved ice style
  • Dessert with melted marshmallows

The service

Excellent welcome at first, but then the service was extremely long. We left the restaurant at 5.30pm, having arrived at 1pm. 3h30 of service is unacceptable, whatever the menu.

A few oversights too, unworthy of a 2-macaron restaurant.

The atmosphere

I’m not a fan of the decor. The Michelin Man is certainly present, but the decor is a little “late nineties”, a bit out of fashion.

Bottom line

A disappointing experience, especially considering the price paid.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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