Set between bustling, fashionable, Knightsbridge, within a few yards of Harrods and Harvey Nichols, and green and leafy Hyde Park, the Mandarin Oriental hotel is in one of London’s most accessible and enviable locations.
It is a beautiful hotel, made even more special for some of us - for within its walls can be found the bistro and wine bar Bar Boulud.
Bar Boulud opened in London at the Mandarin Oriental in 2012 is one of several world-wide restaurants under the banner of the renowned chef/owner Daniel Boulud, one of America’s most celebrated Michelin starred chefs.
Daniel Boulud grew up on a farm close by Lyon, the French city noted for its gastronomy. His culinary pedigree includes working with a number of the world’s most famous chefs before arriving in New York in the 1980s.
Stylish Bar Boulud
Bar Boulud is stylish. Looking not unlike a cellar it features two large connecting rooms with an impressive bar and an open kitchen, the clever use of wood, cork and leather making for a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.
With its American connections it is hardly surprising that burgers feature large on the menu. And they are large burgers too, expensive yes, but made from quality ingredients; the piggy burger in particular is one of the most popular items on the menu. Also featured are a number of other specialities made from ingredients from local producers. The bistro is renowned for its selection of house-made terrines and pâtés and excellent wine cellar.
But there is also an exciting new summer menu available, definitely until 31 August, but possibly even longer. Look out for menu BouludSud.
BouludSud - the new summer menu
Thanks to the inspiration of Daniel Boulud and his talented London based Executive Chef Thomas Piat the dishes are sublime – think Mediterranean with a nod to North Africa.
There is a delicious Mediterranean Mezze platter including one new to us – tirokafteri, with a smoked feta base. The Maquereau Escabèche with white raisins and toasted pine nuts, Greek ‘Horiatiki’ and Spanish Anchovies with shaved fennel and crispy socca are all delicious. As are Cambas al Ajillo (the prawns full of flavour) and tender Octopus a la plancha.
The Dos de Cabillaud (cod) is stunning as is the delicately Harissa spiced lamb loin. But for at least one of us the favourite dish on the menu had to be the dessert – Grapefuit Givré where a scooped out grapefruit skin is filled with grapefruit sorbet, sesame halva and rose loukoum, absolutely delicious – praise indeed from somebody who doesn’t really like desserts.