French-born US chef Daniel Boulud’s first European venture, Bar Boulud at London’s Mandarin Oriental hotel, is the focus of the weekend’s restaurant reviews. And luckily for the chef, the restaurant does not disappoint the critics.
Writing for The Sunday Times, AA Gill finds the best burgers at Bar Boulud, which he otherwise considers a mediocre restaurant albeit with excellent service.
“Burgers, for all their mythology, are monoglot food,” he says. “These ones manage to retain their oafish, redneck muscle, but have an added French je ne sais quoi. A bit of wit. A good pick-up line.”
Meanwhile John Walsh of The Independent experiences faultless flavoursome cooking at Bar Boulud and says both the chef and his bar are “hugely welcome in the metropolis”.
And although The Observer’s Jay Rayner gets annoyed during the booking process at Bar Boulud, once he dines there he is impressed with the menu and value for money it offers.
Meanwhile in The Independent on Sunday Toby Young is impressed with Michel Roux Junior’s co-venture with Compass’ Restaurant Aossociates, Roux at Parliament Square. He declares the restaurant, where former Roux Scholar Daniel Cox is head chef, more of a classy coalition than culinary compromise.
Matthew Norman, writing in The Guardian, discovers a menu of inconsistent quality at Viajante, where Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes is fighting an “internal battle between technical excellence and plain foolishness”.
Jasper Gerard of The Daily Telegraph says Paramount atop London’s Centre Point building, which last month opened to the public, is tough on prices and tight on portions but the view is worth stomaching the food.
In The Times Giles Coren is experiencing the post-honeymoon-blues but says former Roussillon chef Alexis Gauthier’s new restaurant at Lindsay House in Soho offers unarguably great cooking worth two Michelin stars.