ALC – 3 Courses £100 (with supplements for prime ingredients) Tasting Menu – 6 Courses £120
To begin – A selection of Bibendum Appetisers.
Olive tree – Liquid filled Black Olives with Tapenade, Olive and Anchovy flavours.
Egg – A perfectly topped Eggshell containing a base layer of Mushroom Duxelle. Filled with creamy White beans and finished off with a Coconut foam and Curry powder. Sourdough and Bibendum Michelin man Butter. I understand that the Restaurant uses Bread from Hedone Bakery. The Bread was good but it didn`t seem to be freshly baked.
Crab – A Base layer of creamy Brown Crab meat topped with freshly picked White Crab meat , Kipper jelly and Cucumber. A Stunning course.Celeriac Nusotto , (no Rice) – I would have preferred a perfectly made Risotto as an alternative for this course. I won`t go into detail what the lady on the next table mentioned that it looked like.
Turbot a la Grenobloise. , Brown Butter and Lemon sauce , Crushed Potatoes and crispy Breadcrumbs. Well cooked Fish , an enjoyable courseSweetbread – Caramelised Lamb Sweetbread , Olives , Oxalis , Pickled Onion , Liquorice powder and Jelly , Veal jus and “Wet Grass” sauce. I looked puzzled as this course was explained to me . “Did you say Wet Grass” ? ….. “Yes Sir , Wet Grass” – Ok , so there`s a first time for everything. I ate the food , really enjoyed the flavours and then asked another member of staff. “Excuse me , what was the Green sauce” ? …… “Wet Grass sir” I spoke to Chef Claude in the kitchen after the meal and the Wet Grass was actually `Wheat Grass` , query solved.
Duck – A slice of Duck breast , Duck Jus , Cherry and Pea purees. A side plate of Petits Pois with Peach and smoked Eel , Lemon and Mustard foam. Nice to see `his and hers` Pink and Blue knives , a wee stab in the back for the politically correct snowflakes.
Ice cream cornet – A really poor value pre dessert.
Dessert – Strawberry , Olive oil and Lime parfait. Stunning , technical , perfection and everything i`m looking for in a dessert.
Coffee and sweet treats reasonably priced at £5So to summarize my trip to Bibendum and my personal view on the food is that it`s `just` into the 2 star zone. Some of the dishes were average, and some were really good – but a mixture of the two. As for those diners saying it should be a 3 star – I compared Bibendum to the likes of the classic Parisian 3 star temples , the complexity and constant perfection of the Fat Duck and the entertaining theatrical food of the likes of El Cellar de Can Roca and Osteria Francescana . Bibendum is currently quite a long distance from that 3rd star. Saying that, London`s Araki was awarded 3 stars (beggars belief that a Fish and Rice bar can achieve that) in the last Michelin guide so in that case, anything is possible. Service – Very confident , bordering on over confident and ever so slightly intimidating…… “Just checking to see if you`re finished with this plate as we need it for another table”
Total bill for the two of us was £ 394 inc the £51 service charge.Would I return ? No, but I have no regrets whatsoever , it was expensive , the food enjoyable , Chef was a really nice guy but the overall experience didn`t excite me. The food was really well cooked and the attention to detail was excellent but i felt it could be tweaked here and there to make it a solid 2 star experience. None of the dishes really hit me as memorable.
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