It took me a long time to put two and two together and realise that the restaurant ‘Barbooloo‘ that everyone kept going on about and Daniel Boulud could possibly be linked. I’d read his short book Letters to a Young Chef while at cook school and was suitably in awe of this veteran Frenchman-made-good-in-NYC.
Bar Boulud, the London outpost of his NYC bistro of the same name, is famous in foodie circles for one thing: the BB burger. Here’s how the website describes it:
beef patty, foie gras
red wine braised short ribs
truffle, frisée, horseradish mayonnaise
confit tomato, black onion seed bun
‘Nuff said, really.
For almost £20 (its price for some reason is omitted from the website), it should, and does, taste the job. It’s filling but not overly huge. Pommes frites are extra (£4.25) but a fairly good-sized portion.
Sure, you’re paying in part for the location (you’re in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, after all) and decor (magnums and bigger of fancy wine bottles line the bar, and the walls are hung with what look like enlarged prints of splashes of hallowed wines – words like Montrachet, Cheval Blanc, etc. abound). Sure, the truffle was undetectable. But the pleasingly large slab of foie wasn’t.
Worth it? If you like your burgers down’n'dirty and are willing to queue for your dinner, then this isn’t the burger for you. But if you like to actually be able to book a table for a meal with friends, have your coat hung up and relax in pleasantly buzzy yet uncrowded surrounds, then £25 for a burger and chips is possibly worth it after all.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
London SW1X 7LA
020 7201 3899