We Brits don’t like to show off. Got dumped the same day you broke your favourite mug? Hilarious, tell everyone you’ve ever known. Got the job of your dreams? Tell no one. Except maybe your own mother in four months time. We thrive on self-deprecation, but really, now and again, we could do with being more like Bob Bob Cité - a ridiculous, look-at-me restaurant that isn’t even slightly ashamed of what a show off it is.
Before we even tell you about this huge £25 million restaurant inside the City’s Leadenhall skyscraper, you need to be in the right mood. Take your humble brag, set it on fire, listen to Goldfinger at full volume, and then recite ‘I’m a winner’ in your head 50 times. Feeling good? Perfect, because there’s no point in going to Bob Bob Cité unless you’re ready for a proper show. And, realistically, to throw some cash around. Like their original spot, Bob Bob Ricard in Soho, this is a restaurant that works for many occasions, but feeling shy isn’t one of them.
The big energy starts with the food. This is the menu equivalent of driving around in a Lambo with the top down and Kanye West blaring out your speakers. Basically, picture all of the City’s luxury restaurants sat in the back corner of a casino and Bob Bob Cité leaning over their stacked chips to say, “we see your standard steak tartare and raise you chopped Scottish rump with quail egg and 20g of Siberian sturgeon caviar. Fools.”. The oysters come with truffle hollandaise, the four cheese macaroni is full of lobster, and the lemon sorbet is served with Russian Standard Platinum vodka. It’s indulgent, bank-balance-to-the-wind food, that you might think is extravagant for the sake of it, if it wasn’t so delicious.
Like some glorious narcissist with ‘treat yo’ self’ tattooed on their shoulder, Bob Bob Cité doesn’t stop there. The space is impressive in a way that feels more film set tour than dinner is served. We’re not sure whether the design brief was ‘Bernie Madoff meets Orient Express’ or simply ‘wealthy magpie’s wet dream’. Either way, we’re into it. Straight out of the lift, there’s a flashy waiting area and floors so shiny you can see the reflection of your own jaw drop as you enter the bar with views of their wine vault. Then onto the blue dining room filled exclusively with booths in a long train-carriage formation that leads into a smaller, equally ridiculous, rouge salon dining room. Around the whole of the restaurant is a ticker tape of numbers, stock exchange style, where your table number lights up in red the moment you press your ‘presse pour champagne’ button - or, as we like to think of it, the tipsy doorbell. Yes, of course they’ve put a press for champagne button on every table. Why? Because they can.
That being said, much like if you spent every day reciting your achievements in alphabetical order to co-workers, there is only so much bragging that is acceptable. That’s why this is a once in a while restaurant for special occasions and payday date nights - otherwise you’ll end up overdosing on the sheer shine of the place. Or, you know, truffle. But you should come here. Book it for a round of birthday oysters where you end up pressing that champagne button one too many times, or for a big deal business dinner where the built-in USB ports set you off to a great start. Or, even if it feels a bit unnatural, to celebrate getting that job of your dreams. Fuck it, sometimes there’s nothing wrong with showing off.
Basically, this is like a 70s prawn cocktail got in the Tardis, had a little modern day transformation whilst riding through the decades, and somehow wound up with crab meat in the middle of the City. Very tasty. Dr. Who producers, call us - there’s plenty more where this came from.
A dish that deserves respect. Honour. Potentially a theme song. Here you have a soft-boiled quail egg, 20g of Siberian Sturgeon caviar, capers, and shallots, all on top of chopped Scottish rump of beef. It costs almost 50 quid, and might be the best tartare we’ve ever had.
Parmesan, gruyere, cheddar, mozzarella, macaroni, and masses of grilled lobster. You know what to do.
You don’t need to order these truffle-covered £10 chips. But realistically, you don’t really need a press for champagne button in your life either. And we all know how good those are.
Eating this feels like being hugged by a rich oligarch lemon. We’ll leave you with that mental image for a hot second, but the point is, this is very good. The base is a bit firm, but the soft meringue makes up for it.
If you’re only going to get one dessert here, make it this. The crème anglaise is excellent, and the toasted almonds make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.