Though our holiday to Cannes was a family-focussed one, Mr S and I decided to sneak away for a date night whilst staying in the beautiful French Riviera. It seemed like Baoli Restaurant, part of the famous Baoli group was the place to go! We’d already eaten lunch at their chilled out Baoli beach club and I was looking forward to spending a glamorous night in the restaurant / night club a little further down the road in Porto Canto, right opposite where the Silver Matrix was docked. The restaurant is loved by the jet-set elite and is a favourite of Jay Z, Bono and Eva Mendes during the Cannes film festival; I mean you can just park your yacht outside and stroll in.
There are two sittings at Baoli for dinner, 8.30 or 11.30, the thought of an 11.30 dinner already made me feel ‘hangry’ so I asked the concierge to book us in for the early sitting as I wasn’t too bothered about staying for the nightclub, I just wanted to go for a chilled dinner at a pretty restaurant.
We arrived at the restaurant and checked in at the front, immediately we were led to an indoor table, not a problem necessarily in itself but we were the only people inside, everyone else was outside. The manager refused to give us an outdoor table even though there were plenty free. We were told all the tables for two were allocated on a first come, first served basis; there were two free tables but the manager said they were reserved; though by the time we left all these tables were still free which was very annoying. Reluctantly, we took a table inside though as we were sat by the window we didn’t feel totally out of the atmosphere.
To be honest, the restaurant itself was not what I was expecting, after the beautiful and sexy beach club I’d expected the place to be very chic and stylish, when actually it was a little too blingy, plus it was fully enclosed with no pretty views. Have you ever been to a night club when it’s still light? You can see all the cigarette burns on the sofa, the slightly shabby seating and tarnished tables, without the darkness and the glittering lights it’s actually pretty unglamorous! At Fouquet’s there had been elegant atmosphere and we were surrounded by glamorous people but as you can see from the photo above, the other diners looked a little bored!
We were already a little disappointed to have chosen the place as our only date night but cocktails always help and I ordered a refreshing Rossini which I’d enjoyed at the Baoli Beach Club and Mr S ordered a Watermelon martini. Despite the shaky start our waiter was really lovely and the sommelier recommended a fab wine for us.
I’m not a big lover of rosé at home but it seems to taste better in the South of France and always feels like the thing to drink! Anyway it was a great recommendation and definitely went down a treat! Despite it’s renown as nightclub Baoli restaurant is also known for the food as the Asian and French restaurant is supervised by two-Michelin starred chef, Bruno Oger who also previously managed the kitchen at The Majestic.
As we love light Asian food we chose a selection of starters to share; a sea bass ceviche was totally delicious as was the salmon sashimi. Best of all was the sushi including ‘crazy rolls’ made up lobster with a deep-fried coating alongside more traditional California rolls.
As it got darker, a DJ emerged and some chilled out tunes began to fill the restaurant (though as you can see there were still empty tables) and we were relaxing and enjoying the vibe more.
Sadly, though the main courses were as disappointing as the overall night. We chose an Imperiale teppanyaki containing scallops, which were under-cooked and flabby, and lobster and prawns which were overcooked and dry. Sigh!
I also really didn’t enjoy the sea bass which was in a sickly sweet sauce, though, Mr S loved this.
My favourite thing was actually the crunchy vegetables!
Disappointed by our table position and second rate food, we were then hit by the bill…and this place is very overpriced! With our only date night of the holiday falling slightly flat, we headed back to the Silver Matrix for a few glasses of rosé with Mr S’s older brother in the back of the boat.
Gary told us we’d done the wrong thing and Baoli was best to go to for the late sitting with a group and then enjoy the night club. We headed back over with him towards midnight when the lights of the club were flashing and the music pounding, a completely different atmosphere to our earlier chilled out dinner. Honestly, maybe I’m getting too old for this now but I really wasn’t feeling it and Mr S and I left after about an hour.
Anyway, as bloggers we generally try and make our blog positive spaces so why am I publishing this review? Basically, don’t fall for the hype, Baoli is over-priced and the food is mediocre 🙁 .