I was invited to review Bar Boulud and our food was complimentary. I was not paid to visit and was not under contractual obligation to write this blog post or create content on any platform. Neither was Oscar…
Before we had Oscar, Mr S and I firmly decided that we would fit him into our usual lives as we didn’t want to stop going out to restaurants or travelling. This has meant that since he was born we’ve got him used to being around people and noise, he doesn’t flinch when the TV is turned on and he’s perfectly fine in big groups of people. With this in mind we’ve been very happy to take him out with us and enjoy a meal the three of us. Yes it does mean sometimes we have to eat one at a time or I need to stop my lunch to top him up with a feed but it seems to be working so far. Though experienced parents may be reading this and laughing at my naivety as I’m still very much in the early days! When I was invited to review Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park, it seemed the perfect opportunity to take Oscar for his first blogging restaurant review.
We were supposed to be enjoying the new terrace at Mandarin Oriental but bad weather took us inside to enjoy the stylish interiors of Bar Boulud, the hotel’s gorgeous French Brasserie.
My gorgeous lunch dates and I would be enjoying the food of world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud who has restaurants across the globe in the USA, Canada and Singapore as well as here, his only European restaurant. The most famous of his restaurants is the eponymous Daniel in New York City which boasts three Michelin stars. Here in the London restaurant, the food is inspired by Chef Boulud’s childhood growing up in the countryside in Lyon, France. There are French classics, charcuterie platters and delicious dessert along the way. Think l’escargot and French onion soup but with the option to have a Yankee burger (the classic beef patty, iceberg lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and sesame bun) if that’s what you fancy. I actually met Chef Boulud myself, right here, a couple of years ago.
I always think that good bread sets the precedent for a good meal, and the chewy baguette slices serves with creamy butter here are just divine.
Our starters were basically everything that I’d had to avoid when pregnant; an absolutely perfectly seasoned hand-cut beef tartar with baby gem lettuce, cornichons, capers and mustard, served with criss cross chips. My favourite starter was petites fritures or crispy white baits, mussels and squid served with aïoli – food fit for the riviera. And finally a zesty and refreshing ceviche of cured seabass, watermelon, jalapeno shiso and verjus.
Main courses followed the seafood theme and we had two of our favourite dishes to share – moules a la creme or steamed Cornish mussels, white wine, parsley & crème fraîche with a side of fries. Mr S particularly like the way the mussels were served, there’s a pool of sauce at the side to really dip those shells into. Tagliatelle aux fruits de mer or squid ink pasta, market seafood confit lemon, cherry tomato fennel cress was my favoured main course. It was just so perfectly assembled in terms or textures and flavour notes seriously a dish of dreams.
Little O behaved like an absolute super star and was very well-behaved throughout. We had to break so he could eat himself but fortunately I’m getting braver about feeding him in public and I’ve got this nifty apron thing to cover myself up when in restaurants etc.
That day we’d registered little O’s birth and the day before had been his one month birthday so we had plenty to celebrate. And the team at Bar Boulud thought so too! Presenting Oscar with his name in sugar, a fruit platter and a super cute Paddington bar. Oscar was actually born at the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s hospital, right next to Paddington Station so it was a rather fitting present.
For mum and dad there was a trio of desserts including an assortment of macarons (caramel, chocolate and pistachio), ice cream and sorbet (vanilla, raspberry and chocolate). Finally was the vanilla mille-feuille with the most perfectly made puff pastry and crème pâtissière with hot caramel sauce drizzled on top and a side of vanilla ice cream.
All in all, a successful trip. The food was dreamy and the service is incredible, it was a big thumbs up from Oscar too!
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park