Bouluddy hell! What a great response for the site. We appreciate all the positive feedback so thank you all. Please keep spreading the word!
Now, back to basics for or next review. It was Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge and for a restaurant that shares its toilets with Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner restaurant we were expecting big things.
We ordered two burgers and shared half each. The famous BB Burger and the standard Yankie. Our guest Alex ordered a Piggie (pictures below), but more to come about that soon…
BB: . So so gutted. Disappointed. Actually slightly annoyed. I had such a buzz before and as I got to the restaurant. My heart sank once I tasted the patty. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t horrible, but the quality of this chuck from Fin Class in Smithfields was poor. There was zilch seasoning (that I could taste anyway). Plain, boring, and for the first time I wanted to try a rare burger but we were told it was against the Health & Safety policy of the hotel….sorry, what? I’m clearly no chef, but if I got 3 Michelin Star chef Daniel Boulud to try this I’m sure he would have lost it.
Yankie: Same as above
BB: So it was kind of hard to assess this patty based on the fact the BB has Foie gras (pronounced Foowee grass (you’re welcome GCSE french)), horseradish, truffle etc. Kind of similar to Lucky Chip actually, the toppings overcame the beef for me, so it got lost in all those other rich flavours. I did get elements of beef amplified through the Foie Gras actually but it just wasn’t enough for me. Texture good, but flavour was lacking.
Yankee: This was a simple cheeseburger, but again I just felt the patty was a bit lost it didn’t give me any oomph of meatiness. Also, they don’t let you order rare here, which was a bit of a let down before we had started. Let me eat rare and take any risk with it?? I’m not going to sue you ok.
Got the hump we have. Score: 6
BB: Lurrrvely black onion seed bun (see menu). Great result in the Rip Test®. The ‘skin’ was sweet, slightly crispy with just the right toughness. 100% brioche made in house by their pastry chef (and it showed). The inside was so fresh and it’s texture was crossed between cotton wool and sponge (bare with me here). Bouncy, fluffy and airy. It soaked up the juices very well. Only slight criticism was that the base was a bit too thin.
Yankie: Slightly more golden brown on the top, this time with sesame seeds.
BB: Yeah really good actually. Every burger we had on our table had a different bun which was a nice touch. Makes you feel special ya’know. But it was good, tasty, soft, fluffy and golden. I just love that colour too, it looks just beautiful, pure and perfectly formed. Domey goodness.
Yankee: Likewise this simple burger looks a thing of beauty with that golden bun. The bun is one those you just press your face into as it’s so soft. Do you do that?
Yeah, baby. Score: 8
BB: Now then. The menu promised all those varied flavours. I could not taste all of them (truffle and horseradish mayo) but that what I could taste was bloody lovely. Foie gras on a burger? Yeah, I KNOW. But it works. Not too strong either. But the star of the show was the red wine braised short ribs which sat ever so nicely on top of the patty. This NEEDED to work after the patty fiasco and I can confirm it did. Yeah, gorge….
Yankie: Oh dear. I may get castigated for this but have a look at the Intro picture. The tomato was far too thick, slightly hard, and was too watery (tasteless). Why not vine tomatoes please? Ok, brace yourselves please.. The first few bites reminded me of a Burger King burger… It was the iceburg lettuce and tomato which did it. I’m sorry but it’s true. The cheese did not taste of much either. Please, I beg you, don’t waste your money on this burger. There, I’ve said it. It wasn’t easy.
BB: Indulgent! I mean, you’re spending £20 on a burger (excluding chips) why not throw some foie gras on there. I wish I could pick out all those different flavours to understand how they harmonise but no chance. Nonetheless it was fantastic, I’m usually not a fan of foie gras as its too rich but actually it was delicious and as mentioned earlier in parts amplified the beefiness. All the toppings did really work for me.
Yankee: Plain and simple. I just don’t think you really need a great deal of salad in a burger. You don’t need a tomato for me. I think it should just be a small amount of lettuce, and the odd gherkin. That’s it. Are we just kidding ourselves by cramming in a fifth of your 5 a day?
Top drawer. Score (based on the BB):8
BB: Not bad. Because the patty was so thick (but had a small diameter) the bun struggled slightly. The BB did sort of go all over the place due to the serious amount of toppings which was not ideal. Most other people were using knife and forks to eat their burgers. No no no no no.
Yankie: Bit better than the BB because there were fewer toppings. That’s about it really.
BB: One thing I would say, and I don’t know if this is “Fatty Platty” talking, but the burger was pretty small. Which in terms of structure meant it was quite easy to maintain, and didn’t fall apart too badly. Even with all those toppings it was pretty good.
Yankee: Structural integrity intact, but again the size meant easy management of this guy. Not too much to fall out though.
Reasonable. Score: 8
We expected so much from Bar Boulud but our expectations weren’t met. The BB burger is £19.50 EXCLUDING chips (£4.25!!). If you are asked to pay £23.75 for a burger and chips it’s got to be near perfect…It was nowhere near. Is the Yankie (£11.75) better value? Nope. We really wish the patty was better.
It wasn’t rubbish, and still a million times better than the usual chains but can’t go anywhere near the top of our league table.
By the way, we wanted to try and get another Boulud pun in there but the only one we could think of was Bul-oddy (Bill oddie), but we couldn’t really crow bar that in anywhere..
In a bit x
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