Scores: 4 GFG/ Z 24/ H2
A good friend was over from India and had expressed a preference for a lunch that contained a lot of meat so we headed to Bar Boulud where large amounts of beef and pork products, as well as those from many other animals, are available. Bar Boulud is the New York style French brassiere that is in the basement of the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge. It is a sister restaurant to one in New York and it is part of Daniel Boulud’s empire that also includes a 3 Michelin starred restaurant. We were seated in the front part of the restaurant, quite near the bar, which I prefer as it is livelier and slightly less basement like.
We ordered quite a few starters to share, the main event here was the degustation de charcuterie (large: £31) this was a large board that contained a lot of meaty goodness as well as some complements. There were three firm terrines, the best of these was leg of lamb with Moroccan spices this had lovely meaty flavour which the spices complemented excellently. Beef cheek with onion and pistachio, and braised rabbit with mustard were also very good. Although i do not particularly like meats in jelly, the cubes of pigs head in jelly were good as the pigs head had an incredible amount of flavour which shone though. Two slightly less coarse pates were also very good: a foie gras and pork with truffle and a country chicken liver with port. 2 hams and some salami were also of good quality.
As part of the tasting of 2 sausages (£18) we choose the Tunisienne and the boudin blanc. The Tunisienne was a spicy lamb merguez with mint tabouleh and peppers, this was a well-balanced dish as the sausage was well spiced and the accompaniments worked well. The boudin blanc was also decent, being well cooked. Crevettes a la plancha (£14) with lemon and garlic butter were well sized prawns that were cooked very well and came in a very garlicky sauce with just enough lemon to add some tartness. Olives marinees (£4.50) were also very good; having a real fresh taste.
The ‘Frenchie’ burger- grilled beef with confit pork belly, rocket, Dijon tomato compote, morbier cheese on a peppered bun (£13.75), was cooked a perfect medium as requested. I am usually terrible for being a bit of a burger snob and the fact I loved this burger may confirm this (although it is not that comparatively expensive!). Although usually my rant is that I do not like burgers with lots of sauces/ toppings on them eg. a ‘Dead Hippie’. Possibly my favourite burger ever is the Minetta Tavern’s black label burger which is served very basically but is all about the flavour of the meat (yes I know this is not that cheap either). In the Frenchie’s case both the actual patty, the bun and the toppings work together so well, I think this is partly due to the fact that there is actually not that much cheese, pork or compote on it, just enough to help the beef.
Croque Madames (£12.50) also looked good and were massive. Sides of frites and spinach were decent enough, the fries were slightly too thin for my taste.
Overall this was a very enjoyable meal and in my humble opinion one of the best burgers in London. It is also a place where one can over-order and end up with the ‘meat sweats’ very easily. I would also say that it is actually not bad value for what you get.