Many of us are thinking about exercising restraint now that festivities are over but when a family occasion arises, you still want to eat delicious food, even if your waist line is moaning……….
I always think that saturday is a nice day to have family lunch with the kids in a restaurant-my parents started taking me out with them from the age of two (at the time not many parents did that is Moscow) but times have changed and my son made his first restaurant outing aged less than two months.
My girlfriends living in New York were always complimentary about Daniel Boulud’s restaurants there so I decided to drag my loved ones to his London outpost, called Bar Boulud at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in Knightsbridge.
First impressions were good, with the doorman carrying the bags for you .) while leading you in. The restaurant is at the basement of the hotel and as you descend and enter,you have staff awaiting you on the right and a nice cellar to the left. You have a bar area, some seats at the charcuterie area overlooking the kitchen (if you want to pop in for a drink or a quick snack), and lots of tables to accommodate various number of customers. To me it looked very Swiss chalet decoration but a beautiful touch is added by the prints of wine stains on napkins on the walls-you can look at fancy wines and their colour left on the napkins while eating and drinking a nice wine selection on offer.
We were quickly shown to our corner table which worked beautifullly for both adults and kids alike. The menu is quite extensive, offering traditional French fair of oysters, moules, home made pates, fois gras as well as salads and soups and famed charcuterie chosen by Gilles Verot. You can also have a selection of burgers, sausages, meats and fish as your main course.
I had a delicious fois gras with ginger as a starter and a Boudin Blanc (divine sausages with truffles and pommes frites which were piping hot and not too salty) as a main course. My husband’s tagliatelle with lamb tasted like home cooked meals should but my mother’s portion of coq au vin, even though tasty, was definitely on the smaller side.
The slightly ‘off’ point for me was the staff’s lack of enthusiasm-they were neither happy not unhappy to serve you and we had to wait a good 40 minutes for our main course, which made me slightly annoyed and my mum refusing to have dessert, thinking it will take ages too-mine didn’t, it arrived within 10 minutes or so.
All in all, we enjoyed our lunch and the total bill was on the money-very good value for the food on offer. The place isn’t particularly geared for younger children food wise but they do have high chairs and drawing paper and crayons, so you won’t be uncomfortable. However the service can definitely be improved for me to want to go there again……