Bebe Bob

37 Golden Square, London, W1F 9LB, United Kingdom

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Bob Bebe opened in August 2023, a sister of Bob Bob Ricard and Bob Bob Cite. Unlike the others in the group, the menu here is very limited, serving just a single main course: roast chicken. There are a few starters and desserts, but just the solitary main course option, albeit with two different choices of chicken supplier. The dining room is smartly decorated, with a further area to the back of the room as you enter.

The wine list had 49 labels and ranged in price from £39 to £237, with a median price of £84 and an average markup to retail price of 2.8 times, which is very fair by the standards of central London. Sample references were Domaine Guy Allion Sauvignon de Touraine 2022 at £43 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £14, Domaine Jean Collet Chablis 2022 at £67 compared to its retail price of £25, and Meerlust Rubicon 2018 at £90 for a wine that will set you back £34 in the high street. For those with the means there was Puligny Montrachet La Garenne Domaine Genot-Boulanger2016 at £173 compared to its retail price of £110, and Krug 171eme edition at £237 for a wine whose current market value is £210. The lowest wine markup is the Dom Perignon 2013 at £175 (plus service) compared to its shop price of £202.

Prawn cocktail was a fairly standard take on the classic dish, with crispy lettuce, prawns and a cocktail sauce flavoured with VSOP cognac to supplement the usual Marie rose sauce (mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, lemon and pepper). This version seemed to have a little Tabasco too, as it was spicier than is often the case. This was a simple and pleasant starter, the prawns of reasonable quality (13/20).

The roast chicken is either from Vendee in Western France or from Arnaud Tauzin in Landes in the south west. The latter is a top-notch supplier of poultry, favoured by some serious restaurants including Helene Darroze. The Tauzin family has been raising poultry since the 19th century, the birds all fed on maize that are grown on the farm. The birds spend almost their entire lives outdoors and are “slow growth”, resulting in excellent flavour. This was priced at £39 per person (for two people only) and comes just with a little chicken jus. You could also opt for a cheaper bird, from Vendee in western France (£19 per person). On the side, roast potatoes were £7, as were carrots and parsnips £7, while chips were £5. Two large pieces of chicken were served, with crisp skin and having really lovely flavour. The bird was cooked nicely and the chicken jus had good flavour, but the impressive thing was the superb flavour of the chicken meat itself. This is in a wholly different league from most chickens that you see in the UK, such as “label Anglais” etc, and indeed I prefer this to Bresse chicken, which has a milder, albeit quite complex flavour. It is hard to score such a simple dish, but it was a joy (16/20). The vegetables on the side were fine if unexceptional.

Tarte tatin (£10) came with Calvados ice cream. The tart was made using Pink Lady apples and lacked sharpness. The apples did not seem to be particularly well caramelised, though the pastry was decent. However, this was a world away from a really top-notch tarte tatin, glistening with golden caramel (12/20). Coffee was just Illy capsules, an industrial coffee which seems to me rather off-brand given the emphasis on top quality ingredients in the form of the chicken. It was £4.75 with not even a hint of petit fours, so is pretty outrageous given that a pod costs around 43p retail, and they will pay less than this wholesale. For this price they could easily source a good speciality coffee, which would only cots them a few pence more. 

Service was friendly and capable, though it was irritating to be presented with an option to add service on the credit card machine when service at 15% had already been added to the bill. The latter came to £169 per person, with a good bottle of red wine to share (Merlust Rubicon) and two glasses of dessert wine. The smart option would seem to me to simply come here and order the chicken, skipping starter and dessert, and head somewhere else for coffee. The chicken portion is very generous so you certainly would not leave hungry, and the bill would be far less. However, if you ordered three courses and had coffee, water and shared a modest bottle of wine then a typical bill might come to around £120 per person including service.

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User comments

  • Constance

    Good to know! If you were to choose between Bebe Bob and The Ritz - ONLY for the chicken as a criteria- which of the two would you say was better?