Bibendum has been open for about a year and Chef Claude Bosi, previously with Hibiscus, already has two Michelin stars. Fitting, in that the restaurant is on the second level of the Michelin building and heavily decorated with Michelin paraphernalia. Even the exterior of the building has tires and the Michelin man incorporated into its design. The first level is a casual seafood bar and has a tiled car mural around the ceiling. The elevator lets you off into a far more formal dining area with 2 huge stained glass Michelin man windows. The club chairs are comfy and set at tables draped with long gray clothes and huge matching gray napkins. American music plays softly in the background and dies out as the room becomes filled. Natural light from lots of windows fills the room but some of the light coming through the stained glass can cast some different colors on your food. The room has a nice feel and service is friendly and helpful. The kitchen offers a set lunch option as well as a la carte service. Most of the food was in a lovely French style. We ordered a la carte.
While we looked over the menu they brought out warm parmesan cheese gougeres. They were wonderful. Also we received coated almonds and cashews. The coating had a bit of sweetness but they were crunchy and tasty.
Bread was both white and sour dough. It had a super crispy crust and good doughy interior with lots of air holes. I believe they get it from Hedone.
An amuse bouche of coconut foam and egg was placed on top of mushrooms and dusted with curry powder. It was excellent. The curry and coconut went so well together and made a nice variation of an amuse in an egg shell.
Cornish cock crab salad was served with Yorkshire rhubarb and cardamom. It had a jelly layer on top that was a mousse of brown crab meat, that tasted wonderfully of crab. Underneath was a layer of flaked white crab meat and then all was topped with a few garnish items. It was a great dish.
French green asparagus was served with smoked hay Hollandaise, confit Italian lemon and hazelnuts. The sauce was amazing, with a rich and smokey flavor. The shredded hazelnuts were nicely crisped and mixed into the sauce. The French asparagus were huge and thick but perfectly tender with just a bit of the bottom peeled off. They had a great strong asparagus flavor and it was an excellent dish.
Brittany rabbit was plated with langoustine and artichoke barigoule. A section of toast topped with liver accompanied it. The rabbit was in a variety of pieces, all very tender, moist and tasty. The green cubes were bits of apple and the artichokes were cooked to perfection. Last but not least the plate was covered with a great sauce that you wanted to eat every bit of. It went well with the tender, sweet and perfectly cooked langoustines also.
My mum’s tripe and cuttlefish gratin was accompanied by a slice of pig’s ear and ham cake. A funny dish to find on a fancy menu but what a great take on tripe and cuttlefish. It was totally savory with a bit of spiciness. A dish of herbs was served with it but some of them were too strong to mix with the dish, for me, but it was a fun idea. The tomato sauce was a crowning glory on this overwhelmingly delicious dish. The bread side was also savory, moist and really tasty – who cares what’s in it when it’s that good.
We wanted the soufflé for dessert but it takes 25 minutes so the waiter suggested having the strawberries while we waited. Good idea. The Gariguette strawberries were served with olive oil and lime parfait. It came out as a beautifully colored red ball sitting in some strawberry jam. Inside was custard and strawberry jelly. The ball was decorated with poppy seeds and made of colored white chocolate. It was really good and not too sweet. The white chocolate went great with the strongly flavored berries. A perfect pre-dessert.
I saw the cheese cart and even though we didn’t partake I snapped a photo for interest.
The Whisky and chocolate soufflé was topped with coffee ice cream at the table. The top of the soufflé was decorated with a Michelin man that had a bubble in his tire that popped. Don’t know if that was intended but it certainly was perfect. After making a slit in the top the whisky sauce was poured in and then came the coffee ice cream. The soufflé was light and fluffy with an excellent flavor. The coffee ice cream was strongly flavored and worked great with the chocolate and whisky. It was divine.
Final treats were some sticks of rum raisin fudge that were sweet and raisin intense, blood orange jellies that were great and dark chocolate with caramel that were yummy sweet.