Daniel Boulud is a chef I have admired for so many years and whose food has been very high on my food bucket list to try, with a vast array of restaurants across the globe. He has a really impressive career, and amazing accolades such as the lifetime achievement award that he received at the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards in June 2015, just to name one of many.
Although he is popular across the pond for his flagship resturants, thankfully he has a sister restaurant to the US versions, called Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kinghstbridge, London, where I had previously visited for cocktails but had yet to try the food.
I was so pleased to have been invited for an exclusive lunch at Bar Boulud to experience his special Taste of Provence menu in conjunction with executive chef of Bar Boulud, Thomas Piat. Whilst I have no immediate travel plans to the Mediterranean for the summer, I was delighted to experience the journey through a fantastic menu, which will be available at Bar Boulud, London for a limited time.
The food was paired with Chateauu D’Esclans wines, and I thoroughly enjoyed each glass, especially the very nicely chilled Rose, as it was a particularly scorching hot summer day.
First to arrive from the menu was the Pissaladière, which is a Provençal onion tart topped with olives and anchovies. This dish originates from Nice, south of France, and is similar in texture to a pizza.
Then arrived Aioli Provencal, which was a selection of spring crudités such as chilled seafood quail egg, grissini and served with an aioli sauce. It was very welcome on this hot day and was a light and refreshing starter. I especially liked the aioli sauce as it was rather moreish.
My favourite of the starter selection, however, was the Barbajuan. This originates from the eastern part of the French Riviera and Northern Italy and are essentially crispy fritters stuffed with Swiss chard and ricotta. I had never tried these before and they were parcels of tasty delectation!
We had 2 different dishes to enjoy for our mains, and the first was Rouge Au Pistou, which was red mullet served with petite ratatouille and a tomato & pepper coulis. I am not a massive seafood fan but I did enjoy this dish and its accompanying flavours.
The second dish was Agneau de Lait, which was olive crusted lamb rump served with camargue rice, fennel, artichoke and drizzles of rosemary lamb jus. This was incredible and the lamb was so tender, soft and delicious. This was definitely my favourite from the mains.
After that immense savoury meal we had enjoyed, I was so excited about dessert, particularly as I loved the refreshing sound of the Citron De Menton Givre, which is a lemon sorbet served with citron curd and opaline in texture, served inside a lemon and on a bed of ice cubes. It was just absolutely amazing! Perfect way to indulge and cool down during a heatwave and so novel in its design and presentation.
Dessert didn’t stop at one dish though, and our second treat was a Tarte Tropezienne, which is also known as “La Tarte de Saint-Tropez,” brought out by Chef Daniel Boulud and Chef Thomas Piat themselves.
Its texture is more like a cake than a tart and it is a filled brioche and the type of dessert that you want to treat yourself to in order to perk yourself up. It was just excellent and scrumptious in every sense. A fun fact for you all – this particular type of dessert was first created in 1955 by Alexandre Micka, a pâtisserie owner in Saint-Tropez. I now wish I had eaten an extra slice as thinking about it now as I type is making me hungry all over again.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Provençal menu, which is available at Bar Boulud should you wish to experience it too, alongside their other menus and is called Séjour en Provence avec Daniel Boulud. The 4 course menu costs £65, and £85, if paired with Chateau D’Esclans wines.
It was so lovely to try new dishes, and experience the journey south to the Mediterranean complete with a wonderful selection of wines to match each course. I was also really glad to finally have tried Chef Daniel Boulud’s food and also have a photo taken with him. What an inspiring and forever smiling man!
Thank you Bar Boulud for hosting me for such a superb lunch – it was absolutely amazing!