Published 27 January 2021
The restaurateur behind Bob Bob Ricard, Leonid Shutov couldn’t have imagined 13 years later it would be an iconic London restaurant. Here, we speak to Shutov about how his Russian heritage influences the restaurant, his favourite dish on the menu and a highlight from the past decade.
Not in a million years. It is incredible to see Bob Bob Ricard evoking so much love and affection, and very gratifying to see it described as an ‘iconic London restaurant’.
Food that brings out a smile of joy, memorable wine, and the pleasure of sharing it all with friends, loved ones or important guests. But above all else – fun.
I have always loved restaurants, and like so many of us, whenever I dined out, I caught myself thinking “I would do this differently” or “I could do that better”! So when an opportunity presented itself to change from a career in advertising to one in hospitality, I got my chance to put my ideas to the test.
It comes through in many of the details and nuances both in the décor and on the menu.
I would be hard pushed to choose between the Beef Wellington, and the Truffle Waffle with Crispy Bacon served during our Waffle & Bellini Hour!
It embodies everything we want the restaurant to be for our guests – a place of celebration, with a touch of excess.
Where Bob Bob Ricard is all about luxurious British comfort food, Bob Bob Cité is about elegant French home cooking. Bob Bob Ricard was inspired by the dining cars of the Orient Express and the opulence of the early 1900s.
With a more modern location, we drew inspiration for Bob Bob Cité from the 21st century bullet trains and the future of travel. Both have Russian influences and touches throughout, and both restaurants feel like they share the same spirit, but in different eras.
When things get difficult, it’s more important than ever to make sure that everything we deliver is top-notch: the food, the wine, the service and ambiance, and – even at the luxury end of dining – value for money.
Life always goes on and hospitality will go on as well. But that is not to say that there will not be much pain for many in our industry.
The day before the first lockdown, a big international star arrived at Bob Bob Ricard declaring, for everyone to hear, “if this is destined to be my last meal on Earth – I want to have it here!”