Review Roundup: Story, Leroy and Claude Bosi at Bibendum

I’ve had a busy couple of months moving house, and all the DIY has kept me off the blog! But I did manage to get in a few good meals... Rather than write individual reviews this is a bit of a catch up post.

Restaurant Story

Stars: 2
Location: BErmondsey
Date of visit: September 2021

I had to book ahead by about 6 months or something similarly absurd to get this table on a Saturday night, so expectations were high high high! I'd heard the tales of people finishing dinner well past midnight due to the length of the meal and elaborate presentation so I was expecting a show!

Unfortunately I was underwhelmed in pretty much all regards, especially when our meal was finished after just 2 hours. This is quick for any tasting menu let alone one that is famed for its length. The presentation was also generally lacklustre, for example the below presentation of the Story Oreo-style cookie canapé. I think this used to come in a little tin but not for me. Perhaps because it was only one canapé and not two as my boyfriend doesn’t eat goats cheese which was inside:

Despite the fact that the menu was 10 courses, many of these were one single canapé and one was the bread course (albeit a fun one, with a beef dripping candle):

So in reality the menu ended up shorter than some 7 course menus where canapés are not included as an individual course each. I thought that there were one or two savoury dishes missing as we quite quickly ended up at the pudding courses, with a poultry but no other proper meat course. The menu was very imbalanced. That being said there were a few good dishes such as this delicious fish dish with peppers:

And this beautiful scallop dish (although the scallops in this case were cured I think - I prefer fried so they have a good crisp on the outside):

All in all the meal cost about £500 for two, with two half bottles of wine. Admittedly one of those half bottles was quite expensive but the food was £185 each - absolutely outrageous for what we had. Dreadful value compared to others in this price range, and of course lower price ranges! The service was impeccable, however.

Food: 3/5
Service: 5/5
Value for Money: 1/5

Overall: 3/5


Stars: 1
Location: Shoreditch
Date of visit: October 2021

Despite living nearby, it took me years to finally eat at Leroy. Twice I had to cancel my bookings due to lockdowns so was glad to be able to go this autumn. The restaurant is quite cheap for a Michelin starred venue and is certainly on the more casual end, with sharing plates. 

I was with a friend and we started off with the devilled eggs, which I heard is a signature, and I was not impressed. I think it’s just a bit of a gimmick really as it’s just 3 halves of a boiled egg for £6. Nothing remotely special:

Things did improve afterwards though, with dishes generally tasty. I’ll start with the steak tartare which was probably the weakest of the main dishes though, because the meat was quite chewy and perhaps not the best for tartare. At £13 though, this was a big portion and quite cheap really given that. 

We had a lovely lobster raviolo to share, which I couldn’t really fault (other than perhaps the presentation) if I hadn’t had a similar dish at the Glasshouse recently (ish), which was rather more sublime but never mind that.

Other dishes included a tomato and feta salad and a green bean salad which were both delicious if a little similar to one another. They were dressed well in what I believe was an olive oil, salt, basil and perhaps dash of vinegar dressing. This is not particularly complicated, and easy to do at home, even if it was lovely. 

And finally we had a dish of gnudi in a tomato sauce which was really very good - if this is on the menu give it a go!

As this is more of a casual restaurant it’s not typical Michelin starred dining (certainly the presentation isn't Michelin star quality), and in fact twice I’ve had conversations with friends who had eaten here where they were surprised to find out it had a star. I would probably agree with them, but the price is reflective of this too.

Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Value for Money: 3/5

Overall: 3/5

Claude Bosi at Bibendum

Stars: 2
Location: Chelsea
Date of visit: October 2021

My boyfriend brought me here for a birthday slap up meal, so I didn’t take any pictures and didn’t plan on writing a full review - hence the inclusion in this roundup. Bibendum is quite different to other restaurants I’ve been to lately, heavily influenced by what I assume is more traditional French cooking. So there was a number of savoury jellies and unusual flavours I haven’t hadn’t had before, such as Cornish hyssop in a sorbet on the pre-dessert. Throughout the meal the flavours were spot on, although there were perhaps a few too many "soft" dishes - things like the aforementioned jellies, foie gras crème caramel and a few others.

I really should have taken some photos because the presentation was sublime on every dish and there was obviously a huge amount of effort that went into the menu. 

Speaking of the menus, there is an a la carte and two tasting menus. We opted for the Tastes of Seasons menu at £175, although there was also a Classics menu at £195. The two menus are almost entirely different so I definitely want to go back for the Classics menu. They have a good selection of wines by the glass, many around £20, which we usually go for instead of a bottle. They also use Coravin for these wines. I think the price was about right for the food, given the attention to detail. But this was a very expensive meal.

The service was generally good, apart from a bit of an odd situation at the start of the meal where it took about 30 minutes to bring our first glass of wine. Perhaps because we didn’t go for the Champagne they assumed we just wanted food with our starter onwards - who knows!

The restaurant itself is beautiful and I loved all of the Michelin-themed dishes like the egg cup and butter dish. A lot of fun! 

Food: 4/5
Service: 3/5
Value for Money: 3/5

Overall: 3.7/5


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