Daniel Boulud is such a charming man or it might just be that accent. The years spent working in New York has not diluted his accent one bit. We got a chance to meet him and experience Boulud Sud, his NY Mediterranean Restaurant that is “popping up” in Bar Boulud this summer.
Daniel, his Michelin starred restaurant in New York has been on my list for a while but since a trip to the Big Apple is not on the cards, it’s great that he has brought his food to London. This summer he has transported the menu of Boulud Sud, his other NY eaterie to Bar Boulud.
The menu features Daniel’s favourite Mediterranean dishes. His personal favourite cuisine is Moroccan and this features quite prominently.
At the recent preview lunch, we feasted on some Moroccan starters like the smokey Babaganoush, a spicy Hummus and some herby falafels. Small sharing plates are the order of the day. The accompanying basket of bread is a varied selection of crisp breads and focaccio.
The Provencal element was by way of a light and refreshing Rose, served rather lovingly from this enormous bottle.
The menu meanders through Spain with the most delicious Gambas Al Ajilo, Shrimps with garlic and chilli. A little nod to Greece with a dish of home-made taramasalata served with some finely sliced crisps.
I was thrilled to see this plate of marinated sardines. Sicilian Sardine Escabache it stated on the menu but I thought it tasted exactly like a Venetian Sarde in Saor, complete with the requisite pine nuts. Utterly delightful, not too vinegary, not over cured and the fish still held its texture.
The next dish was an unexpected winner. Crispy Artichokes Alla Romana. Dipped in the fragrant Aioli, it is the perfect way to have artichokes.
The Michelin touches were evident in this simple fish dish, the Daurade La Plancha in a Romesco sauce. One singular leaf of a red onion, a sliver of almond, perfectlyy crisp skin and a few sprigs of rocket added a lively touch to this dish. So many elements on the plate and yet so simple. A delight to eat.
This Spaghetti Nero is a touch of genius. A dish so full of umami, it will make you crave for more. Made with squid ink spaghetti, thin slivers of cuttlefish, a touch of Calabrian chilli and a spoonful of Japanese Uni for an added taste of the sea. As per my new descriptive food rating, its a 5 OMG.
Daniel was totally hands on in the kitchen with his very young team hanging on his every word.
The last dish was this Moroccan Chicken Tagine, tender chicken pieces on a bed of turnips, cous cous and preserved lemons. With subtle hints of saffron to tease your tastebuds. All the North African flavours melded into a bowl of food that wraps around you like a warm blanket.
On the menu are so many of the favourite Mediterranean desserts but this was something new, a Grapefruit Givre, topped with Sesame Halva and filled with secret delights underneath that crispy shell. Turkish Rose loukum lingers seductively under the grapefruit sorbet for you to discover, like a hidden treasure.
There are flavours to suit the most jaded palates on this menu. If you are wont to choose the the healthy option, there are so many choices here that will suit the Mediterranean diet. It’s tricky for one kitchen to deliver food from so many cultures but they do. As expected, the execution of the dishes are done so well that you can’t fail to be impressed.
The Boulud Sud pop up will be in residence until the end of August at Bar Boulud. Do try and catch it while it is in London or you will have to fly across the pond to experience all these great flavours.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
EatCookExplore was a guest of Bar Boulud