For the search for a good fine dining, Bibendum was one of the restaurants on top of my “where to go” list. And finally I had the chance to have a dinner. Here are my thoughts.
The building itself is noteworthy. It was home to Michelin once and the architecture is remarkable. When you enter the restaurant you would note the Michelin Guy that sits at top as a statement, which I find it to be a great sense of humour.
Design is rather classic than modern. White linens, classic chairs, proper silverware,etc. Many people strictly expect those elements in a fine dining genre but I think this concept could be enhanced further to create a more up to date feel. What I like to see is a blend of classic and the posh, traditional and the chic. I believe this is something a bit lacking in many quality fine-dining restaurants. I also got that feeling in Bibendum, to an extent. Comparing it with the modern end luxury dining alternatives like Hakkasan (the genre innovated by Alan Yau); quite probably you would know what I mean.
The food on the other hand is really delicious. Bread, butter and good wine, the starters were more than enough to get me into the mood. The lasagna with rabbit and mushroom was especially superior. Craving for a good flavored steak for a long time I decided to go with steak and it was cooked brilliantly but having seen other people ordering more sophisticated selections, I thought I could have tried something else.
The quality of service here excels more than anything else and it is hard for any other place to beat that. It reminded me the principles of proper fine dining service, which I had studied in my tourism & hotel management major in university. The staff carefully watches all the stages of your experience and approach to your table exactly at the right moment they need to be. The recommendations, the manners, gestures are all perfect.
Finally, the value you get out of this experience is balanced in terms of what you get in return. Speaking of London standards of course.