Eat Here: The Rib Room, ChelseaBy Claudine Levy
It’s rare to walk in to a bar which is oozes such an authentic sense of cool sophistication as The Rib Room. A stone’s throw from Sloane Square, it’s the kind of place where you feel compelled to order an Old Fashioned, despite hating both whiskey and brandy.
If you blink for a nanosecond while sipping your cocktail, the bowl of olives in front of you will have smoothly been refilled without you knowing anyone was there. Everything feels like the set of a Roger Moore James Bond film.
The Rib Room: The Drinks
The classic drinks are inspired by their dramatic setting; the cocktail menu pays homage to London’s long love story with gin with special themed menus. You can choose between Drinking with Dickens menu, Charles Dickens-inspired cocktails, and London Dandies menu, which remembers London’s aristocrats in the classics. Order the Damson Bramble with Oxley gin, Damson gin, lime and vanilla bitters. It’s sweet, refreshing and delicious.
The Rib Room: The Vibe
Think effortlessly cool. The restaurant is much the same as the bar in sophistication; turning out traditional, confident classics with an air of self-assuredness which can’t help but be attractive. The staff are accommodating, helpful and unobtrusive, while the food is well executed, simple and delicious.
The Rib Room: The Food
Wanting to be in keeping with the traditional tone of the Rib Room, I made it my mission to order solely off the Classic Menu, although you can also choose from the more trendy Seasonal Modern Menu. A starter of half a dozen Loch Fyne oysters, served with a shot of Virgin Mary, did not disappoint. The simple garnish let the molluscs to do the talking, and boy were they great conversationalists – smooth, silky, salty, swoon inducing seafood at its best.
J opted for the lobster salad; a light, pretty dish, with cubes of smoked salmon, pickled cucumber and edible flowers, given a spicy kick with wasabi dressing. She enjoyed eating it almost as much as she enjoyed Instagramming it.
Main courses of Lobster Thermidor – that oh so classic French dish which has a mustardy kick and oozes with gratinated cheese – was comforting and luxurious. Whilst the wild seabass was indeed wild; with crayfish tails, broccoli, seaweed and clam chowder broth, making this dish so much more exciting, delicious and varied than your normal fishy affair.
The Rib Room: The Sweet Ending
Don’t leave before ordering pudding. To end on a sweet note, we decided to put the kitchen to the test and order the raspberry soufflé.
Soufflé is the ultimate challenge; it takes a skilled chef indeed to pull off a perfect one: one that holds its own, melts in the mouth and has the perfect texture. And this chef pulled it off. And how.
It was all you could ever wish for in a dessert – light, melting, sweet, sharp, fluffy perfection. As the meal came to an end, we had forgotten all our troubles, because we had reached pudding paradise, and all else was forgiven.
The Rib Room: come for the old-school grandeur, stay for the staggeringly beautiful surroundings. To menu and book, see here.