[London] FYI Harters (And others, too, of course) Claude Bosi

Claude Bosi at Bibendum

The Bibendum building in South Kensington is soon to be occupied by Claude Bosi, who closed his restaurant Hibiscus last year. He’ll be running the seafood restaurant on the second floor, serving classic seafood dishes like dressed crab, no doubt with a sophisticated twist. Upstairs will be a more formal experience, with a carvery trolley at weekends. We’re absurdly excited by that last part and that’s not all — there will also be a dessert trolley bearing eclairs and trifle.

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Thanks June.

I had seen somewhere that he was going to be involved with Bibendum but hadnt realised he’d closed Hibiscus.

I used to be a big fan of Bosi when he was at Ludlow and, then, when he first moved to London. But our last visit lacked any of the “WOW” that you might reasonably expect at 2* level and we decided not to go back. Disappointing for somehwere rated by the Good Food Guide as fifth place in the country.

A dessert trolley sounds a wonderful idea. Come across it once before ages back - can’t think where though.

It’s so long ago, now, but I remember how you liked Hibiscus in Ludlow. We had a good friend there but only visited him once many moons ago and never got to the restaurant. Bibendum, of course, has been around for years. I even remember hearing about it back in the early 90’s. Dessert trolleys seem to have gone out of fashion. They were popular when I was young in the States, and I remember a nice one at a place in Munich.

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June - I was one of the regulars at Bibendum back in the early-90s. It was one of the places back then. Ah, memories …

Looking back at my restaurant notes over the past ten years, I see I’ve only come across a dessert trolley twice. One good one. One lousy.

The good one was at the Brazilian Grill in HYannis, MA - a rodizio place. Ad the bad one at the Riverhill Restaurant on Wirral. Now that was a real disappointment. The chef was a winner of Professional Masterchef but the food was not at all good, and the desserts awful, and the service straight out of Fawlty Towers.

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Hi Peter… yes, I remember being in London for the first time (late 80’s), and Bibendum was a hot spot for sure. We never ate there but I remember a dinner at Le Suquet, which I guess we thought was the place to go. We must have been in a French mood because another night we were at Ma Cuisine. Maybe someone had warned us against British food. One lunch was at the Grenedier, which is still going strong.

I have a friend who is coming to Singapore later this year. I’ll let you know if she does make the trip.

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Oh, Hyannis. I can’t even remember the last time I was there, but it was very long ago. I can’t remember, either, the last dessert trolley I’ve seen, but DH seems to think it was at a very nice hotel somewhere in England. I guess we go to too many!

Very cool, June. I’ll touch base with her then. But I wished you’d come yourself and I can show you around. Gosh, this sounds like something out of ‘81 Charing Cross Road’ :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Peter, I wish we’d make it to Singapore. Years ago the writing couple I worked for in NY spent a month there doing writing seminars for a lady who owned a hotel. They loved it. Who know… we’ve talked about visiting Japan (my husband lived there for years), so maybe it will happen. I’ll contact you privately about my friend. Strangely enough, she just wrote me yesterday.

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a propos of nothing much - a pleasant diversion - there used to be an italian restaurant vecchia riccione in shepherds market, mayfair. they had not only a wonderful dessert trolley but also an antipasto trolley. the walls were covered in glow in the dark vesuvius paintings and the waiters all sang opera when the lights were dimmed. it remains the most memorable meal of my life. i had osso buco for the first time and chose from both trolleys. nothing has ever matched this place. i’ve learned about a place in amsterdam that does some corny opera shtick too and have vowed to go there one day.

Jay Rayner reviews Bibendum. He likes.

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Almost 30 years ago, Bibendum was the designated location for any Yanks coming to London. We ate elsewhere at the time. It’s nice to see that it’s being revived! I sure do like the sounds of the food coming from Bosi’s new kitchen. It’s on my list - thanks, John.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold