It feels like absolutely YEARS since the last edition of Dining At… Possibly because it has been a stupidly long time, sorry guys. Between fashion month, uni deadlines and Christmas party season kicking off some time in October things have been a smidge on the manic side but I’m very happy to tell you that Bam Bou was worth the wait. If you haven’t been, go. Like yesterday. I confess, I’d been to the Central London hub of Pan Asian deliciousness before but since then they’ve had a revamp so I decided it was high time I returned to guzzle more fresher-than-fresh Oriental delights.
My dining companion was the lovely Nik Thakkar who you’ve no doubt spotted cropping up all over my Instagram feed and in countless party posts. We’d been scheming a non-fashion-dinner just about forever but of course, fashion got in the way time and time again so it never happened. Until Monday, that is. I finally had a free evening to hit Bam Bou and insisted Nik join me and we had a thoroughly excellent evening indulging in their finest cuisine and gossiping to our hearts delight. With cosy alcoves, two floors of low-lit restaurant and the fabulous Red Bar up top, Bam Bou is the kind of place that makes you want to lounge around drinking cocktails and feeling louche all night. Funnily enough, that’s what we did.
Generally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of dining “family style” (i.e sharing) but on this occasion I made an exception, largely because I couldn’t decide between the Grilled Prawns with Mixed Tomato & Thai Basil and the Grilled Beef Fillet with Green Sichuan & Pickled Green Papaya. So we had both and they were completely and utterly perfect. Flavoursome without being overpowering, succulent without being greasy, not non-existent (like certain starters I could mention) but not so hefty you need a nap afterwards.
We squabbled like children over the last prawn and considered ordering more to settle the who-got-more debate but then, then my friends, the main course arrived. I opted for the Steamed Seabass with Edamame & Mint Salad while Nik chowed down on the Grilled Duck Breast with Guava Glaze. As you’ve probably gathered, we’re both fairly carnivorous creatures. This fish was TOO DIE FOR! light as air with a melt-in-your-mouth texture, the fact it came in a giant leaf got me stupidly excited. I was so busy enjoying it I forgot to sample Nik’s dish but he assured me it was equally delectable. Naturally we got multiple side dishes all of which were seriously tasty.
Starting to feel fairly stuffed, we ummed and ahhhed about pudding for all of five seconds before thinking, screw it, and ordering the Trio of Chocolate Brownie and Autumn Fruit Jelly with Lemongrass Frozen Yogurt to share. I’ve never particularly thought of dessert being a major part of Pan Asian cuisine but these dishes were beyond belief. Admittedly, when Nik wanted the jelly I thought that was a bit weird and would conjur up unpleasant primary school memories. Oh, how wrong I was. This was not the stuff of jelly-and-ice-cream children’s parties. Oh no, this was a culinary triumph involving suspended berries and fine lemongrass shavings. Ultimately, the ultra rich, cashew topped chocolate concoction won out in my book but both were par excellence it must be said.
Moral of this story, go to Bam Bou. From the mellow ambiance and the top quality cocktails (which, I admit, I’ve sampled on multiple occasions) to the truly fantastic food and convenient location, it’s a must-visit… and visit again destination. Plus, it’s not stupidly expensive so you can therefore really go to town in the Red Bar, result!
Bam Bou can be found at 1 Percy Street, W1T 1DB or online here
Love Ella. X