Having never officially ‘tasted’ Vodka before, I had absolutely NO idea what to expect at Bob Bob Ricard’s tasting (a Qype event organised by Qype London Guru, Siany). As it turns out, it’s nothing like wine tasting AT ALL. With wine tasting, you look at it (a lot), sip it, swill it around in your mouth, make appreciative noises like “Mmm” and “Ahh”, then say things like: “The legs on that are rather impressive, don’t you think?” While doing this you nibble on things like cured meats, cheeses and smoked salmon blinis talking about how they complement your wine perfectly.
When you taste vodka on the other hand, you knock it back then quickly take a bite of a bizarre salt-saturated Russian snack. You know what though? I thought it was absolutely brilliant, despite being incredibly dubious about drinking neat vodka with my meal. But hey, they do it in Russia all the time apparently!
We were expertly guided through a range of vodkas served at BBR by co-owner Ricard, including the Kauffman Private Collection Luxury Vintage 2003 – only 25,000 bottles were produced and at £18 per SHOT, it’s something I could only dream of being able to afford. The general consensus of the group was that our favourite was the Kauffman Special Selected Vintage 2006 (about £8 per shot). So we all had another one at the end. I was also impressed by the Imperia by Russian Standard which, at £4 a shot, is much more in my price range.
In terms of food, I got the opportunity to try things I’d never usually dream of ordering like Jellied Ox Tongue with Creamed Horseradish (which was surprisingly delicious), Salmon Row and Quails Eggs (hmm… not so much) and Scallops and Black Pudding with Truffle Dressing (SUPER yum!) I also was very impressed with the Wafer-Thin Cured Orkney Beef and Pickled Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese Salad. You can see all my piccies of the wonderfully unusual food (if you like) here.
Everything was enjoyed in a beautiful private room adorned with Art Deco-themed decoration. This is definitely a restaurant with a big ‘WOW’ factor (helped immensely by their ‘Press for Champagne’ buttons at all the tables) and I cannot wait to get the chance to go here again.