Located in the affluent area of St James’s, the recently opened Boulestin has already done itself a service by choosing such an enviable home to set up shop. The French restaurant has several other reasons to count itself smug including a hidden courtyard, large private dining space and high quality cuisine served morning till evening.
Kicking things off with the starters we opted for the Seared Scallops served with Rainbow Cauliflowers, Truffles and, most interestingly, a White Chocolate & Vanilla Sauce. The sauce sounds more like it belongs in the dessert section but is actually well placed in the savoury section as it only provides a slight sweetness to the dish and helps to complement the salty flavour. Another favourite would be the Heirloom Tomato Tart served with Burrata de Maldera, Puglia and Black Olive Compote with a sprig of Basil to finish. On arrival it seemed relatively simple looking but the hidden flavours came through quickly, from the crispy base to the powerful compote and then simmered off with fresh tomato and cool cheese.
The fish friendly menu features dishes like mackerel, Ballotine of Poussin, and Cornish Crab but we settled on the Wild Sea Bass served with Tomatoes, Artichokes, Saffron M.P. Romanesco and an Almond & Rocket Pesto. A wise choice as the fish had a lovely, crispy skin whilst maintain a soft, flaky texture underneath. The Risotto with Fresh Ceps, Butternut Squash & Sage was a solid but not stand out meal.
I had been eyeing up the Warm Cinnamon Doughnuts with Lemon Curd on the menu so when they finally came, I was pleased especially as the doughnuts were plentiful. Although it was a decent portion the actual doughnuts were very light and fluffy, melting in my mouth making them easy to devour and were still warm from the oven. Accompanied by a zesty, lemon curd the dessert was complete; I must admit I loved both flavours but they didn’t complement each other as well as they could have. The Strawberry Pavlova (a favourite with us Brits) was nice enough and kept true to the simple recipe of meringue, cream and fruit with the welcome addition of a berry coulis.
The restaurant enjoys a comfortable undertone of glamour, no surprise given its location, and is near-filled by the time we depart also ourselves much fuller than when we arrived. Throughout the evening the slick looking staff has maintained a background presence, always on hand to provide assistance with food or drink options. Boulestin is the perfect place for a post-work drink, dinner with friends or to impress a date. It’s also available for private hire in their lovely downstairs dining area, you can hire it for up to 40 to eat or 70 for drinks, so if you’re looking for somewhere for Christmas, your birthday or a meeting then we fully recommend for all.
Boulestin has introduced a new evening bar menu of £13.50/£16.50 for two/three courses available from 3pm – 10.30pm Monday – Saturday!