New? No – Boulestin has been around for a while, opening in September 2013.
Where? 5 St James’s Street, SW1A 1EF www.boulestin.com
On the menu: Boulestin update their menu regularly to ensure that their food is always as seasonal as possible. True to its French name, French cuisine is the order of the day and the variety available on the menu is fantastically vast. Œuf en Gelée and Tuna Tartare are an example of the starters on offer while the main courses range from pan-friend mackerel to pesto spaghetti to beef fillet.
The Look: Inside and out, Boulestin is beautifully decorated. From the outside, the restaurant looks to be a cross between London boutique and French restaurant, with perfectly primed bushes outside giving a firm idea of the polished finish that lies within. Once inside, the slightly dimmed lighting casts a comfortable atmosphere, while the green and white colour tones, both on the chequered floor and on the table and chairs, gave it a smart but relaxed feel. Large mirrors hang on one wall, seemingly doubling the size of the space and eyes are drawn to the artwork adorning the wall. Inside Boulestin it really is easy to forget you’re just over the road from Green Park and really believe you’ve been transported to France.
What we ate: Our meal came in the form of a 5 course evening tasting menu. I’ll preface this section by getting out the way early the fact that every dish was beautifully presented. The artistry on the plate equalled that on the walls and a moment of pure appreciation was required before tucking into each dish.
Following a starter of confit egg yolk with mushroom consommé came grilled octopus with rhubarb and blood orange. The texture of the octopus was divine, melting in the mouth with none of the rubbery texture that often comes along with it, and the marinade was fantastic. The rhubarb added a firm and appreciated crunch, while the orange added a slight sweetness to the salty marinade on the octopus.
Miso glazed quail breast, spiced coconut emulsion came next. The combination of flavours was a real triumph of ingenuity. This was followed by my second highlight; grilled basque sirloin, oxtail, smoked bone marrow and snails. The steak was cooked to perfection, and was the absolute definition of melt-in-the-mouth. Juicy, tender and all a steak should be. The snails were well seasoned and cooked, sliding from the shells and each element (the oxtail, the garlic, the bone marrow and the snail) added a distinct flavour explosion which combined faultlessly.
The final course of our menu was the dessert consisting of blueberry cheesecake mousse, brockmans jelly, liquorice meringue & elderflower sorbet. An ideal combination of sweetness from the mousse was cut through by in jelly, while the sorbet added a much appreciated refreshing element. The only flavour that was somewhat lost was the liquorice in the meringue, however personally I wasn’t put out by this in the slightest.
What We Drank: Our meal was served with a wine pairing, so our drinks were sorted for us and included wines including 2013 Chorey Les Beaune and 2010 Château Perron. Boulestin does, however, offer an extremely extensive wine menu, available both by the glass or the bottle, and an impressive cocktail list also.
Go With: If you’re looking for a luxurious place to take a group of friend or perhaps a date then Boulestin should be top of the consideration pile.
Final Word: If you’re looking for an evening of elegance and sophistication dining on flawlessly cooked food then look no further than Boulestin. With an extensive menu suitable for all and plenty on offer drinks-wise, it certainly caters for the needs of all, and is absolutely worth the price tag.
Photography: Alexander Jenkinson