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“very pleasant surprise”
Review of Boulestin

Boulestin
Ranked #1,283 of 24,254 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Neighbourhood: St. James's
Description: Boulestin is an elegant and convivial Restaurant and brasserie-style Cafe in St James's serving classic French dishes inspired by the 20th-century food expert and first TV chef, Xavier Marcel Boulestin. The brain-child of renowned restaurateur, Joel Kissin, Boulestin brings back old-school dishes such as Oeuf en Gelee, Jambon Persille, Daube of Beef, Steak Tartare and Cassoulet, using M. Boulestin's original recipes, and couples them with impeccable service. With a Private Dining Room and pretty outdoor terrace-style Courtyard for al fresco dining, Boulestin is the perfect destination, whether you're after a celebratory dinner, special event dining, pre/post theatre meal or just a quick bite or light meal in the Cafe.
Reviewed 1 June 2014

This was a spur of the moment booking with Bookatable on a midweek evening, so we got a very decent price. What was notable though was the genuinely warm welcome from all members of the staff, excellent service, and really good food. For a "posh" and upmarket French restaurant (I am sorry to say that in France at least, restaurants are not noted for the warmth of their welcome, at least to the English!) this was a very pleasant surprise. Well done to the team. Definitely recommended.

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Thank idandb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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224 - 228 of 290 reviews

Reviewed 24 May 2014

This is my second review of Boulestin and would say that this visit was even more enjoyable than the last. Four of us had lunch and apart from a couple of small disappointments we all thoroughly enjoyed our food. The halibut was firm, exquisitely cooked and mouth-wateringly delightful in its sauce. Magret de canard was perfect and flavoursome and the roast cod was a fine piece of delicious fish in a yummy saffron broth. I had steak tartare and although the meat itself was excellent it really could have done with being chopped a little more carefully. Instead of the dish consisting of individual tiny chunks of beef there were many rather stringy pieces, almost as if the beef had been minced and not chopped. If it is not hand chopped then it isn't authentic in my view and it spoils my favourite dish and one I eat frequently. The second "could do better" was that the pommes Anna was just a little dry and would have benefitted from some extra butter.

Desserts of ile flottante and cinnamon beignets with toffee and chocolate sauce were to a very good standard.

The first class staff were faultless and the dining room is very agreeable and pleasant.

Just an extra minute or two taken to chop the raw beef correctly would have elevated this to a very high standard. Notwithstanding that we'll definitely go back. I love eating here.

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1  Thank Chris Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joel K, Owner at Boulestin, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2014

Thank you so much for your kind review. The steak tartare is and always will be hand chopped. But we too had observed the sinewy bits in the finished result, so two days after we put it on, we changed to a new supplier and are now using fillet steak - no sinew. We had a look at the Pommes Anna which is usually very good and still was when we tried it. So it must have been a somewhat less than skilful batch when you had it. We will keep monitoring it. Thank you for you constructive comments.

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Reviewed 24 May 2014

I booked the offer on BOOKATABLE wich gave us a 3 course meal with a simple cocktail for under £30 a head and we dined at 8.30 PM. The restaurant called during the day to confirm the booking and we arrived on time to a busy restaurant. Dress code was obviously smart with most the men wearing jackets but thankfully no ties! I was in smart jeans/jacket.
Service was excellent, my wife and I both started with a salad, then she had duck and I had mackeral. As is normal with most French cuisine, not exactly a lot of vegetables, so wish I had ordered a side as well. Nice desert (posh doughnuts, cant remember the French name, but with caramel and chocolate sauces). Nice selections of wines from around £25 a bottle up to a couple of hundred.
Great service with a smile . We were served by several different people at various stages, all working hard to please and together delivering a great service. Everyone chatty and friendly too, with the barman on our way out stopping to chat about the various whiskys he had in the bar. He didnt have to do that, but it simply showed the nice friendly atmosphere of the place.
We will be back.

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Thank LarryGS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

Visited for the pre-theatre on the recommendation of Square Meal, and they weren't wrong - excellent choice. Smart dining room which on first impressions looked a little uninviting (we were the only ones there when it opened) but made to feel welcome and as tables filled took on a relaxed atmosphere. Rain prevented us venturing out to the courtyard tables.

Choice of three dishes per course, taken from the a la carte menu (which I'll be trying out next time). Everyone was impressed with their choices; top quality French cooking without the nonsense some chefs insist on...not a daub in sight.

Cocktails/spirits were a little on the steep side, and along with wine (we had a bit) brought the £24 pre-theatre menu up to about £70 a head. Service was friendly and efficient, nothing too formal, and overall we all enjoyed it. Will be back to try more soon.

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Thank Shaun D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2014

We needed an after-theatre meal and Boulestin had the perfect answer with its Fixed Price Set Menus, both of which were very good value for money. A choice of two menus and then 2 or 3 courses in each and priced according to ones selection.

My wife started with mushrooms in a delicious sauce while I had Soup Pistou (a summer mixed vegatable clear soup which matched the mushooms for 'deliciosty'. For mains a fish cake was madam's choice. This had a balanced, and superbly cooked, poached egg on top, which had the deepest yellow yoke you have ever seen I had a beautifully cooked crispy-skinned duck confit. Tempted with finishing the meal with Ile Flottante and homemade profiteroles, the whole meal was washed down with a carafe of Loire sourced Sauvignon. A meal that was a totally welcome surprise and which we enjoyed so much.

Boulestin is in the St James area of London (just round the corner from The Ritz) and its clientele reflects this (there was some serious money here). Very comfy cubicles were private but they had strategically placed mirrors enabling one to watch what was going on which was great fun.

A meal here will definitely not be a disappointment.

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Thank Bim76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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