B.O.B.’s & Co, St Paul’s
Once off Fleet Street, you feel like you have fallen down the proverbial rabbit hole as you navigate a warren of cobbled streets and rock up at the venue for the evening. Nestled on ye olde Carter Lane in the beating heart of the City, above the Rising Sun pub, B.O.B.’s is a charming, original joint. Designed and decorated by Bob and his small team, the idea is a “resting place” in the form of a garage for the street food van which has been Bob’s bread and butter for quite some time now. There are lots of talking points, such as the 1970’s pin-up calendar hanging on the wall and the big foam Lobster claw, not to mention the lovingly chosen framed pictures depicting the locality through the ages and toolbox paraphernalia. The waiters/bar staff are handsome and kitted out in aprons and bow-ties (eye-candy, just in case!) and they really know their onions. Subtext: I’m here for the food. If the date goes well, great, but if it doesn’t, I’ll just give birth to my food baby and bring it up alone. Sorted.
Right, let’s get one thing straight. The food here is great. It is the perfect spot for a sweet little date with someone who likes to explore and share. It is not; repeat NOT, the place to bring a rugby boy of the ‘Joey doesn’t share food’ variety, lest he be hastily unmasked as you try to prise the last scallop from his muddy fingernailed grip. It seems much better suited to your hip Farringdon foodies of this world, generous suited-and-booted types and general bon vivants.
The menu is full of comforting offerings such as Clam Chowder, Pig Cheek Tacos, Oysters (fried and grilled) and Bob’s take on the Southern classic Shrimp & Grits, perfect for sharing and bursting with rainbows
of flavour. This is before you even start thinking about Lobby Lobstertons. Having said that, if your date simply must have their own plate and THERE WILL BE NO SHARING, then you can simply opt for a big ol’ plate of Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese (lobster bisque base, four cheeses from Neal’s Yard, slivers of lobster and comforting macaroni…hell to the yeah) or the Lobster Roll (beasty chunks of crustacean meat in a toasted brioche, home-made pickles and thyme fries served with home-made ketchup and mayonnaise.) Frankly, the menu is intelligent and joyful but best of all retains a real sense of ‘down-home.’ Dare you not to lick your fingers.
Warning: Dessert will push you over the edge and there’ll be no boom time tonight if you chance it. However, if your date is a bit of bore, then just bloody do it and get the cab on order for a swift return to the flat and a sugar-induced one way ticket to Noddyland. We had the caramelised banana drowned in an espresso crème anglaise and topped with maple syrup brioche bits. Wines have been carefully selected to complement the menu; a lovely touch. Downstairs is a boozer obviously so pintage is available but, upstairs at B.O.B’s; cocktails (notably Mint Julep) are there to be sampled and revelled in.
We get a table beside the radiator (recommended in the current inclement weather) so things start well as we get a bit of glow back into our cheeks. There is much to say (thankfully) and conversation is flowing. The wait staff are really friendly, going the extra mile, giving us hints and tips as to what to try and how much to order. We can actually feel ourselves becoming one (BARF) as we start tucking into our food – we can’t believe just how damn tasty everything is. Footsie under the table as we coyly dance around who gets the last bite of taco. This is going better than expected. You. No, you. No, you. You! Oh FFS, if you insist. Cheers. Double body combat tomorrow. ‘Sake. Why have I no resistance?
It was just a bit chilly, mainly in the loos, but this won’t be much of a concern when the season changes. Not one for the pristine among us; as I say, it is as ‘down home’ as it is très cool.
2. Not bad nor nuthin’ just not the sexiest place I’ve ever been to. Chilled vibes and tea lights may lead to legs-akimbo status before too long though and why the heck not.