LDNReview

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Bouchon Racine image
9.1

Best New Restaurants

2023

Bouchon Racine

French

Farringdon

$$$$Perfect For:Special OccasionsLunchDinner with the ParentsDate NightDrinking Good Wine
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If white noise helps you put a newborn to sleep, and pink noise is what you hear as rain hammers against a bus stop, what Bouchon Racine creates is something we’re calling beige noise. The consistent low-level hum that plays in this French bistro in Farringdon—of friends chattering, corks squeaking, and cutlery scraping against beige and brown brilliance—is one of pure and utter contentment. Put it into a Spotify playlist and let us close our eyes and feel it 24/7, because this is a restaurant that should be enjoyed on loop.

Like all great Anglo-French unions, it sits on top of a pub. The Three Compasses is a cigarette’s flick away from Farringdon station but once you walk up the stairs to Bouchon Racine, this bistro woos you in ways far more elegant than a pint of 1664. Light pours into the comfortable loft-like space during the day, lanterns glow at night, and chalkboard menus lean against the wall like Gallic scriptures. The staff exude such wiseness that we’d take a beaujolais recommendation from them like we would a prescription from our GP. And there’s an overall confidence that’s tasted in every impeccable chip dunked into the rabbit’s mustard sauce, and from every spoonful of luscious crème caramel. 

Bouchon Racine image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Bouchon Racine image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Bouchon Racine image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Bouchon Racine image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Bouchon Racine image
Bouchon Racine image
Bouchon Racine image
Bouchon Racine image

Professionalism says that we should revisit restaurants multiple times before making a judgement. But with Bouchon Racine we revisited for the guarantee of gluttony. To make sure we could mop up the escargots à la bourguignonne with bread, like the elderly couple on our left did. Or split a dover sole à la meunière as per the champagne-heavy birthday celebration on our right. 

Like any institutional French bistro, the phone lines exist more in spirit than reality, but persevere for a booking and you will be welcomed like family. A correctly judged lunch ends when the sun decides to call it a day. Dinner only after the cognac has come out. And that noise you didn’t realise you were hearing? That’s the sound of a natural born restaurant.

Food Rundown

Bouchon Racine image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Baguette

We’ve spoken at length about the fools who reject bread at the start of a meal. To them we say, watch us eat this entire basket of freshly baked baguette and enjoy your stomach rumbles. This baguette is perfectly crispy and lightly doughy, and should be covered in BR’s creamy butter.
Bouchon Racine image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Escarole Salad

Our favourite kind of salads are the ones that masquerade as a dish of lightness while wearing a lovely coat of cheese. This escarole salad is one of them. The leaves are dressed in a punchy tarragon dressing with shavings of orange cheese on top. No, that’s not Red Leicester, it's a lovely, nutty mimolette, and it’s a gorgeous, simple salad.
Bouchon Racine image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Bayonne Ham & Celeriac Remoulade

How can a plate of ham and mayonnaise-laden root vegetable look so beautiful? It’s hard to say. But we could eat this every day for the rest of our life. The ham, so finely sliced and ever so slightly salty, is a blanket around what must be London’s best remoulade. Not heavy or claggy, but crunchy and vibrant with dijon and a handful of capers.
Bouchon Racine image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Escargots à la Bourguignonne

You either like snails or you don’t. But no one can find issue with the nuclear green and pungent sauce these guys are bathing in. There’s enough garlic to wipe the entire Twilight series from existence and, if you need more bread, absolutely ask for more.
Bouchon Racine image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Rabbit, Mustard Sauce, Smoked Bacon

Mains are where the beiges and browns of Bouchon Racine come into play and, if you want a must-order main course, this rabbit is it. The harmony of everything—a punchy but not overpowering sauce, the light gaminess to the rabbit, the smoky chew of bacon, and the crunch of green beans—is simply perfect.
Bouchon Racine image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Bavette, Sauce Saint Marcellin

Almost-mooing steak in a pungent cheese sauce may deter eaters of a less gouty persuasion but if the sound of that gets you going, then you should know that this is one of the best steaks in town.
Bouchon Racine image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Chips

An immediate entry into the best chips in London. No other description necessary. Ask for a pot of béarnaise on the side.
Bouchon Racine image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Crème Caramel

This crème caramel is creamy, wobbly, and completely unshareable. So you better love the person you’re eating with, or they better love you enough to watch you wolf the whole thing. Don’t skip the armagnac-soaked prune either. Do as the French would do, after all.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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