Ringing for champagne is all part of the fun at Bob Bob Ricard. But are all its ideas on the button?

Bob Bob Ricard, 1 Upper James Street, London W1

"Press for champagne service." I want one of these little black buzzers next to my bed, please. There is something so very comforting, in these Dickensian hard times, about the idea of simply pressing a button and having a lad wheel up a trolley of Champagne's finest. This is just one of the endearing little touches at Bob Bob Ricard, the eclectic, ebullient new funked-up brasserie in Soho.

Others include opening non-stop from 7am to 3am; putting on a something-for-everyone menu that runs from an all-day breakfast to afternoon tea to caviar and blinis to lobster thermidor to a burger with the works; placing a power point next to the champagne buzzer so you can plug in your own, personal toaster; monogramming the butter; dressing the female waiters in blue waistcoats and the males in pink; and creating special tables for one, so that lone diners don't have to sit opposite an empty chair.

And all this in a fine corner site just off Golden Square, rescued from the drunken hordes of what was Circus, and now a fabulously hospitable room with row upon row of cosy booths, and lashings of marble, brass and leather that recall the long-gone days of Edwardian rail travel. Owners Leonid Shutov and Richard Howarth are fans of The Wolseley, so restaurant resuscitator David Collins was called upon to design the whole shebang with his usual intelligent mix of common sense, luxury and grace. This time, he seems to have had a bit of fun as well.

Overlooking the eccentric corn flakes-to-caviar menu is the former Pont de la Tour head chef James Walker, who makes a fair fist of it. A dish of gentle curds of golden scrambled eggs served with furls of satiny smoked salmon, from the excellent London smokehouse H Forman & Son (£12.50), makes a fine lunch, with hot toast straight from the gleaming Kenwood. A Cornish fish soup (£8.50) is a full-bodied starter served with good accessories, as is a cute little preserving jar of potted Middle White pork belly (£8.50) served with a little pot of tangy perry jelly and wisps of Melba toast.

More grown-up dishes, such as a good-sized slab of precisely cooked wild halibut on a bed of wild mushrooms (£19) are simply designed and generous, whereas the so-called comfort dishes – optimistically called "BBR Favourites" – seem slapped together. A BBR chicken curry (£14.75), with its retro garnish of banana, is pale, creamy and very "What-shall-we-do-with-the-leftovers?" and an Elwy Valley shepherd's pie (£14.50) is all potato, with a thin layer of tired lamb beneath. This may well be what true Brits require from their boarding-school fodder, but I find it anything but comforting.

Service under Jean Francois and Caroline Valerio, filched from The Ivy, is keen, capable and willing, and the solid wine list, which includes half a dozen English offerings, tries hard to cater for all tastes and all pockets. Wine glasses are small, coffee (Monmouth) is superb, and the house cocktail is a dreamy White Ladyish rhubarb "gin and tonic".

It is possible there are Too Many Ideas. When I press the champagne button, the little light stays on for 45 minutes, until a waiter finally notices. The beautifully detailed downstairs bar opened briefly, then closed to have a rethink. And to serve consistently good food from such a hugely eclectic please-all menu until 3am is both generous and hospitable, but also, I suggest, overly ambitious.

Bob Bob won't ever get to the level of its personal idol, The Wolseley, but there is good business to be had by meaning a bit less to more people. I like the energy, ideas, accessibility and most of all, the sense of affordable fun – something we will all need in the year to come. n

14/20

Scores: 1-9 stay home and cook, 10-11 needs help, 12 ok, 13 pleasant enough, 14 good, 15 very good, 16 capable of greatness, 17 special, can't wait to go back, 18 highly honourable, 19 unique and memorable, 20 as good as it gets

Bob Bob Ricard, 1 Upper James Street, London W1, tel: 020 3145 1000. Open 7am-3am daily. Around £90 for two, including wine and service

The crunch bunch: All-day breakfasts

E Pellicci

332 Bethnal Green Road, London E2, tel: 020 7739 4873

In its time, this classic East End café has drawn everyone from the Krays to Oasis, as much for its wonderful Art Deco interior as its all-day full-English breakfasts

The Willow Tea Rooms

217 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, tel: 0141 332 0521

Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1904, the Willow serves up an all-day breakfast including scrambled eggs with cloutie dumpling or Arbroath smokie

Yianni's

67 Haydn Road, Sherwood, Nottingham, tel: 0115 985 6648

Yianni's does a mean all-day breakfast, running from a full English to Greek strapatsada – scrambled eggs with tomato, peppers and feta

Read 'Eat', Terry Durack's blog, at independent.co.uk/eat

Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam