Fine French food and sightseeing on a bus driving around central London? Yes – it’s real, but is it memorable? Is it worth it? Will it drive you round the bend?
In a word:
This certainly attracts tourists, but there are few couples on a romantic date and the odd small group of friends. It’s particularly appealing to anyone looking to tour some of London’s most landmarks.
Have you ever imagined fine dining on the bus? No? Neither have we, but the people behind Bustronome have made it their passion.
It originally started in Paris, but last year they came to London to bring the delights of bus-derived French cuisine to the eager Brits. And since we love getting the bus so much [Ed: lol], this is sure to be a big hit here. Right?
We’ve all taken the bus at some point, but this is something a little bit different. You step in and immediately to your right is the small, but squeaky clean kitchen where you’ll see the chef hard at work already. Jack and I take the flight of stairs up to the top deck and take our seats at the front of the bus.
Everything is carefully laid out, from the wine glasses to the cutlery, and in case you’re wondering how everything stays put while the bus is moving, it’s all secure on non-slip placemats and plastic holders. Pretty smart!
It certainly has the feel of fine dining, even though it’s a bus. The interiors are well-coordinated and there’s soft French music playing in the background. The menu also doubles up as a map and using the electronic pen next to it, you can find out all about the London landmarks you pass on the journey. Cool!
We can’t wait for the food…
On the Menu
There are several dishes on the menu, six to be precise, and we start with a glass of bubbly to get things going. We then have the Burrata and its Little Cabbages, Nasturtium Flower, with its tame, but crunchy flavours. It’s a little underwhelming but it does well enough to tempt the tastebuds.
Things improve taste-wise with the Haddock tartar, Smoked Potato Espuma. It’s small, but full of flavour. The Haddock is pureed and moreish, while the potato adds a little crunch.
Our third course, Irish Butter-Poached Scallops with Leeks and Sweet Garden Peas, really gets things going. The scallops are cooked to perfection and the Irish butter accompanies them beautifully. The peas give the dish just enough sweetness to balance it out and it’s my favourite course so far.
Of course, things do get a little meatier thanks to the signature Bustronome Irish Stew. Full of tender cuts of lamb, stewed to perfection alongside the potatoes and carrots. It’s a definitely a crowd-pleaser, although I’m starting to feel a little full…
Things settle down a little and it’s one to the penultimate course. Cornish Yard, Quince Paste and Lambs Lettuce. Again, there’s a lovely mixture of flavours, textures and crunch which keeps it exciting. The quince paste works well with the Cornish Yard, combining strong and sweet flavours.
Finally, we’re onto the dessert, and the Entremet Mango Passion is truly special. It’s like a cheesecake, but a little fancier. The tangy mango puree lights up the creamy centre and biscuit base, while the wafer-thin triangle of white chocolate adds a touch of sweetness.
It’s all finished off with a lovely cup of coffee. The perfect end to a fabulous six-course meal.
This is a fantastic experience. As well as an excellent menu, you get to see the best of London while you eat and drink. The timing between each dish (and the size of the plates) is just right and there’s even room for coffee before you disembark and head off to enjoy the rest of your evening.
The staff are friendly and attentive and you get to learn a lot about each famous landmark between mouthfuls of food. As long as you don’t suffer from motion sickness, this is the ultimate fine dining experience.