Mr & Mrs Bund is an idiosyncratic restaurant. Dividing opinions, Paul Pairet’s “modern eatery” is one of those places that aim to deliver a unique, somewhat provocative product.
Provocative really is the right word to describe the atmosphere here. Anyone expecting a ‘normal’ fine dining restaurant will most likely be shocked upon entering Mr & Mrs Bund. Apart from the spacious, fairly flashy dining room, the loud music will certainly not please those coming for an intimate dinner. However, once you know this and accept it, you can have a pretty good time. After all, there are very few restaurants in the world that combine an interesting selection of music with good food and a truly international atmosphere.
The food itself doesn’t try to please those expecting a bastion of French tradition. On the opposite, Pairet aims to play with classics and presents them in a different form. The result is a cuisine that is simple, precise and mostly full of flavour. Not really haute cuisine, but too complex to be a casual restaurant, it is food that fits with the unusual atmosphere here.
Take for instance a chicken breast with aioli and a herb salad. A relatively large chicken breast is first cooked sous-vide and then charred on the grill before being served with an airy, foamy aioli and the bitter herb salad. The result is a delicious combination of a very subtle sweetness from the chicken, the rich aioli and the final bitter counterpoint from the salad.
Equally convincing is a truffle French toast. A piece of bread is infused with an intensely flavoured truffle mix, before being crisped up and topped with confit slices of truffles and a nut-butter foam. The result is a delicious combination of the flavours of brown butter, truffle and the bread that ties it all together.
Finally, arguably Pairet’s most famous dish so far is the long rib of beef, glazed with teriyaki sauce. What makes this dish delicious is the fact that the beef is beautifully marbled, and slowly-cooked for a very long time before being glazed with a pungent teriyaki sauce. The latter is caramelised to the point that it gets that nearly toffee-, coffee-like note, which makes it even more complex. Combined with the intense and rich meat, this is a very strong dish indeed.
Pairet’s cooking does not claim to be haute cuisine at Mr & Mrs Bund. For that he has Ultraviolet. What he does here instead is food that could be described as fun, comfort food. Combined with the lively atmosphere, this is certainly not a restaurant that will please everyone, but then again that shouldn’t be the aim of any restaurant. Eating here is a refreshingly relaxed and lively experience.