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Michael Deacon reviews Claude Bosi at Bibendum: 'It was like eating sumptuous, mouth-watering air'

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Claude Bosi at Bibendum, the dining room 
This Chelsea institution’s new menu is undoubtedly stylish, but is it satisfying, too?  Credit: Jasper Fry

The waiter’s right hand was heavily bandaged.

We asked him what had happened to it.

“Oh, is nothing,” he chuckled, in a thick French accent. “Chef hit me with pan!”

He adopted an expression of cartoonish fury, and swiped wildly with his arm. We smiled, and waited to hear the real explanation.

“No, no,” he said. “I got angry, is all. And instead of punch someone in face, I punch wall.”

He said this casually, as if it were the kind of trivial scrape that most people got into every day.

We went on smiling. In the circumstances, it seemed the safest thing to do.

Later on, the waiter reappeared, brandishing an enormous knife. With a theatrical flourish, he laid it in front of me, and suggested that if I didn’t enjoy the pudding he’d recommended, I was welcome to chop off his fingers.

Hastily I reassured him that I was enjoying his pudding very much.

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