Sipping Sancerre deep into the afternoon is, sadly, impractical - that's why I love Bam-Bou. On London's Percy Street, it's convenient for client lunches and the service is quick and discreet enough to make you feel revived after a wonderfully light Asian meal.
The interior styling is evocative of a French colonial townhouse in downtown Columbo, with its dark wood, chinoiserie furniture and oak floorboards, faded Oriental fabrics and French doors: it transports you to a more exotic place for an hour or so. Clients tend to like Bam-Bou because of its relaxing atmosphere and because it's a great change from all the Italians that populate this area.
The Asian/French food is always good, sharing plates such as Tofu & Pickled Vegetable Rolls and Peppered Beef Fillet, and delicious soups and curries. The staff are mostly friendly, but when it's very busy, which it frequently is on a Thursday or Friday lunchtime, some can be abrupt.
In the evenings the bar on the top floor can be a welcome retreat. It's pretty dark up there, what with the Oriental carved screens in the windows and the low-level lighting, but this adds to the ambience.
Lunch at Bam-Bou leaves me happily full but not bursting at the seams, rested and ready for action.
Where: Bam-Bou, 1 Percy Street, London
Contact: 020 7323 9130
How much: £30