Barbecoa

There’s one thing you can say about Jamie Oliver and that is that he does it well! Far too often I get asked what I think of Jamie as he never really came across as a chefs chef, but rather everymans chef. To be honest, I think Jamie Oliver is one of a kind. When he first came on the scene, he took the nation by storm with his funky, easy, hassle-free and quirky approach to cooking and hasn’t stopped since. There’s few people who’d take tackle the way we eat and what and how we eat, especially in core public services such as schools and hospitals, old people’s homes and the like. But no! Jamie’s done it all – he may not be cooking Michelin food, but he is a bloody good cook.

Of late he’s been going a bit nuts with opening restaurants. I went to Jamie’s Italian  a while back and that was fantastic. This time, however, it was going to be his collaborative effort with American chef, Adam Perry Lang, Barbecoa right next to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

The whole place has quite a warehouse feel to it and is enormous, to say the least, decked out with a combination of chairs and sofa’s in the resaurant with a couple of high chairs in the bar. And, boy, is it busy! By that I mean, seriously busy with a stream of people to’ing and fro’ing. Fair enough, given the location, most people were city workers, winding down after a hard week of selling, buying, litigating and all that and of course, who wouldn’t want to eat in a restaurant that give you views of St. Pauls?

Be warned, Barbecoa is a carnivores heaven. Pescatarians and vegetarians, please go away – this is not meant for you. Hunters, yes. Gatherers, no! Flesh, yes! Flower, no! You get the point. To be fair, there are a couple of fishy starters on the menu – have two as a main course? Why not!

Anyway, while we were waiting for our table to be ready, we thought we’d start munching – we could hear angry roars from our bellies already.

 Love the bread selection! Quite salty on the naan, but one of the nicest rye breads I’ve ever tasted – unusually light and malty.

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 Chicken liver parfait, toast and parsley went down a treat. Could have happily had more and especially nice with crispy shallots scattered over the parfait.

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Rump of beef, charred aubergine, sweet chilli and marjoram: The aubergine was out of this world. Absolutely fantastic. Smoky,  bit spicy, bit tangy – just perfect. Beautifully cooked piece of meat. Simple pleasures!

Rack of lamb, cannelini beans, tomato sauce: Nothing interesting here. Nice bit of meat, cooked well, simple.

 The Crab salad with rocket, radicchio, and green goddess dressing went down quite well. I was told it was light, clean and quite a large portion!

.The best part of the meal were our side dishes! Pit-smoked beans which I will go back for just to have a bowl of this. Smoky, sweet, hickory flavours. Just perfect! Creamed spinach with toasted breadcrumbs and shallots was fantastic. Great way to jazz up spinach and adds a lovely crunch. Yum yum yum! Please go and have the beans!

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 My new favourite banana split! Caramelised wafer, salted butterscotch praline, vanilla ice cream. The wafer – more of a dense, moist caramel cake  topped with praline was my favourite. Mmm. massive portion too!

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Averaging about 600 covers a day, Jamie’s got a winning formula here! Barbecoa also have a butcher shop attached to the restaurant so you can pop in and get some of the great meat they’ve got on the menu. It’s got an exciting, energetic feel about it. It’s not cheap, but you only have to look outside at St. Pauls and everything’s alright. Jamie may not spend much time here, but he’s got the place covered.

Overall Experience: 7
Recommend you to go? 5
Food: 6
Wine:8 (A fantastic Malbec!)
Website

Barbecoa on Urbanspoon
Square Meal

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