Situated beneath the imposing dome of St Pauls, in the shiny One New Change development, Barbecoa is Jamie Oliver’s steak and barbecue restaurant. Like Jamie’s Italian, there’s a trendy modern feel to the place – helped by some spectacular views of the cathedral.
On a quiet Wednesday lunchtime the place was almost deserted, and the service suitably prompt and friendly. Their menu is well stocked with delicious meaty goodness (this is not one for the vegetarians) and I was really spoilt for choice.
I opted for the fried oyster and chicken starter. Very crisp little balls containing fresh oysters and bite-sized pieces of chicken, hot from the fryer. The accompanying coleslaw was pleasingly sharp and the pickles delicious if a little sparse. The tomato salsa was nice, but a little flat.
My main was pulled pork with coleslaw and waffle. The pork was incredibly tender and coated in a rich, fruity barbecue sauce with a very gentle chilli hit. The waffle works really well – it’s not as sweet as a traditional batter and adds a nice contrast. I also went for a side of duck fat chips which, while wonderfully fresh, could have been crisper.
For dessert I had a Calvados Panna Cotta. This is damn near a perfect pudding. It’s got different temperatures, textures and flavours that all blend together beautifully. The panna cotta is actually more of a mousse, but really delicious. The dusting of crumble adds some welcome crunch and the warm doughnuts are crisp and gooey. Heaven on a plate.
There are quite a few good barbecue places in London now – Bodeans, Pitt Cue Co and John Salt to name just three – but Barbecoa is far bigger and definitely serves a niche: they have a huge variety on offer and a frankly impressive wine and whisky collection – if you’re looking for a relaxed evening out in the City you could do a lot worse!