Meat sweats a-go-go

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Barbecoa, London

I experienced one of the best (and most expensive) meals I have ever enjoyed at Barbecoa last year and given that I had a few photos knocking about on my phone I thought it worthy of a kind of retrospective post. The restaurant is over the way from St Paul’s Cathedral and has a very smart and classy vibe which kind of jarred with the menu.

While the menu was not full of BBQ stuff, I chose ribs as a starter and then the on-bone ‘pit beef’ as a main. The ribs were melt in the mouth while still juicy an exquisitely flavoursome – having been well marinated and slow cooked. The apple coleslaw was also great.

The starters were washed down well with a great tasting lager (that I guess was probably an ‘artisan’ beer) and then we had a pricey South France rose wine. The pit beef was slow cooked and, while in places a bit dry, very very tasty.

The side orders were also great and I enjoyed barbecued beans with scrap ends, milk poached gem lettuce, chili broccoli, and great beef dripping chips.

My cholesterol was probably sky high after the meal but when it tastes that good who cares? Later in the night I got the meat equivalent of cheese-sweats because of the protein which was an interesting experience…

My dining partner had a spicy crab starter which he enjoyed and an excellently cooked steak. The service was good and the ambiance and view most enjoyable.


One thing I can fault is the price, but then it’s Jamie Oliver and it’s London, so it’s to be expected. I’m sure you can get equally good food at less of a price at a restaurant with less of a view and without the celeb label. The other thing that I kind of took issue with was the rather heavy handed staffing regime which had people scurrying around all over the place and not having much time to be particularly friendly to anyone – it’s wasn’t really the embodiment of Jamie’s personality.

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