Sunday, 11 September 2011

TTN Visits: Barbecoa

Wednesday 7th marked 4 years since the Boy and I first began our adventure in Love (yes i can here you retching..) and seeing as it was on a week night, the only option was to go for dinner and cocktails.
The Beautiful St Pauls

Located next door to the gorgeous St Paul's cathedral is One New Change, not technically a shopping centre as you would imagine- as there is a lot of outside space and it is tiny. However, the amount they have packed into a small space is amazing. Personally i think they have one of the best H&M's in London, and their Mango store is pretty good too (think small shops, with fixtures and fittings that maximise space usage yet avoids the dreaded over stuffed rails of clothes). We headed here to try Jamie Oliver's latest restaurant Barbecoa, a joint venture alongside Adam Perry Lang (A new york restaurateur who specialises in all things BBQ). 

It was kind of a 'last chance saloon' for me and Jamie Oliver, don't get me wrong, I love the guy. I think his ideas on changing food attitudes and habits in the UK are fantastic and his cookbooks result in great recipes, but Jamie's Italian just has not done it for me. High priced, and bar one successful meal- most of the time I leave slightly disappointed and with a lighter purse.

Upon entering Barbecoa (we didn't make reservations but even on a Wednesday it was rammed, so take heed) we were directed up the stairs to wait at the bar. One New Change is a heavily glass structure so the intense decor of Barbecoa and the views were a great mix. We sat at the bar, and chose a 'Fleur Royal' (for me) and a 'Colonial Garden' (for him). The bar staff were amazingly friendly and didn't mind at all when I kept asking questions relating to the vast array of bottles i could spot behind the bar (Monkey Shoulder is a whiskey.. you learn something new everyday). The drinks were delicious and the Boys cocktail came in a HUGE glass making the price tag really quite reasonable. My Fleur Royal consisted of Prosecco, St Germain Elderflower and Black Raspberry liqueur; needless to say it was divine and the perfect pre dinner tipple.
(l-r) Colonial Garden cocktail & Fleur Royal

Even though we were told it was a 30 minute wait, we were seated after 10 minutes and the waitress who was looking after our section was fabulous, again really friendly staff that knew what they were talking about and gave off the air that nothing was too much trouble.
Pig Cheeks
Chili & Coriander Baby Back Ribs

So far, so good. We ordered Pigs Cheeks with homemade Piccalilli and Chili baby back ribs to start, with a fillet & bone marrow dish and rack of lamb with cannellini beans for main. We couldn't resist the garlic mashed potato and duck fat chips for sides.

The whole meal was DIVINE. 
The pig cheeks (think very rich pork flavour) in fact came out as more of a patty of meat and had a similar texture to pulled pork- so juicy. The ribs were wonderful, even if i did bite on a chili seed and nearly blow my own head off.
The fillet steak was bloody massive, as was the accompanying 20 cm long piece of bone marrow which personally i felt having such a large amount of very rich cuts were maybe TOO much. The Bone Marrow would have been delicious as a starter with maybe chunks of rye bread or sourdough- but it was nonetheless tasty. The Lamb was cooked to PERFECTION and the beans were cooked alongside fresh tomatoes and again, no fault could be made.
But for me.. it was the mash potato that stole the show. It was everything mash should be, and hey its a comfort food so bring on the butter. It was creamy and soft with sweet whole roasted garlic cloves. I could not get enough.
The rack of Lamb with Beans

THAT MP and The delicious Duck Fat chips.. big portions (win)

Even though we were bursting at the seams, we had to attempt the pudding. The chocolate Nemesis was selected, a flour less chocolate cake (very rich) served with crunchy orange pieces and creme fresh. Think a massive slab of Terry's chocolate orange. Gorgeous but it did defeat us (but one day I will return and win).

The whole atmosphere was wonderful, with the setting sun and lit up St Paul's creating an amazing backdrop which all added to the romance of the night.
The view into the Kitchen where you could see the different types of BBQ methods used.

I would highly recommend Barbecoa, and I would like to thank the duo for re-instilling my faith in the JO brand. Yes, it is expensive but well worth going for a special occasion or for a posh lunch. The burger on the menu was £16 and i spied one on the table near us. It looks massive and after making an enquiry i discovered that the meat CONTAINED NO FENNEL! HORRAH!

We left feeling very satisfied and with a spring in our step- even if it was raining!

Lots of Love

xxx TTN xxx

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