Sunday, 28 April 2013

You had me with the olives.

Not many restaurants you can say you'd be happy with just the bread and olives, but Barbecoa, I salute you!

Barbecoa is Jamie Oliver's steak and barbecue restaurant overlooking St Paul's cathedral, which if it wasn't for it's truly amazing beastly olives, buttery breads, and a boyfriend willing to treat me on my birthday by ordering the mouth watering tender chateaubriand, then I'd probably not be starting on such a positive note!

Not to seem fickle, as I could just say how amazing the food was, and true the bread and olives were just beautiful, which it should be paying those sorts of prices, but good food alone isn't enough for me.

So I'll just get this out of the way... On arrival we were greeted by a man with a headset which had clearly given him some sort of self importance making him forget basic customer service skills, and then proceeded to tell us our table wasn't ready, but not in an apologetic sort of way. In a sort of well we are pretty shit hot so it's to be expected sort of way. But to be honest it then meant we were able to sit at the bar sipping prosecco. And I do love prosecco - swings and roundabouts right?

We were then led to our table and left to feast our eyes over the menu. And left to it we were. They were clearly very busy, but if they couldn't cope with the number of tables then they shouldn't fully book!

Anyway I started on a positive note, so back to the food, and more importantly those big beautiful olives! Clearly they were the king of all olives sat showcased on a bowl of ice. They were so juicy, so flavoursome, and so very, very big. Truly delicious. To accompany the olives we had an assortment of breads including a buttery sesame seed naan, which I would describe as not your typical naan as it had a slightly different thinner texture, with a buttery, salty goodness leaving you wanting more. The bread board consisted of two other breads, one of a typical, but again very buttery loaf, and the other a German bread coated in treacle. Incredibly rich and almost dessert like, but in small quantities was very scrummy!

For the main we opted for the chateaubriand cooked rare - the only way it should be in my eyes! This was so tender and full of flavour, and cooked just the way I like it; crispy, almost burnt, like the outside bits of a good old roast beef, and then rare in the middle. However at £72 for two, it is rather pricey, and I am a lover of small restaurants which are also small on price but big on flavour. Obviously at this sort of price you do expect amazing results, which it did deliver, so I can't really complain (about the food that is)!

The only downside was that because everything else was on another level, the duck fat chips were a little disappointing - but not because they weren't very nice, but because everything else hit a whole new level of deliciousness, they fell short at being just really very nice. Sad, but true.

My overall opinion? A nice restaurant to go once if you have the chance. It has a lovely view of the cathedral, and does offer some amazing food. However it is very pricey, busy and the staff treat you as if you are on a conveyor belt. I'll stick to the smaller restaurants with a personal touch.

Yelly-fi-felly-food-belly x