With young children, eating out isn’t something that we get to do very often. I don’t know about you, but sometimes there are just those days that you have to negotiate with your children just for them to eat dinner. And sometimes you just don’t want to do that when you’re trying to enjoy a meal yourself, right? However, we decided to take the children out for a fancy Friday night meal up in London.
I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver’s, his food, his cookbooks… the list goes on. But other than Jamie’s Italian, I didn’t know he had any other chains. So introducing his Barbecoa restaurants in London. There are two at the moment, and we visited the one by St. Paul’s, which is pretty close by to where the husband works. As the name suggests, it is predominantly a steak house, but with the lovely choices on the menu, as well as a well stocked bar area. There were plenty of people just there for drinks, as well as the food.
I was so impressed by the design and the decor of the restaurant; it is really modern and funky. But the pièce de résistance is the location. It is right by St. Paul’s itself. And as the main restaurant is upstairs, you get a good view of it all, and the streets surrounding. The restaurant is mainly large windows that wrap around it, so it is really light and bright. And of course, you get to enjoy those stunning views. The cathedral is so pretty!
The Children’s Menu
Though I can’t imagine many children visit this location, except perhaps at weekends, there is a good children’s menu. It is £10 for a main and a dessert, and there was a pretty good range. Some standard ‘child’ meals (burger, chicken breast, pasta) and two options for dessert (brownie or ice cream). I don’t think that the child’s menu is ridiculously priced, but would be good to have the drink included. Most other child menus that I see come with a drink.
I would also add that a more child-friendly glass would be good, as they were thin, tall, and proper glass. So you guessed it, my daughter dropped it and it smashed. I was honestly mortified. But the staff were amazing and were more bothered that we were OK. Chloe got a bit upset but our waiter brought her over a replacement drink at no charge and a little macaron just for her. I thought that was a really sweet touch. I understand that plastic can look a little bit tacky, but for kids, it would be much better.
The Main Menu
I honestly didn’t know where to start, the menu wasn’t huge, but it all sounded amazing. There were some tasty starters and the main meals sounded amazing too. I chose the calamari for my starter (with ginger, chilli, spring onion, and lime mayo) priced at £10. The husband chose the sticky creole ribs (smoky barbecue glaze, apple & kohlrabi slaw), priced at £9. Both were good starter portion size and were honestly amazing. Looked good and the flavours worked together so well.
For my main, I chose the lamb chops (with braised lettuce, peas, lamb bacon, and mint), priced at £28. It did taste so good – the marriage of lamb and mint is just amazing. The portion was a good size too.
For the main, that is what you get. If you want anything additional, then you have to get them separately. Our waiter recommend the broccoli side dish, with miso and almonds, priced at £4. I did have to resent buying an extra side to be honest, but it did taste delicious. so hey, ho.
The husband chose the rib eye steak for his main (with wild garlic leaves and a dressing), priced at £36. Again, when you’re paying nearly £40 for a main meal, you do expect to have something else with it, rathe than just a slab of meat. So he got a portion of chips for £4 on the side. In my opinion, I think that kind of thing should come with it. He said it tasted good, though, and it was a really filling portion (he could hardly finish his portion of chips). So at least you get your money’s worth!
I thought that the location is amazing, and the food was brilliant. The staff were fantastic – all super helpful and friendly (plus, all ridiculous good looking – which is always nice haha). The only downside is that it is rather expensive. If you have it in your budget to spend around £100 on a meal out for your family, then it would be fine. I just know it wouldn’t be something that we could do all the time.
To be fair, though, I would go back again as we did really enjoy it and it is nice for a fancy meal every now and again. If I was to go back, I’d like to see the sides as part of the main meal. That stuff really does add up! Plus, we probably wouldn’t take the children…
Have you ever been or heard of this restaurant?*we dined as guests in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.