We may be hitting barbecue season (stares into the sky vainly looking for the sun...) but if you don't have the space (or inclination) to dust down your own grill, how about heading to Barbecoa, the self-styled home of smoke and fire, instead? With the opening of Jamie Oliver's second Barbecoa in Piccadilly we thought we'd head down to take a look at what each of the chef's two restaurants have to offer.
The newest Barbecoa covers two floors in a beautiful Grade II listed building in Piccadilly. This used to be the home of the Royal Institute of Painters, now it's a palace to slow-cooked, dry-aged meat.
The kitchen here is a veritable Aladdin’s cave filled with Argentinian grills, wood-fired ovens, Texas pit smokers and a tandoor oven - combine that with fruit woods like apple oak and cherry and add rare-breed meat, dry ageing, and free-range and organic produce for the final part of the equation.
Open all day, business kicks off in Piccadilly with breakfast, moving through to lunch and afternoon tea before you hit cocktail hour and dinner. The set lunch (two courses for £24 or three for £27) runs from 11.30am–6.30pm, Monday-Friday including dishes like Barbecoa in a bun and an Eton mess ice cream sundae with Champagne. And what afternoon tea wouldn't benefit from the addition of wagyu beef sliders?
Exclusive to Piccadilly, The 'Raw Bar' is the place for any seafood fancier. Our pick of the menu would be the Fruits de Mer (£32 per person) featuring Natural and Barbecoa Oysters, Wild Prawns, Cured sea trout, cockles, London 'Nduja, Mussels, Clams, pickled samphire, House crudo and condiments.
On the ground floor, the cocktail bar is the place to be, particularly from Monday to Sunday, from 5–8pm, when Classic Hour showcases five popular cocktails - like an Old Fashioned or Sidecar for just £8. And if you're thinking of hosting a special party here, we thought the Rose Gray Private Dining Room was a wonderful space (seats 14 for dinner).
Barbecoa Piccadilly is at 194 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EX. Telephone 0203 005 9666
Barbecoa St Paul's
It would be impossible to write about the original Barbecoa without mentioning the jaw dropping view of the cathedral. If you can tear yourself away from the view, this is the place to enjoy a great steak and a particularly fine glass of wine.
The team here source the best beef from UK farms - choosing cuts not breed, looking for the best marbling, texture and flavour. We rather fancy the sound of the chateaubriand for two – dished up with truffle butter.
This City Barbecoa also serves up a cracking set lunch - featuring dishes like burrata served with melon and bitter leaves, smoked seed granola and fermented chilli dressing or how about wood-roasted hake with nettle sauce and new-season asparagus?
Barbecoa St Paul's is at 20 New Change Passage, London EC4M 9AG. Telephone 020 3005 8555
Sounds great - how do I find out more?
What: Barbecoa Piccadilly and Barbecoa St Paul's
Where: 194 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EX and 20 New Change Passage, London EC4M 9AG
How to book: Book online on their website at www.barbecoa.com