Jamie Oliver’s bustling temple to flame and meat is a maelstrom of Texas pit smokers, tandoors, fire pits, robata grills and wood-fired ovens in a dramatically modern setting, complete with panoramic views of St Paul’s Cathedral. Sprawling leather banquettes hog the best of the views, and the quietly revamped seating fits well with Barbecoa’s funky original design and triangular tables. Starters range from courgette and dandelion salad to salmon and coconut ceviche, while brined chicken breasts, lamb skewers and pulled pork suit those who don’t want beef. Nevertheless, a barbecue stands or falls by its steaks and Jamie’s versions (dry-aged in-house for up to 70 days) have their fans, though there are plenty of gripes about erratic cooking (‘undercooked’ chicken wings and chips with ‘no real flavour’). Others feel the food is simply overpriced. If some remain immune to Barbecoa’s smoky charms, service has ‘moments of supreme efficiency and charisma’.
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