SquareMeal Review of
Jamie Oliver’s London flagship is a classically styled, polished steakhouse in an enviable location, just off the less-touristy side of Piccadilly Circus. Unlike Barbecoa St Paul's modern, glass-and-steel look, its big sister is an elegant basement of reclaimed tiled walls, dark woods, brass and booths. Factor in a sizeable ground-floor bar and there’s a lot of space to fill, but on a Friday night we found it filled with a lively Londoner crowd, fuelled by well-considered cocktails and wines. Assured service is an obvious priority, while the beefy menu is best enjoyed on an empty stomach. Barbecoa takes inspiration from southern US food, and we enjoyed the likes of firm wild prawns paired with smoky cherry tomatoes and ancho chilli purée, and oozing short-rib croquettes. Elsewhere on the menu, the likes of lamb chops with smoked aubergines and British beef fillet steak with smoked béarnaise sauce are pleasant, but bettered for the same price elsewhere. Considering the ambition on display and the clout behind this flagship, however, we don’t expect these quibbles to remain. The building was home to New Princes’ Restaurant during the early 1900s and a recently discovered menu hangs on the wall: with such commitment to the postcode’s heritage, we predict longevity for Barbecoa.
Barbecoa Piccadilly is recommended for