The 02 is the biggest ticket-selling arena on the planet, so it’s unsurprising that restaurants from around the world want a presence here. The first UK outpost of an Australian group that has three restaurants in Sydney, Butcher and the Farmer, as the name suggests, is focussed on serving high-quality meat, veg and anything else that grows or grazes on land (though there are fish and seafood dishes, too).
The long menu caters for pretty much all tastes. Small bites to share include the likes of calamari and chicken wings, as well as platters to share; the farmer’s platter comes with house-made flatbread, cured meats, burrata, Australian olives, pickles and a red pepper-based ajvar salsa.
To follow, there’s rotisserie chicken with punchy accompaniments of garlic toum and sweet-and-sour cucumbers, baby back pork ribs or rib-eye, sirloin and bavette steaks, as well as simple pasta: spaghettini with meatballs or linguine with prawns, say. A trio of fish options, meanwhile, take in fish tacos, crispy skin salmon and fish and chips. Finish things off with tiramisu, ricotta hotcakes and ice creams and sorbets.
If you don’t want a full three-course meal, creatively topped pizzas include garlic prawn, rotisserie chicken and roasted cauliflower options, while vegetarian choice is strong overall, from starters of smashed pea and avocado mezze to butternut squash and ricotta tortellini or a ‘shepherd’s salad’ of cucumber, cherry tomato, lettuce, olives, mint, feta and mustard dressing.
The two-floor venue means that even at busy times, it’s usually possible to find a table, while a beer garden brings the outside indoors if you just want a drink before the show – there’s an Australian-leaning wine list (including three sparklers by the glass) as well as six beers, lagers and ciders on taps and some big-name cocktails along the lines of a Lynchburg Lemonade, Moscow Mule, Aperol Spritz and Mimosa.