Tuesday, 5 January 2016

A New Year Steak Lunch at Barbecoa, St Paul's.

On Saturday my family and I headed up to London for a New Year lunch at Barbecoa in St Paul's, before my brother went back to Uni. We're all massive meat and fish eaters, so were looking forward to a menu that consists of some pretty awesome meat and fish options. On top of that the desserts looked ah-mazing. And how beautiful is the view over St Paul's Cathedral?!

We arrived around 12:30 to find the restaurant quite empty, but other families and couples soon took some of the surrounding tables. We were seated in a large square leather booth which was very comfy and spacious and gave us a glorious view over the back of St Paul's. Barbecoa is Jamie Oliver's steakhouse, so we were expecting big things!

We browsed the menu and while I kept to Dry January and had a virgin Elderflower Collins (I'm doing Dry January just while I'm in the UK- when I'm on holiday I'm allowed a couple), my parents and brother shared a bottle of Rioja.

To start with I opted for the Tuna and Scallop Ceviche, after seeing how good it looked on Angie's review! My brother has the Beef Carpaccio, and the parents didn't fancy a starter so shared a portion of Pork Scratchings. 

My ceviche was delicious, I really loved the citrusy flavours and the salad that accompanied it complimented the dish well. There was a little too much salad for me though, so Dad finished it off!

I had a taste of the beef carpaccio and really liked it, however I'm glad I went with the ceviche as I preferred the flavours. The brother loved it though!

The pork scratchings were the lightest ones I've ever tried! All of us agreed though that the apple ketchup sauce was a very strange accompaniment, it just didn't taste quite right for some reason. Maybe it's just because we're not used to having pork scratchings with a sauce! 

For our mains we may have ordered too many sides...may have. Between the four of us we had two portions of beef dripping chips, sweet potato, creamed spinach, and truffled mac & cheese.

Despite going all out, all of the sides were so worth it and I'm so glad we got them all. Thankfully the truffle flavour in the mac & cheese was quite subtle and not too overpowering, and the crispy topping was heavenly.

My mum chose the 'Ribs Three Ways' (BBQ Spare Ribs, Short Rib, St Louis-Style Ribs) - she absolutely loves ribs, and while she loved the BBQ spare ribs and St Louis-Style ribs, she wasn't a huge fan of the short rib. Mum also asked for the 'New York Slaw' to go with it (this usually just comes with a different dish), and they had no issue with this.

The rest of us chose steaks (after all, this is a steakhouse). My Dad and I both had the Rump steak, and my brother opted for the Sirloin. All of us asked for our steaks to be medium-rare. Sadly all of them were overcooked and came out more on the medium to well done side (ie; the inside was only a little pink, very dry, and there was no blood whatsoever). I was really disappointed with the steak and it was nowhere near as good as the ones I had in Paris at La Gare and Hotel Amour.

The Sirloin Steak

The Rump Steak

The aubergine and rocket salad that came with the rump steak was absolutely delicious, and I actually preferred it to the steak! 

For dessert my brother and I already had our eyes on the White Chocolate Cheesecake with almond crumble, mandarin sorbet, and a macaron. Now, if you saw this on a menu you would assume that the base would be the 'almond crumble', and the mandarin sorbet would be on the side...right? Wrong. The dessert arrived and my brother and I looked at each other in confusion. 

It looks more like a mousse or trifle than a cheesecake, and those of you who know me will know how I can't stand anything deconstructed. I have an extreme disdain and passionate hate for any dessert that is 'deconstructed', I just don't get it. I see 'Cheesecake' on the menu, I want a damn cheesecake. I don't want it deconstructed, and I certainly don't want a completely different dessert! It just isn't what I ordered! 

The 'Cheesecake' impostor had a very light creamy mousse topping with a bit of almond crumble sprinkled on top, and hidden INSIDE the topping was the sorbet, beneath that as the 'base' was a fruit jelly. JELLY. AS A CHEESECAKE BASE. WTF!? I want a big thick creamy solid white chocolate cheesecake filling with a biscuit base, I don't want an effing mousse or trifle. That wasn't what was advertised on the menu! Ugh.

On the other hand, my mum bloody loved her Chocolate Brownie, and although Dad thought his Dark Chocolate & Caramel sundae had more caramel and toffee flavours than chocolate, it looked bloody amazing!

Aside from the steaks being overcooked and the cheesecake disaster, we had a really nice relaxed lunch. The staff were a little too hands-on for our liking, which you don't really need in an informal steak restaurant, but they were very pleasant and helpful with choosing what to have. The restaurant itself is swanky and contemporary, and that view really is glorious. But would I go again? Probably not. Not unless they decide to get rid of the falsely-advertised 'cheesecake' and give me an actual real cheesecake. Because let's face it, I'm a self-confessed cheesecake snob and if anyone messes with this style of dessert in a restaurant it's enough to ruin my day and make me go and search for an actual real cheesecake somewhere else just to satisfy my 'I need a real cheesecake right now' cravings.

In all honesty though, this is probably a great place to go for lunch or dinner with colleagues if you work in the area, but I wouldn't visit Barbecoa again with friends or family. The entire meal cost us over £250 for four (we had a voucher for part of it but paid the rest ourselves), and found it very overpriced for what it is. There are just plenty of other, better restaurants in London and better steaks (and cheesecakes) to be had. In future I'll go to a competitor (Hawksmoor, Gaucho etc) where the steaks are worth the price and have more flavour and are cooked as requested.

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*We had a voucher for Barbecoa and paid the rest of the bill ourselves. As always my cheesecake and steak opinions are my own and completely honest.

Barbecoa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed the ceviche but I totally agree with your comments at the end. Though we liked Barbecoa it was a bit of drive for us and we generally enjoyed the meal but much preferred Hawksmoor. Like you I'd recommend it for a working lunch it's not worth going out of your way for at the weekend. Actually having said that, there's going to be a Barbecoa in Victoria so I will visit when it's right on my door step.

    Your disdain at the Cheesecake made me laugh!
    Lots of love,

  2. I kike the post, this made me feel like visiting Barcelon๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ


  3. Happy new year, Luxy! I've not been to Barbecoa for ages but I totes agree - the views are amazing but you can get better steak elsewhere. I wouldn't mind trying new dishes on the menu, though - I like the look of that ceviche!

    Honey x The Girl Next Shore

  4. Ah that's such a shame about the steak - always a disappointment when you're really looking forward to something. I do love the look of that ceviche!
    A Story of a Girl

  5. Ahh such a shame the steaks weren't perfect- for that price I'd expect them to be the best steaks ever haha! (says the vegetarian). The desserts look pretty, but again a shame they weren't quite as good as you'd expected!

    we are dannah | perth lifestyle blog


  6. Such a shame the food wasn't perfect, especially at those prices! :( You deffoes should have sent your steaks back, that's completely unacceptable! And I would have been appalled with that dessert - your disdain is measured in my opinion! The other puds look fabulous however, and glad you had a nice time overall. Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea's Passions


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