I’ll be the first to admit that the other half and I very rarely have a date night. We know that we should, even if it’s just a trip to the cinema or to the pub at the end of the road but we don’t. It’s probably my fault – I suffer quite bad guilt over already spending so much time away from Zach during the week that to not want to have every minute of the weekend with him leaves me feeling like a bad mum. I know Im not, I know I need some me time that isn’t at work and isn’t being a mum but I just struggle to disregard that feeling that I should be with him.
There are of course some things that crop up that are too tempting to say no to (although I still haven’t managed to go and see Independence Day at the cinema!) and when I was offered the chance to go for dinner at Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa restaurant at St Paul’s, I knew instantly that we had to make it a date night. With baby number two due in just a few weeks, we kind of have to grab these opportunities and cling onto them!
We were booked in for a table of 2 on Friday night and I arranged for Zach to have a sleepover at Nannie’s, who bless her, had already had him the whole day. He was so excited to be sleeping there though and that always makes me feel like he doesn’t care that we’ve gone out for the night and that he won’t see us first thing.
Friday night came round and we were booked in for 7pm. I work just across the bridge from St Paul’s and the other half had a slightly longer journey but we met up at a pub near the station for a quick (non alcoholic) beverage. It was nice just to be sat in a pub together talking about our days rather than having to wait until Zach had gone to bed because we can’t get a word in edgeways! I’d already walked past the restaurant to get to the pub and so knew it was only 5 minutes away so at about ten to, we started making our way to Barbecoa.
When we arrived we were greeted downstairs by reception staff who then asked if we needed to leave anything in the cloakroom. The other half left his bag and we were then sent off up the stairs where we were met at the top by a member of staff and shown to our seats. To say we were given one of the best seats in the house was an understatement – looking right out onto the Cathedral, it was really beautiful and the sun going down behind it was priceless.
We took some time to have a look over the menu whilst our drinks were brought to us, a couple of elderflower mocktails and some still water!
We had a couple of questions regarding the menu which were answered wonderfully by our waitress and were then left to continue our conversations while we waited for our meals!
First up was starters. I opted for the Sticky BBQ Ribs while the other half had the Calamari. Both were presented beautifully and tasted divine. I didn’t try the Calamari (it’s not really my thing) but the other half said it was delicious and my ribs were absolutely gorgeous (he did try some and concurred that they were very tasty as he started having regrets about not going for ribs himself!).
Devoured, it was then time for the main course. The menu has a few choices including a number of steaks, ribs, pork belly – it’s a real kind of grill with guaranteed delicious meats. Taken from the website and in Jamie Oliver’s words himself;
In my opinion, Barbecoa is the sexiest steakhouse on the planet. Its roots and sourcing of products couldn’t be more steeped in techniques of old, with a focus on rare-breed meat, dry ageing, and free-range and organic produce from incredible farmers – all cooked over smoke and fire.
And sexy steakhouse it was. We ordered the Rib Eye for 2 – a 45oz (including bone), on the bone piece of meat that is cooked to your taste, served with condiments including smoky béarnaise sauce and salsa and charred onions. For sides we chose some Beef-Dripping Chips and Truffled Mac & Cheese. When it arrived, we were literally wowing!
Once served, we tucked in. And wow, it was delicious. The steak was so tender and succulent and I have to say, the béarnaise sauce was incredible. I won’t lie that it wasn’t a little struggle to get through it all, mainly because I can’t eat the portions I used to be able to as there is a rather large baby sitting in my stomach continuously growing and taking up space where I could once fit in a lot more food! We did it though and enjoyed every single mouthful (even the really fatty bits of the steak that we had trouble gnawing through but which tasted so good!)
Once that had spent 5 minutes settling in our already full bellies, we chose a couple of desserts (it wouldn’t be a full review without dessert right?!). The other half went for the Barbecoa Brownie and I opted for the Lemon Meringue. The presentation of each was lovely and the flavours were out of this world. The lemon meringue was incredible and flavour was bursting out of my palate! I’m drooling just thinking about it now.
That was then it, there was no room for anything else, not a cup of tea, not another mocktail and not one of the whiskies from the biggest collection in the whole of London! It was simply time to take our full bellies and my already waddling uncomfortable self to the tube and back home!
The service we received in Barbecoa’s was just as fantastic as the food. The staff were on hand, friendly, helpful and there were plenty of them. Everything was so organised, efficient and smooth. When we arrived it was pretty quiet with just a few tables dining but by 8pm it was clearly the place to eat as it had livened up and most of the tables were full.
We had an absolutely wonderful time at Barbecoa’s and if like us you are a sucker for a good grill restaurant, this is the place to go!
We were very kindly given a very generous voucher towards our bill but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.