Places To Eat In London: Barbecoa, St. Paul’s
My first Sunday brunch living back in London: two people who used to live in Los Angeles chatting about the city sharing American food in the (otherwise scarily quiet) Square Mile in a restaurant that bears the name of one of Britain’s most famous chefs. Talk about mixed cultures. I have learnt to expect great things from Jamie Oliver’s restaurants, and after my meal at Union Jacks I just knew I’d enjoy my breakfast. However, I think it is the decor combined with the fantastic views of St. Paul’s that make Barbecoa such a special spot.
Having been good the day before at Lantana (a great brunch spot in Fitzrovia with good food, but very tiny, very crowded, loud, and they don’t take reservations) with a Virgin Mary that was delicious, but so hot it almost blew my head off I opted for a Classic Mimosa. Both my Mimosa and Tina’s orange juice were freshly pressed, and the orange curl in my glass was a lovely touch. Sipping it while gazing out at St. Paul’s was the perfect way to kick off my Sunday. I’m going to have to go back, though, as they do have a Bloody Mary on the menu.
I was on the fence if I should go with the French Toast (which is what I had in the end), or the Pulled Pork with Slaw and Waffles. However, once I knew Tina was ordering the pork I took the plunge for the French Toast as I knew that if I got order envy, I could always steal some of her pork for myself, anyway! It was delicious and perfectly cooked and moist; it had quite a strong and smokey flavour, and while delicious I think it is quite a bit portion for brunch and I’m glad I did not order it; I would never have finished it! However, I would really recommend it if you are ordering a pair of dishes to share for brunch.
My French Toast was perfect; not too eggy, not too dry. Not to sweet and not too savoury, and soft while not being too soggy either. There was the perfect amount of maple syrup on the plate and the American crispy style bacon was also perfect, and you were given the right amount of it. It was also the perfect brunch sized portion. My only qualm with this dish was the peaches. Now, they should have been the perfect accompaniment to the dish, but they were not ripe. I get it, and it is not really the person cooking its fault. They were serving this up on a Sunday morning in the City in September; maybe they should have been a seasonal addition during the high Summer? Maybe lightly stewed blackberries would have been better this time of year.
I think I’d like to dine again at Barbecoa in the evening for some more of their special meat offerings, burgers, aged steaks and the view of St. Paul’s lit up at night. However, I think this is also going to become one of my go to brunch spots, because while we did book at this time of day you really don’t need to, and as the City is so well connected transport wise, it is a good place to meet friends who usually live scattered across London.