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Not dark, but not blindingly bright either, the inside of Barbecoa is inviting, spacious and elegant. Slender penne-shaped light shades dangle from the lofty ceiling (which has spotlights of its own) and all is reflected in a blur on the coppery flooring.
The seating area in Barbecoa is clever, if not interesting in that it's contrasted between hip-high red leather sofas which sprawl across one half of the restaurant, while the other half is devoted to more individualistic seating with small tables big enough for four maximum; most of it is date night focused. The floor-to-ceiling windows cover the surrounding walls allowing as much natural light as possible to flow in and explains why, in the evening, the lighting is dimmer than expected. Underneath the restaurant there are more surprises with the adjoining butcher's. It supplies the restaurant with quality British beef, game and paltry, and customers are welcome to browse and purchase from here also.
The menu here aims strongly at meat, with fish featuring in a small way by means of starter plates. Examples include salmon gravadlax and seabass as well as salads and various meat teasers like crispy baby pig's cheek. For the mains, there're three methods of preparation in Barbecoa: charcoal & wood grill, wood oven and Texas pit smoker. You've probably guessed that succulent steaks rank highly on the menu and, with the likes of rump, fillet and rib-eye, you'd be right. Pulled pork, lamb and racks of ribs are up for grabs as well. Desserts shouldn't be missed either, because when there's apple and custard brioche or gooey chocolate tart on the menu, the option is non-negotiable. It's either that or a choice of one of the after-dinner liquors like cognac, whiskey or Amaretto to name a few.
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Make a day of it and visit the Tate Modern before what will prove to be a gorgeous meal at Barbecoa. It's just across the river, over the formerly wobbly Millennium Bridge, and entry is free. It's easily London's most popular art gallery, just look at the gigantic chimney stack jutting from the top it - you can't miss it. Wandering around the Tate is a relaxing experience and an excuse to absorb all as much culture and rich artistry as you can.
Opening times: Monday - Saturday: 11:30 - 23:00, Sunday: 12:00 - 22:00
Nearest Tube: St. Paul's (Central Line), Mansion House (Circle & District Lines)
20 New Change Passage, Barbican, EC4M 9AGView Larger Map
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