Barbecoa, St Paul’s

There’s something slightly unnatural about Sunday lunch in The City for me. On any given Sunday morning, you’re much more likely to find me in Richmond Park, slowly winding my way to a rewarding spread at Petersham’s Nurseries, uttering “it’s just so nice to get some fresh air, out of the city, you know?” promptly followed by a deep breath in and a contented fat-cat smile.

But last weekend was a different story. I put my countryside pretences behind me and let myself be lured to Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa (website here), which sits pretty in the One New Change complex, right beside St Paul’s and right in the heart of London’s concrete city.

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A few cocktails eased us in, as the glass offices that surrounded us slipped away and we were left with just ourselves, a very festive atmosphere an extremely inviting menu.

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We could have had every starter the kitchen had to offer but knowing what a feast lay ahead, we asserted some not a lot of self-control and chose three of them: the burrata with blood orange, smoked almonds and citrus dressing.

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The tuna cerviche, with cucumber, radish and tiger’s milk. Not a conventional cerviche by any stretch but a very generous portion, extremely fresh tuna and zingy flavours.

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And quite possibly the best thing on the menu: the short rib croquettes with kimchi mayo. It’s my job to describe to you just how good these beauties are but words will fail if I even attempt it, so let’s just say they were utterly sensational. Sweet, salty, rich – all all in one bite.

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^ Apologies… The light in the restaurant was challenging to photograph the food in: the contrast of the bright rays of sunshine streaming in and the dark shadows cast by anything blocking it made it very difficult to get the exposure right.

But this fillet steak with bernaise sauce, bone marrow and side salad doesn’t come out toooo badly I suppose. Hopefully, you still want to lick the screen just looking at it, and if so, mission accomplished.

Barbecoa Jamie Oliver

It may not jump out as a must-order but the broccoli really shouldn’t be missed. Tossed in miso and almonds, they’re the perfect accompaniment with a bit of a difference. The beef-dripping chips with Volpaia vinegar and Cornish salt are equally essential.

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Tuck in!

Barbecoa Jamie Oliver

 And how’s this for a view as you munch away? On a chilly December afternoon, the sun dipping below the horizon well before 4 and casting shadows on my favourite London landmark.

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Full to the brim but craving something sweet, we couldn’t leave without trying the dark chocolate and caramel sundae. A true delight of a dessert, it’s packed with treats: a mini chocolate macaron, candied hazelnuts, lots of caramel and plenty of velvety ice cream, all in one glass haven.

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The staff are extremely friendly and obliging, ready to accommodate your every need. We were indecisive in our ordering and they happily provided us with recommendations, pointing out their favourite dishes. The ambiance is relaxed, the décor is contemporary and sophisticated, and the floor to ceiling window panes with views of St Paul’s make for a really memorable meal.

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Thank you for having us Barbecoa, we’ll be back!

We meandered to the river to work off our epic lunch and caught the last of the sunset over a sleepy city. Christmas is in the air, are you feeling it yet?

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D and I were guests of Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa. All views are my own.