Barbecoa

Address: 20, New Change Passage, London, EC4M 9AG, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)203 005 8555
Website: view Barbecoa’s website
Door: Make reservation
Style: Restaurant bar
Food: Set menu

Review

Barbecoa is in the same One New Change development next to St Paul's cathedral. Upon entry, we are greeted and seated by staff who communicate with each other through Madonna headsets. It's warm and welcoming and boy, does it smell good in Jamie's barbecue restaurant - you can see ribs smoking away.

Sadly, we are walked through the restaurant, past the bar, and downstairs to an area that feels like it's an overspill or holding area that lacks the atmosphere of the main area. We plead to be allowed back to the actual bar and when we're back upstairs, happily two seats are now free at the bar.

Straight away we're drawn to the 'Strong and complex' and 'Short and serious' menu headings. Top of the list is the Barbecoa Blazer - apple and cinnamon infused bourbon, with orange, cherries and bitters, which obviously comes warm. Better than that, it's simple and flavourful. A Pisco Sour doesn't hide the base spirit. A shot of reposado tequila comes not just with sangrita on the side but also verdita, and looks good on its own wooden board.

That the bar staff seemed to emanate from Portsmouth (not exactly a cocktail Mecca) seemed to matter not a jot, and there's nothing here to complain about technique-wise - everything is made elegantly and efficiently - no spillage, splashes or clumsy placement of fingers. Drinks served in interesting glasses or mugs and with good-looking garnishes. The cocktail choice is generally more balanced with ryes, armagnacs, moonshine and dark rums making an appearance in cocktails in addition to gin and the odd vodka infusion. Classics, simple twists and modern classics - nothing gimmicky.

In addition to mixed drinks there's a good list of craft bottled beers from both sides of the Atlantic. Again, the wine list is manageable, just six reds, six whites, each available at varying sizes.

Everything is about a pound cheaper than in Bread Street Kitchen, with most cocktails at £8. Overall impression? Wish we could have stayed longer.