Despite being dead-keen on kale and brussel sprouts, I am not a vegan, and neither am I vegetarian. I am a meat-eater who believes that humans can (and always will) eat meat, but equally I am aware of the environmental and ethical issues that come with being a carnivore . In a nutshell, this is my motivation for this blog and the reason why I am passionate about eating animals that have been raised ethically, and only as an occasional treat. I guess ‘mindful’ eating is my philosophy. Luckily for me, there are plenty of restaurants in London serving meat that has been reared in the most ethical and humane way possible before slaughter. They do it because animals raised this way really do taste better. I eat it because I can’t swallow the thought of an animal being raised in appalling conditions simply to lower the price. One of the restaurants which takes this commitment to sourcing ethical meat very seriously, is Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa.
Where are you all spending your Friday?… pic.twitter.com/CCEcPTLfuq
— barbecoa_london (@Barbecoa_london) July 8, 2016
The Butcher Manager of Barbecoa, Marco Peerdeman, often shares pictures on Instagram and Twitter feeds, @OrangeButcher. Here you can see the happy, free-range pigs and cows being reared by the farmers who supply both the restaurant and the on-site butcher shop below.
I wouldn’t recommend following him if you are veggie or vegan as there are a lot of images of raw meat and general butchery squeamishness, but it’s great to see transparency about the treatment of the animals and the kinds of meat that Barbecoa are actually serving, and charging you for.
No, the meat which eventually finds it’s way on to the Barbecoa menu is not cheap, but then I wouldn’t expect it to be.
On our visit, we enjoyed excellent service, a beautiful three course meal (for two) with beer and cocktails, and one of the best views I have ever seen from a restaurant table, and this set us back £130 including service charge.
Our starters (crispy pig cheeks for me, and chicken liver pate for my other half) arrived in good time, and were a decent portion size for the price.
The Tomahawk Pork chosen by my boyfriend was simple BBQ fare cooked well, and my rump steak with bourbon peppercorn sauce was served just as I like (I requested it medium-rare; it came pink in the middle and charred black on the edges).
— barbecoa_london (@Barbecoa_london) September 26, 2014
The chocolate and salted caramel sundae which we managed to squeeze in for dessert left us full to bursting and feeling a bit sick, but only because we never normally eat so indulgently!
— JamieOliver.com (@JamieOliverCom) December 18, 2013
At the end, we weren’t rushed out of our seats or made to feel hurried, despite it being one of the busiest weekends of the year (Valentine’s).
Barbecoa was somewhere we’d both wanted to try for a long time, and it lived up to our expectations. If you want good atmosphere, good food and a great view – you can probably find that elsewhere in London too, maybe for cheaper.
But if you want all of that, plus the bonus of enjoying ethically produced, man-pleasing portions of BBQ food, add this place to your list.