Jamie Oliver's London Restaurant 'Barbecoa' with Views of St Paul's Cathedral

by KathleenDuffy

Essentially a meat-lover's paradise, Jamie Oliver's restaurant, 'Barbecoa', offers delicious dishes, great service and a stunning view of St Paul's Cathedral

Barbecoa opened in early November 2010. Just a stone's throw from St Paul's Cathedral, it has been described in reviews as a place where customers can revert back to their primitive eating instincts by eating meat cooked on an open fire and in a group setting.

Yes, the seating areas are reminiscent of the days when our primitive ancestors would gather around the fire pit to eat the catch of the day. And, yes, the meat is cooked over a wood-fired oven, a Robata grill, a burn pit, not to mention a Texas smoker and Indian tandoors.

Nevertheless, there the resemblance ends.

Barbecoa's Lay-out and Ambiance

View of St Paul's from 'Barbecoa'
View of St Paul's from 'Barbecoa'
K Duffy

Unlike our primitive ancestors, you won't get a huge slab of meat slammed down in front of you - instead you will relish a beautifully disguised, subtly flavoured pig's ear or whole lamb magically transformed into a pyramid of magical flavours and delicate aromas - and the steak is advertised as being 'the best in the world'.

The seating is far from primitive, consisting of long, luxuriously comfortable leather couches which surround each table. The theme is definitely cave-man/woman communal rather than intimate booth-type privacy. This makes the restaurant perfect for corporate gatherings, celebratory groups, office meet-ups, and similar get-togethers. Each area manages to give the impression of intimacy and exclusiveness.

Customer at 'Barbecoa'
Customer at 'Barbecoa'
K Duffy

The lighting is provided by the natural daylight from huge windows or, as dusk falls, softly lit ceiling pendants.

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Barbecoa and St Paul's Cathedral

 Barbecoa's massive windows look out over the rooftops and offices of the City. When the light is overwhelming they can be veiled in subtle, translucent blinds.


St Paul's  filtered through Barbecoa blinds
St Paul's filtered through Barbecoa blinds
K Duffy

However, the most stunning aspect of this restaurant, notwithstanding the spacious and tasteful interiors and gorgeous food, is the view of the dome of St Paul's Cathedral. It is visible from most areas of the restaurant and when the blinds are raised this must be one of the most spectacular restaurant views in the world.

View of the St Paul's Cathedral from Barbecoa
View of the St Paul's Cathedral from Barbecoa
K Duffy

The dome rises above the viewer, a mighty yet fragile, spiritual testament to Sir Christopher Wren's architectural genius, giving the restaurant space a feeling of calm and timelessness.

Why Not Have Your Own View of St Paul's Cathedral?

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St. Paul's Cathedral and Ludgate Hill, London, England
St. Paul's Cathedral in London Lit up at Night for Victory Day Celebrations, June 1946

Barbecoa's Food, Presentation and Service

The service staff at Barbecoa are friendly, extremely helpful and at the same time non-intrusive. The atmosphere they create is unhurried, discreet yet observant, replacing plates and serviettes when necessary, attending to every need - even taking group photos. Nothing is too much trouble.

Inside  'Barbacoa' Restaurant
Inside 'Barbacoa' Restaurant
K Duffy
Inside  'Barbecoa' Restaurant
Inside 'Barbecoa' Restaurant
K Duffy

The food is beautifully presented - a huge platter of sea-food starter arrived in a subtle riot of colour and texture, looking like a Dutch still life painting.

A dish of crispy, golden pork scratchings bore no earthly resemblance to its inferior pub throwback.

Meat dishes are aromatic, smoky and succulent due to the 'primitive' cooking methods. Steak, often a deciding factor when judging a restaurant's capabilities, was divinely cooked and presented - it was like eating buttery velvet.

Sea Food Platter at 'Barbecoa' - Half eaten!
Sea Food Platter at 'Barbecoa' - Half eaten!
K Duffy

Jamie Oliver's Barbecoa Restaurant - For Tourists and Londoners

Where to find 'Barbecoa'
Where to find 'Barbecoa'

Jamie Oliver's Barbecoa restaurant is elegant and spacious, but far from intimidating. On the contrary, the cheerful staff ensures that customers feel at home.

The views are beautiful and the food is epic. This restaurant is in the perfect situation to give the visitor an authentic feeling of what it means to be in London.

For those of us who already live here, it confirms everything we hold dear about London.

Some More Information about Barbecoa

The restaurant is situated in a small, classy shopping centre and if you take the lift up to the very top floor you get an even more incredible close-up of St Paul's Cathedral!    

You can find out more about Barbecoa and see the menu here.

So, what more could the discerning diner ask for?

Well - if it doesn't quite match up to your high standards, you do have a choice.  In Spring 2011 Gordon Ramsey opened up directly opposite!

He's good - but he doesn't have Jamie's view!                                                                


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Updated: 07/13/2013, KathleenDuffy
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KathleenDuffy on 06/21/2013

Yes, dream on! Outside my price range too - but daughter's graduation treat (paid for by my son and ex-husband!) :)

jptanabe on 06/21/2013

Looks wonderful! Outside my price range, but I can dream right?

KathleenDuffy on 06/20/2013

I so agree with you! He's very easy to understand and I like his attitude to food - it's very down to earth! My kinda cook! Thanks for your nice comments :)

EliasZanetti on 06/20/2013

I would certainly go to Jamie's place :) He's my favorite cook, especialy the 30-minute recipes I used to watch on tv. Easy and fast to cook dishes and simple ingredients combined for delicious food! Great article, Kathleen.

KathleenDuffy on 06/20/2013

Hi kimbesa - Yes, I like him very much even though I know he also annoys a lot of people! He's got another restaurant (maybe more than one) in London which aims to 'give young people who've often faced enormous challenges in their lives, the opportunity to unlock their true talent, through great training and mentoring.' It's called 15 and it too is a great place to eat. Thanks for the post!

kimbesa on 06/20/2013

That looks like a fantastic place to eat! I've only seen Jamie's work on TV. The guy has so much energy, it's no surprise that he's created a restaurant that holds its own in a marvelous city like London.

KathleenDuffy on 06/20/2013

Yes, hope there aren't any food fights between Gordon and Jamie! :) Thanks for your post.

Mira on 06/20/2013

Ha! Gordon Ramsey opening up across the street.
I don't see much seafood in the menu. That platter and the wine -- ah! :)
Thank you for sharing, Kathleen!

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