Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Barnyard - London

Barnyard is the latest venture from Ollie Dabbous, the head chef at his eponymously named restaurant which I am yet to visit but have heard nothing but praise for. When wandering the back streets looking for Barnyard it was quite refreshing that in a row of darkened doorways it was fairly easy to spot as the entire place has been decorated as a (you'll never guess) farmhouse. A white picket fence surrounds the front of the restaurant containing within tables fashioned out of planks of wood, aged metal tiles, corrugated metal walls and suitably industrial looking lighting.
At 2.15pm on a Monday we had the entire restaurant to ourselves which was a fairly odd experience in itself, I'd hope for the restaurants sake that we'd just missed the lunch rush and at least we had very attentive service on the bright side. To be fair to Barnyard, quite a few people seemed attracted by the decor outside and wandered up to take a look at the menu only to quickly walk away.

The menu is split by food type, on this occasion the headers were Pig, Cow, Lamb, Chicken, Egg, Vegetables and Puddings with 3-4 options under each section to choose from.

We started with drinks - I had a banana and rum milkshake which came served in a slim line milk bottle with a straw and was spot on, creamy but not too thick and with a clear note of rum which was extremely pleasant.

The Barnyard Iced tea was the second drinks choice and a bit of an odd one initially, the component parts of English tea, pink grapefruit, lemon, agave, Scotch whiskey and Mica beer combined resulted in an a light hint of weird scum floating on the top, almost as if the mix had gone off in some way. The flavour was similar to a good sour beer, bitter but the coldness with the hint of lemon made it refreshing at the same time. An unusual experience that got better the more I drank and I would need to try again to be clear whether it was actually enjoyable or just the uniqueness that got to me.
First starter was lard on toast, which I immediately regretted it as as clump of semi-melted lard dripped on to my trousers, presumably never to be removed. The snack itself was great, I'd pictured a thick slice of sourdough appearing but it was more of a Swedish crisp bread, lathered in the lard and with a hint of pepper which made for a fun fatty trousers destroying opener.

The asparagus dish was served cold and featured a slow cooked duck egg with lemon vinegarette and torn sourdough bread, decorated with yellow flower leaves and sunflower seeds. The vinegeratte was very tart and clumped up under the veg, it wasn't clear whether this was deliberate or had been applied too liberally but there was certainly sufficiently on the dish to make sure the flavour was transferred to all the separate parts.
Short rib - two bite sized chunks of grain-fed short rib in black treacle outer, with a slice of pickle and mustard sauce. The beef was spot on but it was a pretty miserly dish for £14 - definitely not the main-sized portion I was expecting for that price.

Chicken wings - a dish of extremely crispy chicken wings, I saw extremely and I mean as in tap the coating with with a knife and it'd crack never quite seen wings coated like these. They were generously sized wings, juicy and tender and not the soft flabby meat you often see - everything flavoured with smoked paprika, garlic and lemon that packed a punch.

Corn on Cob - another slight miss, the corn was cooked just as I like so it retains plenty of crunch and it was plenty buttery but there was just no real flavour until I took a bite of the charred section. It also came served with a dirty great bolt screwed into one end to use to hold it with. It never felt entirely hygienic if I'm perfectly honest.
Finally, a special shout out to the toilets which were up there with the most terrifying I've ever been in, I felt like I was in a scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre as I wandered down a corridor lined with wood, doors with no markings and the toilet hidden away at the end of a long creepy corridor with banging in the kitchens at the side. I'll definitely be going back one day to hide away in one of the nooks playing chainsaw sound effects to make people lose their minds (not really).
I'm still a bit confused as to whether the decor is meant to be taken seriously or is just a bit of dumb fun trying to stand out from the crowd. The total bill came to £55 inc tip and drinks and whilst we had a good time and enjoyed the majority of the food, there was nothing mind-blowing that would have me rushing back, an enjoyable if a little forgettable lunch.
Barnyard on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment