Barnyard is friendly old kind o’ place, five minutes from the Tottenham Court Road end of Oxford St in Fitzrovia, it’s owned by Oskar Kinberg and Ollie Dabbous the same team behind the increasingly popular restaurant, Dabbous just up the road…
According to Time Out Magazine it’s currently the 6th best place to eat in London, which is no mean feat when you consider the competition. Manager Charlie Bolton(top left) must take some of the credit, along with Head Chef Joseph Woodland’s Michelin Star background they’ve elevated what could easily be dismissed as a theme bar, into a definite food destination.
The core menu is grounded in US-style comfort food, but a UK influence has sneaked into the back (barn) door recently and a Brunch menu every weekend from 10am has added a soupçon of Emmerdale Farm to the Waltons influenced Corn Breads and Barbecued Bavette. There’s a rocking chair on the porch, the kind Granny sat in on Summer evenings, shotgun on knee, scanning the horizon for coyotes as the sun went down over the swamp. Inside, Barnyard is a all chunky wood, corrugated iron and checkered shirts, instantly transporting you from central London to the back end of nowhere in two shakes of racoons tail. We popped along for a bite to eat and a couple of cocktails to find out more.
The menu flexes with the seasons and prices are very good, £6 for mouth-smackingly crispy chicken wings with smoked paprika and garlic and lemon, to the afore-mentioned grain fed Bavette short rib, amazingly tender, served simply with just a pickle, mustard and black treacle for £14. Even something as innocuous as a Homemade Sausage Roll with Piccalilli is elevated to greatness in ‘the yard’ and a good suggestion is to order several dishes each and try a bit of everything. The plate sizes are sensible so you can still leave with your waistline intact, however just to be safe, avoid the lard on toast (oh, and maybe and the popcorn ice cream with smoked fudge sauce). The corn bread is freshly baked, light and authentic, the chicory salad with lovage, mint and lemon delicate and delightful. Despite the relatively simple dishes, it’s obvious they’re made with love.
And then there are the drinks…
The cocktail menu includes the Country House Shandy (Elderflower, Lemon, Ginger Ale, Bourbon and Goose Island £6.50), as refreshing, as it is intoxicating and totally fantastic. So to are the Shakes, try a Blueberry Pancake, £4.50 or £7 with a splash of Bourbon to make it ‘hard’. Chef Joseph has plans to add more diversity to the current small, but perfectly formed menu in the future and the formula of simple food, served with sophistication should bring all the boys (and girls) to the Yard for some time to come.
18 Charlotte Street
020 7580 3842
For more info visit www.barnyard-london.com