SCORE: 78.5/100 / CCC Rating: **** / Cost Rating: £££
Ambience: 8.5/10 / Wine: £21.00 Santa Rosta, Merlot, 2010, 7/10 / Toilets: 7/10 / Service: 8/10 : Food (excl. steak): 18/20 / Steak: 16/20 / Menu/table quality: 8.5/10 / Value for money: 6.5/10 / +1 Wifi bonus
Top quartile, but not quite equalling the score achieved by Hawksmoor. The overall ambience and meat-tinged magic of the dining experience certainly boosts what was otherwise a strangely underwhelming steak. Not a bad steak by any means, and by some measures, really quite accomplished; but sadly, for the demanding standards set by the Cow Club quorum, it falls short of the nirvana discovered in Hawksmoor.
Barbecoa is very much more of a date place than Hawksmoor, impressive, nocturnally enchanting, effortlessly cool, and dangerously well-executed. The slick restaurant design is decidedly "on trend" and benefits from its location by a unique and breathtaking view over St Pauls Cathedral.
Jamie Oliver has offered the place more than just a cheap 'celebrity' endorsement,
and all members would definitely return (indeed one is booked in for lunch in just 3 days time), but the high score belies what is otherwise a difficult-to-place sense of mild disappointment. It's not the steak, it's not the wine, it's not the toilets, it's not even the value for money... No wait, it really was the steak - it just didn't have the magical wow-factor we all sought after the last outing, much as the crack fiend seeks the exhilarating high of his next hit.
In summary, Barbecoa overwhelmingly underachieves in the same way a Porsche Cayman delivers mediocrity in place of raw, supercharged steak. But great rack on the lady out front.