Barbecoa is the second restaurant of it’s name to be opened by Jamie Oliver and it is situated in the stunning grade 2 listed building circa. 1880s is steeped in history.
It has seen famous bands, singers, artists and aristocrats within the walls of the former Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. Since those times the building had been converted into restaurants and hotel, former Pan American Airways and the famous Pigalle club.
Archaeologists were even called in to carefully re-home the remains of 64 humans and a dog from some time between the 1600-1800s when builders discovered skeletons in the basement area.
It was between the lunch and dinner sitting when we stumbled upon 194 Piccadilly Street.
The large entrance doors opened and we were greeted by a friendly well trained waitress who knew the breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch and dinner menus, and some history of the building. She even called the manager to see if we could get a guided tour, and to our delight we were shown around.
Barbecoa is an enviable tardis, with dining set over two large floors. The luxurious fumed timber and bronze entrance comprises of a large internal lobby with secondary doors set metres within the restaurant and a wide corridor to wait in, a luxury enjoyed by only a few of most restauranteurs, but the stunning grade 2 listed building still offers a gargantuan restaurant which caters for 250 covers.
We were very impressed with the array of butcher style carcasses hanging within the inset chiller fridges along the right of the lobbied entrance, providing both a sense of theatre to the food offer and practical meat storage.
The bar on the ground floor is reminiscent of the grandiose 1920s interiors decorated with swathes of brass and marble details and a very generous rear bar with an array of whiskeys and spirits from across the globe. Yellow and red leather upholstery with dark wooden frames form the loose and fixed seating and the chevron fumed oak floor is extensive to accompany the fumed oak timber wall panels and antiqued mirrors, all fit for a fine dining supper club. The menu on the other hand is very reasonably priced and caters for all times of the day.
The stair and elevator to the basement are equally as grand and lined with marble and more fumed oak and brass. On arrival to the basement floor and to the left is a large wine cellar and tasting area cordoned off from the restaurant, where small groups and in-house vintner knowledge can be consumed.
The dining room in the basement is a real show stopper with deep reds, greens and yellow leathers of the seats setting them apart from the dark timbers and parquet floor.
Brass detailing on the impressive crystal chandeliers, table edges and the fixed seating screens really add a touch of class to the interior.
Glorious green and white handmade wall tiles adorn the flanks of the basement and the front of the cold bar. There is an enormous open kitchen to watch the chefs at work cooking large cuts of meat and an adjacent bar in equally impressive finishes of both brass and marble.
The quality detailing executed throughout the furniture is exceptional and we loved the beaten bronze effect table cladding, inlaid brass table decorations, solid marble tops and the embossed emblem to the back of the leather chairs to name but a few.
If you are lucky enough to hold a function or invited to use of the private dining room at Barbecoa, then the detailing in this bold red hi-gloss panelled room is equally as impressive and also contains a private wine display amongst images of famous and influential chefs dear to Jamie.
As mentioned before the menu is very reasonably priced for an extravagantly decorated venue in the hustle and bustle of London, and whilst we didn’t have time to stop on this occasion, we at Blenheim Design will be sure to return and sample some of the dishes in the recreated glamorous 1920s interior.