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Tuesday 30 September 2014

Bee's Knees Barnyard...

Barnyard in a nutshell is small but perfectly formed, when I come to think of it a lot like Mini Mouse! Serving up oh-so-delicious grub with a first come, first serve policy so no ridonkulous two-month waiting lists to sit out.

Chef, Ollie Dabbous’ second venture, his first being the notoriously hard to get into but utterly impressive, Dabbous. Myself, Mini Mouse and two fabulous friends, were lucky enough to bag ourselves a table at Dabbous when it first opened and were blown away by the tasting menu – I knew I was in for something a little more low-key with Barnyard but none the less I was pretty excited to taste-test Dabbous’ latest foodie creation!

Located on bustling Charlotte Street, I headed there on a Thursday night with a few work pals for a much needed team night out! Apparently the queues have been pretty out of control but we were lucky enough to be seated immediately on the upper mezzanine level, ideal spot for people watching!

So d├ęcor - we’re talking industrial chic meets rustic barn vibes – peeling wallpaper, bricks, corrugated iron walls, low hanging metal lights and chunky distressed wooden worktops. Basically my dream kind of interior. 

The restaurant does show its softer side too with jugs of beautiful flowers scattered around the barn... 

First up and most importantly … a strong drink! We were instantly drawn to the fun sounding shandies, from the ‘Barnyard’ made up of homemade lemonade, gin and abro larger to ‘Hedgerow shandy’ which was a pink grapefruit, tonic, sloe gin and wyld wood cider concoction! We all opted for the shandy of our dreams and merrily kept them coming! 

Their also offering a seriously impressive array of boozy milkshakes - strawberry and elderflower, popcorn, malt and blueberry pancake to name a few, all of which come spiked with a good dose of alcohol from bourbon to tequila – my kinda shake!

The menu is made up of lots of small plates to share, all grouped under food type e.g. cow, beef, eggs etc. – always a winner if the portions are big enough as it means that you get to taste a little bit of everything, escaping the dreaded food envy feeling! Thankfully the portions were on the manly scale so no rationing necessary! Our dishes all pretty much arrived at the same time – a big fan of that – and were beautifully presented in blue and white enamel dishes adding to the casual dining experience Dabbous is shooting for.

We ordered up just about everything on the menu. Starting with warm cornbread that came presented in a brown paper bag stamped with the date – heavenly buttery bread that had us all oohing and ahhing. A good sign of what lay ahead…

Then the food just kept on coming and coming from seriously moreish homemade sausage rolls with piccalilli…

…to grilled spring lamb with mint sauce, peas and radishes… 

Green asparagus with soft boiled egg, chervil & sunflower seeds… 

We also devoured crispy chicken wings with smoked paprika, garlic & lemon which were, in true KFC-style, finger lickin’ good, corn on the cob with gorgeously salty butter and of course good old fashioned French fries!

After all of that we were about ready to pop but we couldn’t leave without trying some of the puds on offer so we waved our waiter over and ordered up a few potions of the naughty but nice popcorn ice cream with smoked fudge sauce and then Eton Mess which is always delish! 

One word – epic. Add this gem to the little black book pronto – go, immediately!

18 Charlotte Street
020 7580 3842

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