There’s a new kid on the block in London’s famous Piccadilly and while it may be a new addition to area, its creator is a household name that we all know and love and who has changed the game when it comes to not only restaurant food but also what you are capable of in your own kitchen.
Jamie Olivers newest restaurant Barbecoa Piccadilly, sits proudly on two floors of the former Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. The building was built between 1881-1883, and opened by the then Prince and Princess of Wales. In later years, two restaurants that inhabited the public gallery took their name from these Royal links; the Princes’ restaurant and, subsequently, the New Princes’ Hotel and Restaurant, in around 1900. The painters remained in the building right up until 1970 when they moved to new premises on the Mall.
In around 1933, the hotel and restaurant were converted into offices and by 1956, Pan American Airways had taken over part of the building, with a booking hall in what is now Barbecoa’s lobby. Part of the building also became the Pigalle Club – a supper club and music venue where artists such as The Beatles and Shirley Bassey performed in its heyday remaining open until 2012.
As the building is swathed in history, redeveloping the basement into the glamourous restaurant in situ today certainly proved challenging to the team. It was during these renovations that a discovery of the building’s former restaurant-life while unsealing a chimney was uncovered. Sitting in the wall was a time capsule containing a menu from the New Princes’ Hotel and Restaurant, dated from 15 January 1925, and two table reservation cards – one of which is clearly marked with the name of Austrian aristocrat Baron de Worms for ‘table 49’, for two people.I had been lucky enough to eat at Barbecoa Piccadilly in March earlier this year which was an incredible experience in itself where I was left to tuck into one of the best steaks in London I have ever eaten. Fast forward to May and it was the perfect opportunity to launch this impressive new venue to the PA community in the surrounding areas. We were lucky enough to work with the incredible Magda Laksander of the Jamie Oliver Group, someone who I regard as one of the best professionals in hospitality in the entire of London. It was our mission to make our mark on a group of people who we knew would adore the venue and the food not only from a business perspective but also a personal perspective, something that is a regular theme of everything that we do at The Assistant Room. Positioned in the lobby area of the venue, guests were able to enjoy the incredible cocktails and selection of wines that Barbecoa has to offer with a full view of the Hollywood-esque bar and its shelves loaded with whiskies from around the world. As a venue that prides itself on incredible barbequed food, an impressive meat display is installed to the right-hand side of the grand doors of Barbecoa immediately setting the scene for what is guaranteed to be a fantastic experience for all guests.
The new Aladdins Cave in Piccadilly, Barbecoa is a sensational work of art. As you transition from the lobby down into the main dining hall via a marble staircase, you are greeted by the beautifully decorated downstairs restaurant. Drawing on its incredible history, with a nod to 1920s glamour of the time capsule’s menu and reservation cards, Barbecoa is a blend of rustic, scorched timber panelling, brass, antique mirror detailing, elegant bespoke leather and mohair furniture to reflect the richness of the food coming out of the kitchen. It will blow you away.Bespoke jewel-green tiles, chandeliers and art deco wooden floors that lead into the open kitchen and cold bar where you can watch the chefs at work hits the spot on the idea of a perfect restaurant interior. The Argentinian grill takes pride of place in the front of the kitchen, where the chefs cook larger cuts of meat such as Chateaubriand, porterhouse and large-cut rib-eye. The Rose Gray private dining room – a tribute to Jamie’s River Café mentor – is decked out in deep reds with imagery donated to them by Rose’s husband. It’s an ever-evolving space that creates an intimate setting for parties and group-dining events. An amazing option for every occasion.With the event in full swing and everyone suitably bubbled up, out came the food. Wagyu beef burgers, short rib croquettes, buttermilk fried chicken burgers, leek and cheddar melts, wild mushroom and stilton sliders and out of this world macaroons, just the memory of the food is edging my hand closer towards my phone to re-book a table there ASAP. With Jamie Oliver, you are never going to get a menu that lacks in creativity, sophistication or excitement and with Barbecoa not only offering a lunch and dinner menu but breakfast, afternoon tea and a roast menu, you could easily make this place your new go-to for all things foodie heaven. Including a children’s menu also ensures that the younger additions to the family can dine with you in a venue that I am certain will have you happy to queue around the block for a table pretty soon.
Let us connect you…
Let our Editor and Head Girlboss Jess connect you directly to the people you need to know at The Jamie Oliver Group for last minute reservations or just to know that you r ein the best hands over there! Contact her directly on firstname.lastname@example.org for a personal introduction, you will never look back!