Last night Steve and I visited Barnyard in Fitzrovia, I'd been meaning to visit ever since it opened last year but you know how it is with new restaurants opening all the time, some places just slip you by. However, it was definitely worth the wait as Ollie Dabbous' dirty food joint was the perfect remedy for a cold March evening. The food is messy, indulgent and totally delicious. I can see Barnyard becoming a firm favourite for me as the sharing plates menu, robust cocktails and casual atmosphere are just my thing. I'm already planning our next visit to sample everything we missed out on the menu.
We had a couple of drinks over the course of the evening. I tried both cider cocktails which were deliciously refreshing but the Hedgerow Shandy (pink grapefruit, tonic, sloe gin and Wyld Wood cider) definitely stood out for it's sweet and slightly fizzy taste. The Orchard Shandy (grape, cherry, lime, gin and Wyld Wood cider) was just as delicious but not as fruity.
Steve went for the Einstox white ale and the bubblegum hard shakes. I don't drink milk so I'm not sure how this tasted but Steve assures me it was very nice, with quite a subtle taste of bubblegum.
We started with the warm cornbread which was lovely, dense and slightly sticky. Filled with corn kernels this was a lovely portion of bread and perfect for dipping into the dumpling dish later on.
The sausage roll was one of my favourite plates of the evening. Beautiful, flakey pastry wrapped around a generous portion of rich. tasty pork. Without a doubt the best sausage roll I've ever tasted.
The suckling pork was just as delicious with an extremely crispy crackling and tender, succulent pork belly underneath.
The mince and dumpling dish was something that really appealed to Steve (I wanted the roast beef) but I'm really glad we ordered it because the the mince was lovely and rich with a generous springy dumpling. This reminded me of home cooking as it was full of rustic flavours yet didn't feel stodgy.
Chicken wings are something I am always going to order if I see them on the menu and these, without a doubt, are some of the best I've ever tasted. Not too hot, with a satisfyingly crunchy skin, the meat was tender and easily fell away from the bone. 100% completely delicious!
The charred broccoli was cooked perfectly al dente and the vinaigrette had a refreshing tangy taste, a very nice side dish.
The. Best. Corn. I've. Ever. Tasted. Need I say much more? I wish we had ordered one each as this stuff is too good to share. The meadowsalt butter takes a normally simple dish to taste levels of complete joy.
I'm a little fussy when it comes to desserts, there's normally only one, maybe two options on a menu that interest me so it was a shock to find that I wanted to order all four! Steve went for the apple and cloudberry crumble. Isn't cloudberry such a lovely word? The fruit was sweet and retained a little bite and the crumble topping with deliciously buttery with a nice crunch. A crumble may be a simple dish but when done well it's truly indulgent. This hit the spot!
I have simple dessert tastes and ice cream is my number one love in this area, even soft serve. This dessert was perfect in every single way. Delicious vanilla soft serve, crunchy popcorn and an indulgent smoked hot fudge sauce. Heavenly!
On our way to Goodge Street Station we popped into the Reverend J. W. Simpson for a quick night cap. This darkly lit, underground cocktail bar is just spot on for a late night drink away from the crowds and noisy bars With table service and an interesting cocktail list I was grateful for the recommendation from our Barnyard waiter. I went for a Blue Leaf Clover (gin, blueberry syrup, lemon and egg white) which was simple yet delicious. Steve had a Port in a Storm which is a variation on a Dark n Stormy with added port, just his thing.
We had a lovely evening with great food and drink and I will definitely be visiting Barnyard again soon. I really like the sound of the roast beef, bubble and squeak, chicken burger, chicory salad and cauliflower cheese - another perfect dinner. Fitzrovia is a great place for food and cocktails bars and an area of London I really ought to spend more time in.