Barnyard is the second restaurant by Ollie Dabbous and Oskar Kinsberg, the duo behind the more-than-difficult-to-book restaurant Dabbous in the same area. Though related Barnyard is hugely different. As the name suggest it is a much stripped down version of Dabbous. No hay balls in sight but unpolished wood decorating the walls and tables plus a mix match of bar chairs are part of what creates a rural feel in the city. Barnyard has a no reservation policy for those who can’t get an evening table at Dabbous but hope to be able to experience a drizzle of that kitchen wizardry. Just be warned that the food is as humble as the name Barnyard suggests. How good this simplicity is remained to be tasted.
I expected some queuing this Tuesday evening but surprisingly the restaurant was almost empty around 8.30 pm when we arrived. To be fair Monday was a bank holiday. The staff were dressed in casual shirts and were equally casual in attitude. The menu is divided into Pig, Lamb, Cow, Chicken, Egg with 1-2 dishes in each section. On top of that there are a couple of Vegetables/Sides and Puddings dishes to complement the meal with.
We ordered pork and we got pork, nothing less, nothing more, except for a small cup of celeriac. Crispy skin is the single most important thing on a roasted suckling pig which it was here. The celeriac and caraway was crisp and fresh. I would say this was a dish more about texture than flavour, in a good way.
Another spartan plate of meat was served. The lamb meat was very tender and juicy. The complementing mint sauce added freshness and went well with the meat. Flavours were crisp and well defined. Compared to the suckling pig the lamb was more flavourful.
The smell of charred broccoli was quite nice. The first bite was a punch of flavours. Though it became a bit too much after two pieces.
Bubble & Squeak was an disappointment. The main reason why I ordered the dish, the black pudding, I expected to be bigger and more “meaty”. Instead it was hiding beneath the fried egg and barely added character to the dish.
After the frugal character of the food we had so far I didn’t expect much theater on the desserts. The waffle we ordered came as expected on it’s own accompanied by a wonderfully rich chocolate sauce served on the side.
Light, crisp and clean are three words I would use to describe the Lemon Posset. It’s the kind of dessert that works wonder after a heavy meal. Perfect ending.
The service was exceptionally quick on this exceptionally empty post Bank Holiday evening. Most dishes were served at the same time. Although simple at first sight the precision of flavours showed that it wasn’t just ingredients put on a plate. It’s a nice restaurant if you live around the area. Barnyard is the kind of place you can just pop by without any booking and expect well cooked food without the theater on the floor and vanity on the plates.
For more photos from Barnyard, please visit my Flickr set.
18 Charlotte Street
London, W1T 2LZ
Tel. +44 (20) 7580 3842 (No booking policy)