Unlike the majority of queue-or-you-lose-out trendy London restaurants, Barnyard is incredibly civilised and customer-friendly considering the new Dabbous restaurant’s popularity. Instead of shivering outside hopefully, waiting for a table for two to become available, the friendly plaid-shirted man at the door instead told us to pop for a nice drink door, promising to ring us as soon as a table was free.
Forty five minutes and a shared carafe of wine later, we settled into our cosy nook in the dining room at the back of the restaurant. The decoration is a cross between Nordic and Bumpkin; all corrugated iron, real fencing and stripped plank tables. Some of the chairs are actually oil drums too.
The most exciting thing about Barnyard, though is undoubtedly the very reasonably priced menu. With sides costing around £3 (we tried creamy cauliflower cheese, warm cornbread, charred broccoli and chicory salad with lovage), most of us should be able to enjoy a meal here, even when payday is looming.
We ordered based on dishes we saw going out to other tables and it definitely paid off; the roast beef on toast with warm horseradish buttermilk (£9) was the most well considered dish I’ve eaten in a long time, with a scattering of capers and cornichon slices cutting through the creamy sauce and the smoky, rich meat.
The drinks menu is pretty special too, with a selection of boozy shakes where rum and bourbon lead the charge highly recommended by the bar staff, also all in natty plaid shirts. The Barnyard iced tea (£6), mixes English tea, lemon, agave, scotch and mica beer. It tasted punchy, but refreshing and although I drank it too quickly to check, I’m sure that it would pair well with the really precise food on the menu.
What was the damage? £30 each, including a bottle of wine, more food than we could finish and a couple of cocktails. We’ll be barnstorming back, baby.