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BARBICAN LIFE


excellent place to meet friends as smaller eaters can chose lighter plates from the Aperitivo menu while hungrier people can simply have more dishes


or select


something from the regular menu. Between 5pm and 7pm Monday to Sunday beverage offers include: £5 off a bottle of wine; £15 per bottle of prosecco instead of £24; 95p off a pint of draught Peroni. We were surprised at just how many


Carluccio’s Aperotivo Bar


S


View from our table at Barbecoa Photo: Lawrence Williams


New Aperitivo Bar at Carluccio’s Smithfield


tep into the recently redesigned Carluccio’s in West Smithfield and you will notice how warm and


welcoming the cream, russet and brown colour scheme feels. The three large photos of rural Italian shop fronts draw you into an ambience of fresh, informal simplicity and relaxed, timeless companionship. In the evenings the lighting is soft and cosy which contrasts well with the view through the front windows of Smithfield Park’s massive trees. There is a new Aperitivo Bar in the front


part of Carluccio’s now. Here the menu is tapas-style. We visited on a Tuesday evening and enjoyed Caponata – a tasty Sicilian aubergine stew - cooked with olives and pine nuts and served with flat bread - £2.50; Gamberoni – juicy grilled king prawns wrapped in pancetta - £3.95; Capricci – small red peppers stuffed with tuna - £4.95; Pollo farcito – sliced, stuffed chicken leg - £2.75. Peach bellinis and prosecco accompanied the food well and we chose a lovely light amaretto and peach pannacotta desert (£4.95) from the regular menu. We found the Aperitivo Bar to have an


The banquettes


agreeable, lively atmosphere with a smart casual crowd spanning all ages. It is an


grocery items are still available to buy from the smaller deli shelf area – a sizeable range of pastas, sauces, wines, bread, chocolates, deserts and more. In addition there is also still a selection of take away dishes available to order from the kitchen. Carluccio’s: 11-12 West Smithfield


EC1A 9JR. Telephone:0207 329 5904 Opening hours Monday to Friday 7.30am to 11pm Saturday 9am to 11pm Sunday 9am to 10.30pm


Stephanie Ross W


Barbecoa - Great steaks and ribs at One New Change


e are now completing our full house of the major, opposed to fast food,


as


restaurants in London’s One New Change shopping centre across from St Pauls Cathedral with a visit to Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa ‘barbecue’ restaurant and were impressed. Some reviews we have read have been a bit mixed, particularly with regard to service but I have to say that on the night – and the restaurant which can seat just under 200 people was pretty full – service was friendly, prompt and efficient. Barbecue restaurant? Not sure what this


conjures up – burnt sausages – or boerewors if you are South African or have spent time there as I have – cooked over smoky coals, or more likely gas grills nowadays, and meat which may be anything from raw to heavily overcooked? This certainly was not the case here. One has to say that Jamie Oliver, in conjunction with his


American


collaborator, barbecue expert Adam Perry Lang, seems to have come up with a winner – at least judging by the extremely good business the restaurant was doing during our visit. It certainly appeals to the City crowd and presumably the Jamie Oliver name also brings in a clientele not only from the UK, but also from around the world in terms of London visitors. The restaurant itself


is large and


effectively U-shaped being designed around the large open kitchen which contains all


24


kinds


of


barbecuing-related cooking


devices – Japanese robata grills, tandoor oven, fire pits, Argentinian grill, Texan smoker – indeed virtually everything needed to get the enhanced barbecue effect. One has read that the restaurant designers had to go through the hoops to get all the necessary


safety and


ventilation/extraction approvals for the kitchen and as far as the latter is concerned there is a veritable array of ducts heading up towards the roof space and out somewhere, heaven knows where! Indeed the kitchen is very impressive and the staff working there seem remarkably cool and collected given the heat being given off by all the cooking devices. Part of the restaurant , notably the main


section with the spectacular views of St. Paul’s Cathedral through huge picture windows, is designed with large pinkish banquettes surrounding marble topped tables on three sides – a bit of a waiter’s


nightmare in terms of actually delivering the various courses. Some of the banquettes can seat up to ten or perhaps 11 people which gives you an idea of the potential problem – if you have a weak bladder don’t sit in the middle! However, so saying, with a large group of mostly


large people


occupying the banquette next to us, everything did seem to work OK. The rest of the restaurant area is set with


smallish polished wooden tables which can be pushed together to form almost any sized seating option – definitely more practical, but perhaps less fun, than the banquettes. Being full the ambience is noisy and with heavy beat piped music was not that conducive to easy conversation for one whose ears have probably suffered from working with explosives in his youth – however not nearly


as bad as some


restaurants I have eaten in – including Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen


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