With its corrugated iron walls, enamel plates and bolts that impale the corn-on-the-cob, Barnyard feels like a joyful reimagining of a John Steinbeck novel. It’s a world away from the restaurant’s sleek environs on Fitzrovia’s Charlotte Street. Owner Ollie Dabbous’ first restaurant, ‘Dabbous’, is as famous for its waiting list as its culinary excellence, but bookings are easier to come by at Barnyard. But don’t let that fool you – the food here is delicious.
Dabbous has ditched his habitual leaning towards fine dining for an informal menu at Barnyard, which deliciously blends British and American comfort food classics (everything from cornbread to sticky toffee pudding). Dishes are herded into categories like “Pig, Cow and Chicken”, with a “grazing” menu for smaller starter-size bites. It’s a playful approach, but the food is taken seriously. Here, the herby sausage rolls are cut through with the sharpness of piccalilli. Chips are triple cooked for crunch and flavour. And crispy squid is enhanced to mouthwatering effect with chilli, lemon and lovage. To wash it all down, Barnyard serves shandies, ales and cider for added farmyard flair. Not to mention wine, the odd cocktail and freshly squeezed juice.