London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013



Imagine a hypothetical situation where you're on death row (for a crime you didn't commit, obviously). You're offered a last meal, what do you go for? It would have to be something that brings pleasure like nothing else, the ultimate comfort food. For us, it would have to be a southern barbecue, sweet sticky glazes covering mountains of meat, smoked for so long that it falls apart if you so much as glance at it.

Luckily, it's not just reserved for final meals and there are plenty of places all over London serving up brisket, ribs and pulled pork with lashings of smoky sauce: just the way we like it. Few places however, do it as well as Bodean's. A mini-chain with four restaurants in Clapham, Fulham, Soho and one, which we visited recently, overlooking the Tower of London. With the appearance of looking half-way between a whisky dive bar and an American sports diner, it's the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the ultimate in 'dude food'.

Being independently owned, Bodean’s takes incredible pride in their meat, making it some of the tastiest available. The four branches get through a combined seven tonnes of locally sourced meat and prime cuts imported from premium Scottish and American herds. It is all smoked and prepared at a top secret central London location, almost like an Aladdin's Cave full to the brim with meat – a lot of meat!

Bodean's was the first barbecue pit of its type to open in London, so it's no surprise they are masters of meat. The love and attention really shows in the food, as well as over a decade of experience.  On our visit to the restaurant, we ordered the burnt ends and pulled pork combo, which comes with a huge portion of fries and homemade 'slaw. Burnt ends, we must point out, are not, as the name implies, overdone. They are a beautifully tender, flavourful delicacy cut from the end of the beef brisket. Coated in a sweet, sticky barbecue sauce, they melt in the mouth and bring instant joy. The pulled pork comes in generous portions with the shredded, slow-cooked pork shoulder counterbalancing the glazy richness of the burnt ends. There is no way to avoid a smile whilst eating this food; it's the ultimate good-time meal, relaxed, informal and best shared with good friends.

Naturally, being Southern-inspired, we had to accompany the food with a bourbon or two. Usually we take it on the rocks or with a dash of Coke, but the barman recommended some cocktails that were too good to turn down, including one of Jim Beam, mango, agave and pale ale; and one with Jim Beam Devil's Cut (extracted from the wood of the barrel and blended at 90% proof) with vanilla liqueur and espresso coffee, making a great we twist on the classic espresso martini.

Now, we can die happy.

16 Byward Street, EC3R 5BA

Average price of main course: £14
Average price of cocktail: £9
Food/drink: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Value: 5/5


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