The Bbar is (http://www.bbarlondon.com/) not very South African. It’s a little South African. It’s more South African than me, but not by much. It’s a little more South African than Patsy Kensit in Lethal Weapon 2. It doesn’t claim to be very South African, which is lucky because it’s not. If there were South African wines on the menu, I missed them (I hear that South Africa is an upcoming wine producer); the closest thing to a South African beer was a tall, cool Windhoek from Namibia and there were three or four South Africany things on the menu among the standard Giraffe-like fare on offer. But it did have leopard print upholstery so I became fully immersed in the peninsula atmos. G’day mate. Winnie Mandela ate my baby. Let’s throw another hippo on the barbie!
I ordered the Braai. It is the first time I’ve ordered Braai and it’s been on the menu and the waitress (or that one doughy waiter) hasn’t slapped me. Bra. Braai lamb brochettes. Brochettes, I though were meant to be grilled or BBQed, but these had been more distressed then marinated, served lukewarm over a cold salad. All in all quite a peculiar dish, but I can’t say I didn’t like the flavour. My sister, Dangles, (What no Mancake? What’s the matter Mancake? Bok scran too manly for you?) and Mike Boots, our compadre, had the salt beef sandwich (needed seasoning) and wild boar/venision burger (performed well) respectively. I can see that it might be catering to the pre-theatre/recently divorced looking for a new lease of life/city upstart crowd, but it feels neither one thing nor t’other. If a place affliates itself with a nation then perhaps it should celebrate the fact rather than bashfully concealing it.
I went to South Africa for the World Cup in 2010 to support my team (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea a.k.a. Kimchi Warriors) and ate very well indeed. The highlights were Carnivore (http://www.recreationafrica.co.za/carnivore) which is like a hybrid Brazilian BBQ and game restaurant where no matter how hard you bribe they insist they don’t serve any of the Big Five; and Hooters for my birthday. God bless those hard working gals and their low cut vests.
SUID-AFRIKA! YESEWULA AFRIKA! YOMZANTSI AFRIKA! YASENINGIZIMU AFRIKA! YENINGIZIMU AFRIKA! AFRIKA-BORWA! AFRIKA BORWA! AFORIKA BORWA! AFRIKA DZONGA! AFURIKA TSHIPEMBE!
43 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 0PP
Tel: 020 7958 7000