Pigging out in the City [review]

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On Thursday evening, a friend and I attended the launch of Bodean’s Bar, located in the City just near Tower Hill. I was lucky enough to receive an invite from Twitter – thank you Rachel!

Bodean’s BBQ has five branches across London, all serving up Kansas City barbecue – including some of the best ribs and wings I’ve had this side of the Atlantic.  Months after moving to London, BBQ was the first food I was homesick for, (I’m still on a search for traditional Mexican and an affordable sushi bar) and the Bodean’s in Fulham was my first stop. I had never been to the Tower Hill branch, so Thursday evening gave me the perfect chance to sample a few drinks and bites of food.

When we arrived, we were given a warm welcome and ushered to the bar to try some of the fabulous cocktails they had on offer. A whiskey sour, served in lovely Four Roses jam jars was the perfect start to the evening. It was fresh, lively and let the bourbon shine through, and lacked in that pre-mixed, overly sweet taste that can, sadly, ruin this wonderful drink. The mint juleps were satisfactory, but a bit more spearmint in the drink, rather than just as a garnish, would have been appreciated, as the drink was slightly overpowered by the bourbon and sugar. We even found the group of  men next to us chewing the mint garnish before sipping, in the hope of balancing out the drink. On a hot summer’s evening, there’s nothing I long for more than a cold beer to go with my BBQ, and the selection of beers at Bodean’s is worth a special mention, and included some of my favorites from the States: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sam Adams and Honey Brown Lager.

Whilst we didn’t have the opportunity to sample the full menu, the few bites we had were fantastic; what could go better with drinks than bite-sized pulled pork sandwiches, nachos and smoky, honey pork ribs?

The interior of the bar represents a marked change from how I hear it was, (and can see on their website) just a few weeks ago. My guest and I got to chatting with the builders responsible for the amazing transformation – turns out they were able to do it in just 10 days! The space is now incredibly inviting – dark wood paneling, comfortable bar stools, and a long, solid bar that I can easily imagine packed with thirsty people on a Friday after work.

All in all, a great night. Staff were friendly, and despite it being the launch night, service was incredibly efficient. And we left with a fantastic goody bag of Bodean’s BBQ sauce, (which I intend to use this weekend in my pulled pork sandwiches) discount vouchers, and Thin Blue Smoke, a novel appropriately touching on barbecue, bourbon, and growing up in Kansas City.

Bodean’s Bar is a great place to head if you’re in the City and in the mood for a great bourbon cocktail with some of the best finger food I’ve ever had in that part of town.  If I’m in the City in the evening and seeking out ‘a’ nosh and cocktail, I often find myself trekking to Shoreditch/Hoxton to either find an open establishment, or one that isn’t part of some mediocre chain. But now, I’ve found a bit more incentive to stay in the City, and will soon be heading back to Bodean’s for a few drinks, and perhaps a few more of those delicious, delicious ribs. Mmm..tastes like home.

The 411:

Bodean’s Tower Hill
16 Byward Street
London, EC3R 5BA
Tel: 020 7488 3883

Bodean's on Urbanspoon


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