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Black Barrel

Restaurant - Global

Describing itself as an “unorthodox rum specialist and finger food bar”, Black Barrel is a stripped floors, exposed brickwork, red neon sign art kind of joint, specialising in creative cocktails and all-day dining of the globally inspired small plates variety.

Finger food doesn’t really do it justice: aside from a snack of beef and chicken flavoured popcorn, these aren’t just nibbles, they’re a tad bigger and a whole lot more sophisticated than, say, a couple of canapés balanced in a napkin at a fortieth birthday party. The choice is quite extensive, too, and even has plant-based offers outstripping meat, plus various vegetarian and seafood options to boot. Of the latter, a ceviche of sea bass provides citrus zing plus cucumber, radish, pomegranate and mint for a really refreshing, colourful and posh-looking tostada, while the vegan taco sees a corn tortilla loaded with samphire and beetroot along with beer-battered mock fish. Latin American flavours sneak into the pulled pibil pork on homemade cornmeal arepa cakes, the pipian-saucy slow-braised beef short rib in a soft tortilla and the spicy chimichurri and cola chicken wings, just one of the many gluten-free dishes. How many you order is up to your hunger levels and allegiance to serious drinking time, but make sure you factor in dessert: we hear the red velvet churros are not only a thing of beauty, but also tick the taste box with lashings of dulce de leche.

So, those cocktails, that rum. Most of the cocktails contain rum, that much is true, and if you’re stuck over choices, how about having three in one – there’s a mini cocktail sharer option to give you a triple taster. And it wouldn’t be right to leave without having an El Presidente, complete with two rums: Curaçao and Costa Rica’s Centanario 7.

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