Last week I scored an invite to what is basically my perfect foodie event – BBQ and beer at Bodean’s!
To celebrate the recent opening of the Covent Garden branch, Bodean’s put on a special food and beer pairing for us in collaboration with some of their favourite breweries.
Now I tend to avoid pairings usually as they’re usually wine – and while I like a nice glass of red now and then, too much of the stuff will have me under the table. But, beer on the other hand… beer I can drink! Don’t worry, I don’t need to be admitted to the Transition Recovery Program anytime soon, I always moderate.
Course 1 – Kona Brewery from Hawaii ‘Big Wave Golden Ale’ with Mexican Chicken Salad
When I think Bodeans I don’t think salad. Well, I might in future because the Mexican Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken was pretty special.
With avocado, tomatoes, black beans, radish and wild rice, dressed in honey, lime and coriander, this was basically a naked burrito. And I love burritos. In all their forms.
I’ve recently started thinking I need to do something about my weight, but I love food so much! This salad however has made me realise that there are healthy options even in the most unexpected of places. And without the chicken this is a fantastic Vegan option – I didn’t expect anything Vegan friendly at Bodean’s!
Big Wave Golden Ale was the perfect accompaniment. Smooth and easy to drink, with mango and lychee aromas, I could drink this one all day.
Course 2 – Boulevard Brewing Co. from Kansas City ‘Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale’ with Pulled Pork and house coleslaw
Ah, the pulled pork – one of Bodean’s stand out dishes. What can I say about it? What do I actually need to say about it? It was delicious. But you knew that already.
I will give the house coleslaw a mention though, as it’s unusual for me to actually like coleslaw. I really dislike mayo, and coleslaw is usually basically just that. Not this coleslaw though. This was cabbage heavy and light. A perfect contrast to the pork.
Boulevard Brewing Co actually had a representative at the event who gave us a little insight to the drinks of theirs we were sampling (as well as Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, an IPA was served with course 4).
Tank 7 was my favourite of the beers we tried. Typical given it had a whopping 8.5% alcohol content – trust me to like the one that will get me wasted! Named after the rather difficult fermenter number 7 it was brewed in, Tank 7 is a complex, fruity Belgian style ale with a dry finish. I’ll be honest, this is one I’d prefer for standalone drinking to pairing with BBQ though.
Course 3 – Sierra Nevada from Chico, California ‘Tropical IPA’ with Cajun Swordfish with mango salsa and pan fried okra
Now this dish was the most interesting for me. I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to fish – I’m always a little hesitant to try it. And not only was this my first time trying swordfish but also okra! I’d heard bad things about okra but it was actually pretty nice. It tasted, erm, a bit furry? But not in a bad way. I know how weird that sounds.
Anyway, the swordfish. It was really nice! Texturally a bit meaty, but I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what generally eating swordfish is like. I’m not sure it was particularly ‘cajun’? But it was good so I didn’t really care.
Funnily, the foods I hadn’t tried before were served with the one beer I had – Sierra Nevada’s Tropical IPA. So I already knew I liked it. Tropical IPA is their special seasonal beer for Spring 2016 – created as part of their Beer Camp in which beer fans visit the brewery to make their own creations. Each season one is picked to go into production. I’m not surprised this light, refreshing IPA with hints of mango, papaya and bitter orange made the cut, it’s lovely.
Course 4 – Boulevard Brewing Co ‘Single-Wide IPA’ with Baby Back Ribs with seasoned fries
Apparantly Bodean’s do the ‘best ribs this side of the Atlantic’ (no idea who actually said that but it’s quoted on their site!). I won’t argue to be honest because if I have had better baby back ribs in London then I don’t remember them. Not too messy but just messy enough, the meat just falls off the bone. Meaty, barbecuey perfection.
They were served alongside another Boulevard Brewing Co beer – this time the Single-Wide IPA. I do enjoy a good IPA and this was a nice one. Medium body, medium bitterness with a floral aroma and slight caramel flavour. Another that I could just drink and drink.
Course 5 – Fullers Brewery from London ‘Black Cab Stout’ with Homemade Chocolate Brownie and vanilla ice cream
Does anyone ever make it to dessert at Bodean’s? I was stuffed by this point but who could resist a mini portion of homemade chocolate brownie? Decadent and delicious.
And it went perfectly with the Black Cab Stout. I was a little unsure of this one – I’m not usually a stout drinker – but it was good! With hints of red berry and caramel, the chocolate malts in the stout made this perfect to go with dessert. Not sure I could drink it all the time though!
Now, if you’re not familiar with Bodean’s, I’m pretty certain you’ve either not been to London or just don’t like BBQ food.
But just in case – Bodean’s is London’s original smokehouse, with six branches across the city – Soho, Fulham, Tower Hill, Balham, Covent Garden and the newly opened Old Street.
Located in the heart of London’s theatreland, the Covent Garden branch is a pretty recent addition, having only been open a couple of months. I’d never been to this Bodean’s before but now it’s one of my favourites!
I love the detail that has gone into the décor – there are little pigs all over the place!
From the bar…
to this giant artwork made up of lots of teeny piggys…
to the flashy BBQ sign. Cute.
Thanks for having me Bodean’s!
All photo’s my own unless specified otherwise.