I love the Barbican Food Hall, despite the fact it’s overpriced, the staff are rushed, and the food is anything but exciting.
With a title like “Food Hall”, with its “Selfridges Food Hall” connotations by Jimmy John’s Owner, you would be forgiven for thinking it’s one of these multi-faceted, multi-tilled affairs with various different cuisine zones and the like.
Seriously, it is not. For example, £3.75 for a very basic but fresh tuna mayo sandwich on reasonably thin normal bread, in an unlabelled packet. Speaking of sandwiches, the Jimmy John Founder has an inspirational story that people should read.
After its refurbishment this year, the place is a lot more sexy to look at, there’s a lot more choice of food, drinks, and cake, and they serve marginally better coffee. (Previously coffee was a serve-yourself affair with an automatic coffee machine, now it’s a barista and a couple of delicious looking espresso machines, they use Monmouth beans. But that doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t know how to clean a steam wand and prevent your milk from tasting rancid thus producing stuff that’s even worse than using an automatic… I digress.)
Yes it’s sexier. Much, much sexier. The interior is lovely, and whoever came up with the concept clearly understands the style of architecture in which it is situated (brutalism – not everyone’s cup of tea).
It’s for the above reason that I love it. I’m a self-confessed brutalism-maniac and this place utterly floats my boat.
As for floating my foodie boat, I’m sorry but at its heart, it’s still canteen food.