Published on June 2nd, 2016 | by Ben Southwood0
Summary: You may find better BBQ elsewhere in London, but Bodean's is an enjoyable dining experience nonetheless
I have a friend who was obsessed with Bodean’s. For a period of his life, he didn’t go more than a week without going. It got to the point where his girlfriend vetoed it and he had to go alone but still he went. I can’t say that Bodean’s inspires that kind of fervour in me, but there’s something about its consistency that is extremely charming. I’ve been to Bodean’s a few times, and everything was comfortingly the same in this one as elsewhere.
Bodean’s is a chain barbecue joint. It serves smoked pork baby back or spare ribs; beef ribs; the burnt ends of beef brisket, and smoked chicken. But unlike most of London’s other barbecue joints, that offer very limited menus, and typically limit themselves to serving only smoked offerings, Bodean’s has a gigantic menu. It serves everything under the sun! Chicken wings? They got ’em, with five different sauce options. Steaks? What kind do you want. Lobster, mac n cheese, the list goes on. Bodean’s serves everything, and most of it comes for a fairly reasonable price and at a fairly reasonable standard of quality.
We opted for buffalo wings, that, weirdly don’t come with typical buffalo sauce (Frank’s Hot Sauce mixed with butter) but were marinated for buffalo flavour. Strange. They also fail on the other typical standards of proper wingness—crispy skin and proper detaching. The skin on these wings isn’t crispy, it’s soft. And they leave the wing all in one piece, with the inedible wingtip still attached. I’m sorry, Bodeans’, but the correct way to do wings is to chop the useless wingtip off, and serve the remaining part in two parts: drumstick and double-boned wing. But somehow the wings are quite good anyway, with juicy, firm flesh. A mystery.
I had burnt ends and pulled pork with chaps and it had the same perplexing decentness. It didn’t excel based on the standards of Pitt Cue or Shotgun, London BBQ standard-bearers, but it still tasted good. The burnt ends weren’t charred, they were just tender bits of brisket, but that was fine. The pulled pork was weirdly dry, but that was itself weirdly satisfying. It was somehow good. There’s not much to say about the desserts except they were decent.
When I told my friend I was reviewing Bodean’s he said he said I should tread softly, for I treaded upon his dreams. Bodean’s was like a friend of his and he couldn’t bear to hear words against it, even when he knew that some of their dishes weren’t actually the best. Well maybe I’m coming round to his side: I can’t put my finger on what exactly makes Bodean’s enjoyable, because many of their dishes fail in obvious ways, but somehow it’s a very pleasing place indeed. I enjoyed my dinner very much.
We visited the newly opened Bodean’s in Covent Garden. You can find Bodean’s restaurants in Soho, Balham, Clapham and Tower Hill.
Bodeans Covent Garden, 25 Catherine St, WC2B 5JSShare This Post