It’s Wednesday evening and me and my gal pal are sporting crimped hair, lashings of blue eye shadow and ‘Frankie Says Relax’ tees avec les shoulder pads. We’re heading for the launch of a pop-up menu, jam packed full of ’80s style treats, at Barbarella in Fulham. Frankly, I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it.
The restaurant, which is about as close to Stamford Bridge as you can get without losing your missus to John Terry, recently received a copy of one of their ’80s menus from a long standing customer. Newly appointed Head Chef Lauren Clement Delbos has been charged with the task of recreating a selection of the Italian dishes of the time. And she’s done a tremendous job. What pops into your mind when you hear ‘80s grub’? Perhaps as I reel off some of the ’80s treats you can mark them on your retro fodder bingo card.
To start, platters of salmon tartar and shot glasses of gazpacho were marched out of the kitchen to a soundtrack of Lady in Red, while Dorset crab, pulled out, shredded and thrown back in to its shell, sat next to a plate of chicken liver pâté on melba toast accompanied by gherkins. Melon adorned with Parma ham was the last dish of a delightful plethora of starters. A top up later and the mains were waltzed out to the theme of Girls on Film. The parade commenced with pan-seared tuna steak on a bed of oriental noodles, followed by sea bass drizzled with lemon and dill. The fungi risotto was flanked by a super garlicky beast of a chicken Kiev on a pile of mash while Annie sung what we were all undoubtedly thinking: sweet dreams are indeed made of this.
Savoury stuff scoffed, Barbarella dimmed the lights. Guests were invited to get up and boogie to the house band and work up an appetite for scrumptious tiramisu pancakes, ahead of a fruit platter featuring several generous wedges of dragon fruit. A jelly and cream-type concoction much like trifle but without the sponge was strangely comforting and will serve to remind you of your family Christmas parties at Grandma’s house.
Tapping into our great love of nostalgia, Barbarella have concocted a really fun menu and you wanna know the best part? You pay ’80s prices for the goods too! Starters are £1-2 and mains will set you back £2 or £3. (Wine and cocktail lists are unfortunately modern prices!)
Until Saturday 25 May, the ’80s menu will be available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7.30pm, with a special Friday and Saturday outing on Bank Holiday weekend only (24/25 May) The classic dishes will be served to a maximum of 50 diners per evening (25 over the weekend) and make sure to specify you’re after the ’80s menu when booking.
428 Fulham Road
Tel: 020 7920 6430