One of the originals in bringing the American BBQ experience to the British food scene was Bodeans. It’s been over here now since 2002 with branches in Clapham, Fulham, Soho and Tower Hill. When it opened I remember hearing really great things about the place, but just never got around to paying them a visit. However, fast-forward 11 years and I finally found myself on their Clapham branch doorstep.
What you notice when you enter the joint is that it has that distinctive American diner look and feel with padded booths, but much darker and edgier with quirky horned lighting. The vibe was upbeat and buzzing.
The menu is a mix of ribs, burgers, grills, sandwiches and burnt ends. Wanting to try a good selection I opted for the Boss Hog Platter to share with my friend, Otis. This was a good choice – ‘meat heaven’ – spare and baby back ribs, burnt ends, pulled pork, chicken thighs, sausages and the stand out of them all – Jacob’s ladder beef ribs. You get a deep rounded hit of the slow, oak-smoked hunk of meat, but it’s the fat that runs through it that makes it so melt in the mouth tender and a right treat. All other items were good and served with a crisp, crunchy coleslaw and decent fries. The platter is good value at £34.95 as that should suffice two average eaters.
We really shouldn’t have ordered the starters of a nicely made clam chowder and buffalo chicken wings, as the main was more than enough and we just couldn’t finish it all. I’d like to say we tried the dessert, but look at the main pic – it wasn’t gonna happen!
Drinks were great and I took a particular shine to their Rasberry Collins and Otis the Old Fashioned. The waiter also talked us into (we didn’t need much pushing) doing a couple of shots of bourbon with a chase of pickle juice. The latter is an acquired taste that I doubt I’ll be experience again any time soon…Think of downing the juice from a bottle of pickled gherkins that you get from the chip shop and you won’t be far off.
Bodeans is BIG on flavour, BIG on portions and BIG on fun. Sure there are better, hipper places doing awesome things with BBQ’d food, but you know it is what it is, and it does it rather well!
Food I Fancy dined as a guest.
169 Clapham High Street
London SW4 7SS
Tel: 020 7622 4248