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Bonfire, London

08/27/2015

We thought this was a perfect pick for national burger day…

We’ve just visited Bonfire, the newest edition to the Barbican’s restaurants. With roughly 100 covers, including the outside terrace, this gem sits on the first floor of the centre, facing the water.

Let's get right to it then, the menu focuses on three things; Burgers, Salads and Chicken - which makes for a very fast paced dining experience. On entering we’re given a quaint clipboard menu and a little fire bucket containing cutlery, napkins and more interestingly, a checkbox order sleeve and pencils. The concept is to place the order process in the hands of the diners, each visitor fills in what they want and then takes it up to the bar where they pay, food is then brought out to the table. Simple and effective.

The interior itself remains true to the Barbican’s original structure; the concrete grid ceiling has been left exposed, the corridor to the toilets carries the original rendered wall textures and even the original fire hose still hangs in its place. The design that has been woven into the building has a post industrial feel to it, moving away from the stripped-down, bare-bones industrialism that has been such a dominant element in restaurant design. Bonfire does, however, still have the heavy material focus of industrial design with it’s exposed cable filament pendant lights and tubular steel menu display racks, juxtaposed against exciting injections of colour and energy given by the perimeter tiles and flooring around the bold banquette seating.

Two elements really stood out for us, the timber clad serving hatch and the branding application.  The serving hutch runs the full length of the kitchen, creating a narrow window into the kitchen, the effect of which creates the illusion of an open kitchen environment becoming a focal point for customers. The wall surrounding the frame has been clad with timber and stamped with the restaurant’s logo making for a very sleek detail. The second thing we really loved was the branding, the fire bucket condiment box, the menus; even the pencils carried the same sophisticated yet playful feel to them.

We opted to sit outside and watch the gently rippling water of the Barbican while we tucked into our food.  It was a pleasant evening complimented perfectly with an hour’s dining in the Barbican’s latest addition. Definitely recommend the burgers!

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