One of the girls at work recommended Peasant at The Barracks so I dutifully filed it away in my list of restaurants to visit. I swear, no matter how often I eat out and how many venues I tick off, the list is always growing.
Last weekend was my bestie Kat's birthday and because I have always been and forever will be terrible at choosing birthday presents, I stuck to what I know best and took her out for food and drink. It occurred to me that Peasant would be the ideal location for this as the focus is on share plates and cocktails. This is the perfect combination for a girls night out.
You can get free parking for up to 3 hours at The Barracks if you get your ticket validated by Peasant. We didn't have to worry about that because Marc kindly offered to give us a lift to and from Paddington. We walked up to Peasant from one side and my first thought was that it was very quiet. Once we entered the building, I realised this was just an illusion. The restaurant is huge! It takes up an expansive indoor dining space plus more in the courtyard out the back. I'm pretty sure that space is where Libertine used to be because we ended up sitting opposite to where I sat at Libertine.
Kat and I were umming and ahhing over whether to sit inside and out and I'm glad we chose the courtyard because it was just beautiful. I have a soft spot for fairy lights at night and the trees were adorned with lights, which gave it a magical feel.
Cocktails to start with
Kat and I dived right into the cocktail menu before we even looked at food (duh, this was a birthday celebration after all). She chose the sweet and sour (I think that's what it was called) and I went for Peasant's version of a pisco sour. The cocktails were nicely balanced though I did like Kat's more than mine and ended up choosing it as my second.
Catalan flat bread - with spiced yoghurt
For our food, we decided to pick an assortment of tapas to share. The first thing that was brought out was the flatbread and spiced yoghurt. The bread had a nice pop of rock salt and dried herbs but I would have preferred them to be hotter and crispier.
Peasant charcuterie board
Next came the charcuterie board, with a duo of cured meat, manchego cheese, pate, cornichons, soft chorizo, mushroom salami and bread. It was fun picking through the range of food and trying out different combinations. As per Kat's suggestion, I liked the jamon with cheese on bread the best.
Zucchini tortillas - with spiced pumpkin
The zucchini fritters came as 4 separate, decent-sized fritters. I think these helped us fill up. Taste-wise, again I would have appreciated more crunch because the fritters felt more like pancakes.
Grilled chorizo with black garlic aioli
The grilled chorizo was very delicious though, nicely charred and full of flavour. It was served with a black garlic aioli that tasted as good as it looked. We ended up using this aioli to dip lots of other things.
We saved some room for dessert and chose the churros to share. I am normally too much of a pig to share dessert but these churros come in an enormous serve. Each individual churro is thick, puffy and soft with a crunchy cinnamon sugar coating. They tasted freshly cooked too, which is so important for deep-fried food.
Kat and I had a great time at Peasant. The atmosphere was lovely and the place was busy but we never felt neglected. We had one particular waitress who attended to us more than others and she was so, so nice. The food was tasty and the cocktails were easy to drink but lifted our moods. The standout dish for me was the giant churros.