A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited down to Roast restaurant to review some of their dishes for my blog. Of course I was excited – who doesn’t love a good roast dinner!? It’s one of my all-time favourite meals and I have so many fond childhood memories of roast dinners – to this day they still bring back such a wonderful sense of childhood nostalgia. We’d always have it in the evening and I remember looking forward to it all day, with the delicious smells coming from the kitchen all afternoon and my dad joking that it was the only meal he could cook.
My parents and sister used to love the leg and thigh meat, which left both of the chicken breasts for me (sometimes I wonder how such a tiny child put away so much food!), but my favourite part was always the crispy roast potatoes! Sunday roast is a time-honoured tradition for so many British families, and when I met Marcus it was no different – but I did discover that my roast dinner experience could be taken to a whole new level! Unlike my family, his mum would serve it up at lunch-time, and the entire kitchen counter would be piled up with pots and pans of different veggies, meats, both mashed and roast potatoes, homemade stuffing and jugs full of thick gravy – it was literally like a buffet! His mum also introduced me to the concept of having a Yorkshire pudding with gravy for starters, then another one with our main meal – a tradition I never want to go back on.
To this day, we still ask his mum if she’ll cook up one of her incredible roast dinners whenever we go back up North, and we have yet to finish one of her roast dinners without having to roll up to take a nap afterwards! So imagine how excited I was when I had the opportunity to eat at a restaurant solely dedicated to the incredible roast dinner 🙂
Roast is located right in the heart of the incredible food heaven that is Borough Market – one of the first food markets I visited and it still remains one of my favourites to date!
Launched in 2005, and famed for its quality British cuisine, Roast uses the finest seasonal produce sourced from the neighbouring stalls of Borough Market to create traditional favourites such as Beef Wellington, Poached Cod and Welsh Lamb Rump alongside its infamous roast dinners; known as one of the best in the capital.
In addition to the above, Roast has launched some exciting new dishes onto its menu this year, most notably the Ultimate Roast Burger (a roast beef dinner in a burger!) and the recent vegetarian menu, spearheaded by the Ultimate Veggie Burger; a quinoa and beetroot patty sandwiched between a charcoal brioche bun and topped with an avocado and tahini sauce. The vegetarian burger sounded incredible – all of my favourite things in a burger. I love eating veggie meals but I have to admit that for me there are some meals which are just not complete without meat (that used to be every meal for me – how times have changed!) – whilst the veggie burger sounds incredible, to me it isn’t a roast and I just couldn’t turn down roast meat at a restaurant that specialises in it! I was slightly disappointed that the roast dinner burger wasn’t on the menu on the day that we went, but thankfully it made my decision about what to order slightly easier!
As soon as we were seated we were presented with a bread basket and slightly salted butter (which was soft – one of the first things I’ll judge a restaurant on!). The bread was proper sourdough bread – I’m not sure if it came fresh from one of the incredible artisan bakers at Borough Market but it was so tasty that it certainly could have come from the likes of the famous Bread Ahead. Needless to say we demolished it and were swiftly brought another to tuck into. They have an extensive wine list but although Marcus is partial to a good glass of red, I’m not a wine fan at all (I have yet to try one that I find palatable!), so we decided on cocktails instead. They were seriously strong, but I really liked the pink one with the pineapples on top (yes that’s how extensive my knowledge of all things alcohol related is..!)
I was torn between almost all of the starters – every single one sounded incredible. Burrata with heritage tomatoes sounded perfect as did crab and avocado and I was intrigued by the charcoal soufflé, but I eventually settled on scallops with Marcus opting for the chorizo scotch egg. Both came quickly and beautifully presented. My scallops were plump and juicy, served with a cranberry, apple and toasted almond mix, which was very acidic but a lovely complement to the sweet scallops.
For our main course the fish dishes sounded amazing and I was seriously tempted by the black truffle and burrata parcels, but I couldn’t come to a restaurant famous for roast dinners and not get some form of meat! We decided on the Roasted East Anglian chateaubriand in the end, and it was a seriously good decision (if I do say so myself!). Melt in the mouth meat, an absolute mountain of crispy roast potatoes and the fluffiest Yorkshire puddings – what more could you want!?
We were presented with absolute slabs of meat, cooked beautifully. I’d usually order my meat slightly more pink but the quality of the meat was so good that it was so juicy and so incredibly tender that I honestly couldn’t fault it. It was served with an absolute mountain of roast potatoes too, perfectly done – golden brown and crispy on the outside, light and fluffy in the middle, with a generous seasoning of coarse sea salt and rosemary. On the side was a jug of gravy and fluffy Yorkshire puddings, which had puffed up so high that there was space for a huge gravy cave inside 🙂
Dessert is often a difficult decision for us and I was torn (not being able to decide is definitely a theme of all of my reviews!) between three of my favourites – crumble, cherry pie and sticky toffee pudding.
I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a crumble though so I eventually decided on that and it was perfect. It certainly wasn’t the prettiest of desserts but what it lacked in aesthetics it more than made up for in taste – it was delicious! It had the perfect ratio of fruit to crumble (a difficult art to perfect in my opinion!) with the apples and blackberries sweetened beautifully. Almonds and pistachios scattered through the crumble topping gave it a beautiful crunch and it was served with a deliciously sweet vanilla custard. Perhaps they could’ve done better with the presentation but for me that added to the childhood nostalgia of a roast dinner – I was one of those strange children who actually loved school dinners (I think I loved all food to be honest!) and a big pile of crumble and custard had to be up there with my favourite puddings!
Marcus chose the cheesecake, which was unexpectedly deconstructed but delicious nonetheless. Probably the prettiest dish of the night, it couldn’t have been further fom my crumble in its appearance! The cheesecake itself came in delicate quenelles, served on top of crumbed stem ginger shortbread with mini meringues, an incredibly light blueberry sorbet and the cutest little jelly cubes.
Overall we loved Roast. It’s such a quintessentially British dining experience with beautiful modern interiors, a menu full of classics and good quality food located in the heart of my favourite food market. Thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows the whole place is stunning and if you get a window seat you can look down on the incredible food heaven that is Borough Market and people watch over good drinks and delicious plates of food 🙂
I’m just gutted I didn’t have the chance to order some of the incredible sounding veggie meals – burrata ravioli, their veggie burger and the charcoal cheddar soufflé all sounded ridiculously good, but I couldn’t fault the dishes that I did order, so whatever you decide, veggie or otherwise, I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed with your choice!
As well as their a-la-carte menu, they have daily specials (Saturday’s is a fillet of beef Wellington so if we go back again it will undoubtedly be on a Saturday!), as well as a Saturday brunch menu (which includes a incredible-looking Lobster Benedict and buttermilk pancakes!) as well as an afternoon tea which looks heavenly!
Link to their website: http://www.roast-restaurant.com