Sunday roast is certainly a topic that warrants serious deliberation, and in the time I have lived in London, Roast at Borough Market has been suggested as a good venue for Sunday roast by a number of people. I had yet to eat in the restaurant, however I had enjoyed the Saturday roast at the market in a bun; the pork belly is particularly good, although the bread they use is terrible.
I finally made it on a Sunday in December to the actual Roast restaurant and as we enter the restaurant the view of St. Paul’s in the near distance is striking. It’s a lovely sight. I order the pheasant and bacon pie for my starter followed by the beef for my main course. The waiter informs me that the pheasant and bacon pie has run out, however that this has been replaced with a pressed game plate. It seems like a sensible option so I choose this instead. It arrives on a plate with cranberry sauce and two thin slices of toast. The game is indeed pressed. I was worried that it may be more a pate but it’s not, bits of game are distinguishable in the mix, a mix that included duck and pheasant. There was even some pistachio in there and the game was encased in ham. It was excellent.
My friend selected the deep fried whitebait which was simply served with tartar sauce and lemon in a metal basket. The first one or two were quite tasty, but quickly the salty flavour was far too overpowering rendering it inedible.
When my main course of roast sirloin of Welsh black beef arrived it was accompanied by Yorkshire pudding, English mustard and gravy. On the side came roast potatoes, red cabbage and carrots. The cut of beef was certainly of high quality cooked more medium than the rare I had requested. The quality of the cut itself was excellent.
The Yorkshire pudding was ok at a push, but nothing great, very dry and lacking in taste. The roast potatoes were mediocre at best. I assume they were parboiled, before being fried in goose fat and then roasted in the oven. However, I really discerned no real flavour from them and they were certainly substandard to my own roast potatoes, and I unfortunately am no Richard Corrigan in the kitchen. The vegetables too were just ok, the carrots the best of the bunch. The red cabbage, usually a personal favourite was overcooked.
My companion opted for the halibut as the initial salmon selection was unavailable. It was served on a bed of sliced courgettes. It was simple but enjoyable, however far substandard to similar fish dishes I have eaten 10 minutes down the road at Zucca on Bermondsey Street. It was certainly ok, but considering the price, it did not offer value for money.
Getting onto the price, the 2 course set menu was £28 per person and having added on a £42 bottle of pinot noir which was very nice, coffee and service, the bill came in at around £120. Setting aside the drinks, the food alone totalled £56 for two courses before service, which is quite a lot of money. The food was nice, but it wasn’t fantastic and certainly not worth that amount. In terms of food, highlights were the pressed game, and the cut of beef which proved their worth. Question marks remain about the vegetables, potatoes, and fish. Perhaps we were paying for the very nice view.