Breakfast in London is booming. Mastering the ultimate fry-up is something that pretty much everyone is looking to achieve, from the humble café right through to the high-end bistro. The idea of a posh breakfast is still novel to me – especially as there seems to be no end to the depth of flavour we seem to be able to get out of a sausage, or indeed any other staple from the classic greasy spoon collection. It seemed right, then, to check out the breakfast menu at Roast, to get in some early morning grub while the Borough Market traders below were still setting up for the day.
Roast always has a vibrant, buzzing atmosphere, and this is just the same at seven thirty in the morning, or in the evening. We kicked off with a freshly brewed coffee and watched the grey London skies brighten behind The Shard before settling down to survey the menu. Some fresh drinks from the booster selection were first up. Served with ice and lime, the bold, deep purple colour of Beet IT is striking from the off. It combines beetroot with apple juice to create an earthy, cold punch.
The simply named smoothie, on the other hand, is packed with banana and pear, mixed with blueberry purée and hibiscus cordial. Served with a cheeky cocktail umbrella, it basically creates the flavour I’ve been trying (but failing) to create at home with the blender I got last christmas.
All breakfasts come with some fine toast, made from an array of different, freshly baked breads. They’re the breakfast side that keeps on giving, as when you dip in for a slice, you get a new surprise every time.
It was time to face our breakfast. The vegetarian option consists of a veggie Borough banger, grilled tomatoes, field mushrooms, a tattie scone, wholemeal toast and a choice of eggs (we went with poached). The veggie bangers were packed with a mix of ingredients, but held together nicely, and contained enough moisture to really excel. The eggs were delicately poached, and the mushroom was nice and juicy.
Full Scottish Breakfast
The full Scottish breakfast was pretty epic. If you’re not familiar with the delights of a breakfast from north of the border, then the best way I can describe it is as an English breakfast with benefits. You get all the joys of a fry-up in bacon, sausage, a black pudding, tomato, mushroom and eggs (in this instance, scrambled). But, then, there are the bonus ingredients. You get a tattie scone to soak up any juices on the plate. You get a lorne sausage, which is big, meaty and square. You also get haggis, the ultimate Scottish treat. At Roast, each of these ingredients has been worked on individually to create a symphonic whole. It contained all the joy and fun of the ingredients I grew used to as a student up in Scotland, with the high level of food quality and preparation I’ve become accustomed to in London.
The breakfast scene in London is still growing, but Roast remains one of the shortlist destinations for true quality. The selection of ingredients and attention to detail, coupled with its famous location and views, will kick-start any day into life.
The Floral Hall, Borough Market, Stoney Street, London, SE1 1TL