Roast, Borough Market
Before we begin, I have to admit that I’ve always had a soft spot for a proper roast dinner. Growing up in Northumberland, I was practically brought up on them – not just on Sundays but pretty much any day of the week that my parents wanted to treat the family. As a result, I found myself with a particular sense of excitement trying out this year’s London Restaurant Festival menu at Roast with a friend.
Roast is a haven of British cuisine located in the centre of Borough Market. The interior has a stylish, modern feel to it, which contrasts nicely with the view of the market below. We were fortunate enough to be given a window seat (not that there’s a small number of these – there’s loads!), which meant that we had the perfect spot to view the restaurant during our meal.
We started off with some cocktails. I had the ‘Blue Smoke’, a sweet drink that consisted of a blue liquid that literally bubbled upwards out of the glass. There was a lot of novelty value to this, what with it looking like something straight out of a laboratory, but the taste matched up too.
My friend opted for a ‘Dracula’s Date’, which was a really refreshing drink soaked in ice with a slice of lime.
One starter we sampled was a jellied ham hock, with piccalilli & chargrilled London bloomer. The smooth hock and buttery bloomer provided a nice firm base, and the texture of these combined well with the strong, sharp taste of the piccalilli.
We also tried the cauliflower soup with crumbled cashel blue. This was a very well presented dish that provided a lovely creamy taste, with a really smooth consistency.
For our mains, we had the slow roasted free range pork belly with mashed potato & bramley apple sauce, with an accompanying array of roast vegetables. The pork was cooked to perfection. Juicy and tender, with crisp crackling and a touch of gravy, the dish really can’t be faulted.
We also had the pan fried whole Cornish plaice with capers and lemon butter. Like the pork, the fish was also delicious – creamy and tender, and also a huge portion.
For dessert, we tasted the sticky date pudding with toffee sauce and Neal’s Yard crème fraiche. This was a really warm, gooey dish which is ideal for those with a sweet tooth.
We also tasted the lemon posset with shortbread. This is at the opposite end of the dessert spectrum from the date pudding – sharp and crisp, with a dry shortbread to help scoop it up. The posset was an incredibly satisfying way to end the meal.
The London Restaurant Festival menu at Roast is an excellent way to sample the delights of the restaurant’s menu. The food is served to a high standard, and the waiting staff are friendly and attentive. I look forward to future adventures there.
The Floral Hall, Borough Market, Stoney Street, London, SE1 1TL
Online booking available here
London Restaurant Festival 2012: 3 courses, £30pp