Don't tell our mums but we think we may have found an alternative venue for our home cooked Sunday lunch. She shouldn't feel too upset, though - she's been ousted by a worthy competitor. Roast at Borough Market knows its meat and makes us feel like the post-makeover Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady. It's all luvverly.
Roast is also rather pretty to visit - located in the old flower portico overlooking the bustle of Borough market. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's become a popular venue for weddings thanks to its high ceilings and wall-to-floor glass windows. It's basically one of the fanciest places we've ever had a roast - it couldn't be more different to picking up a polystyrene box of paella from the market traders below.
Of course, the fanciest roast in the world doesn't come cheap. A dinner here is more of a once-in-a-while treat than a regular occasion. Come back mum, all is forgiven. (Incidentally, Roast is releasing a cookbook in November - just in case she's looking to update her repertoire…)
If you're veggie, there are some lovely things on offer - including the butternut squash tart with Herefordshire goats curd and pickled walnuts that we had as our starter. But we'll be honest - it's the meat-eaters who are going to enjoy Roast the most.
The Scotch egg with haggis, for example. An egg with a blood orange yolk wrapped in haggis rather than pork mince tasted as good as it looked. 'This may be one of the best starters I've ever had,' said our friend, slowly, as if he couldn't quite believe this was a revamped motorway service station snack.
There's a different meat on offer every day and Thursday was rare breed suckling pig with mashed potatoes and Bramley apple sauce. Joining our table all the way from North Yorkshire (as the menu helpfully told us) our little piggy friend came with salty crunchy crackling and a mash so smooth you could feed it to a baby.
We also had the braised red deer shank, which turned out to be the biggest hunk of meat we've ever seen. We're talking a fist and a half's worth. This came falling off the bone and was complemented by a rich sour cherry sauce and a woody mash of carrots and turnips. It was so good, we kept eating even after we felt full.
There was an epically long cheese menu courtesy of the Neal's Yard Dairy downstairs in the market, which we had to ignore, due to the aforementioned meat binge.
Thankfully, we'd perked up sufficiently by the time the desserts came along. We had a sticky date pudding with crème fraîche to cut through all the stickiness and a very good plum and almond tart with bay leaf ice cream.
Try one of the English wines to compliment your roast. The Chapel Down Pinot Noir was sharper than others we've tasted but slipped down a treat. We'd also recommend diving in head first to the cheese-and-wine and pudding-and-wine pairings suggested by the menu.
Dinner for two with drinks £140.
Roast, The Floral Hall, Borough Market, Stoney St, London SE1 1TL
0845 034 7300 http://www.roast-restaurant.com
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