As a regular visitor to Borough Market I had seen the sign for Roast nested above the stalls on many occasions, thinking every time that ‘I must give it a try’ before being swept away by the market crowds or distracted by doughnuts. Taking the stairs, we were welcomed into the main dining area. I was taken back by the size of the space and the wonderful early evening summer light that poured through the windows from almost every angle. On one side, we had views of St. Paul’s and on the other the hustle and bustle of the restaurants below.
As I spread a generous layer of butter on my bread, I was tempted by a couple of Italian wines from the list until we were told about an English white from Kent. I was curious to try it as it’s not every day that you see a selection of English wines on a menu. It was light and floral – lemons and gooseberries – fresh, chilled and worked well with our food.
To start we shared the chorizo scotch egg with piccalilli and the poached salmon with mixed bean salad. Both dishes were served on plates that complimented the vibrant colours of our food. The scotch egg was served warm – the smoky, crisp chorizo and soft egg were brought alive by the tangy, fiery piccalilli. The salmon was instead a very delicate dish. You could taste the freshness of the fish with subtle hints of dill that coated the crunchy beans and gems of wholegrain mustard gave an extra kick.
The variety of well sourced meats and fish on the menu made deciding on a main hard. We chose a classic – pork belly. The first thing I loved about the dish was the portion size, there is no chance of going home hungry. The mash was buttery and smooth, the pork had the perfect contrast of crackling and soft meat that was full of juices and herby flavours, whilst the sweetness of the apple sauce cut through the salty rich gravy that was also served generously. The silence while we ate said it all.
For pudding, we shared the white chocolate set custard with cardamom poached strawberries and honeycomb and the apple and raspberry crumble with almonds and vanilla custard. The pretty shades of pink, white and pistachio green were summer on a plate. The set custard looked like a panna cotta but it was thicker, creamier and had an intense hit of white chocolate. The strawberries and honeycomb brought texture and a sweet zing. The crumble had the perfect ratio of crunch to squidge, the fruit was tart whilst the warm vanilla custard brought the pudding beautifully together. A super strong espresso finished off the meal perfectly.
The prices are high but if you are looking for fresh, seasonal dishes that celebrate the best of British food for a special occasion Roast definitely ticks all the boxes. The service also shouldn’t go unnoticed, our waiters were knowledgeable, attentive and friendly.
More information and book a table at Roast here.
Written by Lara Pace.