Sunday, 25 March 2012

Roast reviewed by guest reviewer Marie-Louise Cremer

By way of introduction to this piece, I put myself up for auction for someone to come and do a review with me with monies going to The Trinity Hospice. I was very fortunate with the person who bid the most, in that she was very good company and seemed to enjoy my company. She could however have been a great actress! Any way this is her review so all the credit goes to Marie-Louise Cremer. I hope this isn't the last review she does as I think it is really rather good. So many thanks and also thank you for the money donated to The Trinity Hospice. 

Roast can be found at The Floral Hall, 

Stoney Street, 
SE1 1TL.  
The nearest tube station is London Bridge.   
Call 0845 034 7300 for reservations.

It has always been a dream of mine to blog about food and through a school quiz night charity auction and the generosity of Jamie Cotter Craig, I’m having a chance to test my skills with, this, my very first review (drum roll, please).

Roast was opened in 2006 by restaurateur Iqbal Wahhab who also founded Cinnamon Club.  The concept is traditional cooking using seasonal British ingredients. The space is pleasant with high ceilings and a stunning view over Borough market and of the dome of Saint Paul’s Cathedral.  There is a real city vibe (think men in suits) to the place and it was very lively on a Tuesday night.  The staff seemed to be handling the larger groups well in addition to remaining attentive to smaller tables.

The menu was extensive with plenty of interesting choices. The ingredients had been sourced from all over the United Kingdom  - Scottish trout, Welsh beef, Hertfordshire goat’s cheese to name but a few.  The new chef, Marcus Verberne, has an interest in wild and foraged products which were well represented in the menu.   We had Manx scallops and Lymington crab for starters.  Both were simply presented, letting the food speak for itself.  The mains were large portions of real meat – Beef Wellington and Pork Belly.  To be honest, meat is not my passion. In general, I eat meat for the sauce so these dishes of manly good old-fashioned meat were less appealing to me than I had hoped.   There was a good choice of side dishes.  The Pink fir apple potatoes were perfectly cooked, allowing the waxiness of the potatoes to shine through.  Happily there were still desserts to come (I do like desserts - both cooking and eating them!) and they were successful indeed. The eau de vie cherries worked well in the burnt cream, which had a perfectly caramelized top.  The blood orange jelly truly captured the flavor of the oranges and the Jaffa ice cream was perfectly Jaffa flavored.

The sommelier, Anne Lomas, showed passion for her job by matching interesting wines to our food choices.  Most notable for me was the British Chapel Down Bacchus Reserve, Tenterdon which is the best British wine experience I’ve had to date and is made especially for Roast.   In my opinion, when you make a wine it should taste of the land it comes from (no, not manure, more freshness, fruit and moisture).

If you are looking for a British style brasserie type restaurant with a good use of British produce and real city feel, then this is a great choice if you are in the area.  (And if you want to add even more fun to the evening, invite JCC along!)

Roast can be found at The Floral Hall, 
Stoney Street, London SE1 1TL.  The nearest tube station is London Bridge.   Call 0845 034 7300 for reservations.

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