Roast is situated in one of the most famous food markets in the UK, if not the world! Borough Market was first mentioned in 1276, although the market itself claims to have existed since 1014 “and probably much earlier” according to Wikipedia. It is certainly my favourite market in London and a place I always take visitors. So it’s a wonder that it has taken me this long to visit Roast.
The restaurant sits in the rafters of Borough market and is accessed via lift. Light is flooded in through the huge floor to ceiling windows, with absolutely stunning views over the City skyline. As you would expect, the clientele is mainly men in suits due to it’s proximity to the City, but on the night I met my friends there, there was an 80’s pop star sitting at the very next table to ours! (I get so star struck!!)
It took us a little while to decide what to eat, the set menu for £30 looked excellent and that is what my two friends went with. I was determined to have the Scotch Burford egg with McSween haggis and piccalilli (£8.75). The yolk was a beautiful orange colour and as runny as I like it. The breadcrumb coating was crispy and added a nice crunch to the egg, but the McSween haggis was really bland. I really like the spiciness of haggis and this could have been plain sausage meat for all I knew. I enjoyed the piccalilli though and it added a lot of spicy flavour to the bland Scotch egg.
For my main dish, I ordered the Roasted Cod and warm tomato salad (£22.50) that was on the set menu. I was toying with ordering this dish or the Roast lamb special of the day and should really have gone with the lamb. The skin on the cod was crispy on one side only, so the fish wasn’t evenly cooked. I also found a couple of bones in my fish, which is really off-putting. The warm tomato salad was nice though.
I didn’t order dessert, but my two friends ordered a Coolea cheese board from the set menu and I had a few nibbles of that. It is a hard cheese that reminded me of Parmesan and it was a generous portion, more than enough for the three of us.
Service was shaky to say the least. It seemed like we had numerous servers, some really knew their stuff and others could barely remember the fish special of the day. When the bill came, there were several items on there that were not for our table however this was quickly rectified when pointed out. Our bill for three came to £219.77, which included service, 2 bottles of wine, 2 glasses of wine, 2 set courses, a starter, a main, 2 cheeseboards and a coffee. We all felt this was expensive.
I’m more used to writing really positive reviews, so this one has been hard. But you win some, you lose some. Not every restaurant experience is going to be a great one and unfortunately this was one of the more average experiences I have had in a very long time. Never mind!
Until we eat again!