Roast restaurant, The Floral Hall, Borough Market, Stoney Street, London SE1 1TL
Ever since we started working on the South Bank, we have always wanted to visit Roast. It’s been on our restaurant bucket list for so long, finally we went.
Roast is perched above the lovely Borough Market, with views of not just the bustling market and Market Porter pub, but also of the Shard and St Paul’s. Serving up British food with produce from the handily located market below. It’s owned by restaurateur Iqbal Wahhab, who founded the Cinnamon Club and who also recently took over the Indian street food restaurant Mooli’s.
White tablecloths, polished waiting staff, complete with a piano bar, this place is one for special occasions or those who have slightly bigger wallets than us. That said, the atmosphere is relaxed and as the majority of the clientele is suited (jackets and ties) we felt we stood out a bit. But we were made to feel incredibly welcome by the staff, our sommelier was so smiley and friendly she should work in PR (not that she’s doing a bad job in the wine field of course).
A little tip, when reserving a table ask for one by the windows. The table in the corner overlooking the pub is best, great for people watching!
The wine list is large, and includes some British wines, including some specially produced by Chapel Down in Kent. Despite our Puglian Primitivo 2010, Barocco £23 being fantastic, in hindsight I wish we’d gone British. They also have some beers on the menu handcrafted for them by the Whitstable Brewery.
Newly appointed head chef Marcus Verberne, previously of Hix, Le Caprice, J Sheekey and The Ivy has created a fab British seasonal menu with a lovely touch of foraged produce. Although it’s short we found it very tricky to choose from. Ade went for the Pittenweem Scotch egg with caper mayonnaise £8.75. I had the Isle of Wight sweetcorn and chilli fritters with Bath Pig chorizo and baby squid £9.50.
Whilst we waited for our starters we sipped on some cocktails, or ‘Market Tipples’ as it says on the menu. Ade had a eye-wateringly strong Borough Market Iced Tea £11. My Mandarin Fizz £11 was so deliciously refreshing and so easy to drink I found it impossible to make it last.
Ade’s starter was no ordinary scotch egg, this one had a salmon mousse coating instead of pork. The fish mousse is obviously lighter than a sausage meat although the texture was just as firm, a really clever twist on a popular classic and an exciting taste surprise.
My starter was an unusual but great mix, perhaps not as spicy as I thought but a wonderful combination of flavours and all perfectly cooked. Chorizo and squid is definitely a winner.
Next Ade had the magnificent looking Wild Rabbit and New Forest cider pie with Herefordshire snail £16.75. Neither of us had tried snails before, it’s not often we’re confronted with them on the menu. They were so heavily soaked in garlic so that was all we tasted, a bit like mussels just with a different shaped shell! The pastry was perfectly crisp and light and the cider kept the rabbit moist – there’s nothing worse than dry rabbit meat.
My Pan-fried fillet of Clew Bay sea trout with Scottish girolles and pea shoots £24.75 was heaven. Beautiful melt in the mouth fish with a creamy mushroom sauce. I greedily ordered a side of Roast potatoes in Britannia beef dripping £4.50 because they sounded so good. Unfortunately they weren’t and were left them mostly untouched, dry inside, not the fluffy type we were hoping for. But Ade couldn’t resist them – he’s a sucker for a roasty.
Desserts are paired on the menu with either a cocktail or dessert wine, of course we preferred the cocktail option! I had Mrs Wade’s plum and almond tart with bay leaf ice cream £7.75 accompanied by a Missy Lingering with sloe gin, pisco, fresh grapefruit juice, ginger liqueur £11. The pie was big enough for two, warm and comforting, the bay leaf ice cream was fab. The only negative, which is quite crucial with a plum pie, I only found one piece of plum.
Ade’s Sticky date pudding with toffee sauce and Neal’s Yard creme fraiche £7.75 was met with approving noises. I got to try a small spoonful as Ade keep shooting me ‘get away from my pud’ looks whenever my fork wandered too close to his dessert. That’s a measure of just how good a dessert is when he’s not willing to share.
At the end of the meal our waitress asked us if we’d like to try a glass of Penderyn Portwood a Welsh single malt whiskey which is produced for export to France, Roast is the only restaurant in the UK to stock it. The whiskey is matured in old port barrels to give it a sweet and spicy flavour
As we finished our drinks, almost as if it was just for us, the piano singer performed Empire State of Mind, the first dance at our wedding. The perfect end to a perfect meal, if we gave marks then Roast would get top ones…
The Floral Hall, Borough Market
Stoney Street, London SE1 1TL
0845 034 7300
Book online by clicking here
Breakfast Monday – Friday | 7:00am – 11:00am
Saturday | 8:00am – 11:30am
Lunch Monday – Tuesday | 12.00pm – 2.45pm
Wednesday – Saturday | 12.00pm – 3.45pm
Dinner Monday – Friday | 5.30pm – 10.45pm
Saturday | 6.00pm – 10.45pm
Sunday 11.30am – 6:45pm
set menu only
Bar Monday – Friday | 7:00am – midnight
Saturday | 8:00am – midnight
Sunday | 11.30am – 7:45pm
Nearest tube: London Bridge