A Homage to the Sunday Roast – Part 1

Kris and I are both big fans of the humble Sunday Roast. Nothing says bountiful meal and a Sunday well spent better than sitting down for a sumptuous roast with all the trimmings and lashings of gravy till you have reached food coma. I particularly enjoy my fat slabs of meat and glorious Yorkshire puds, drenched in gravy!

As Londoners, we are quite lucky to find some amazing versions in this city. Below are some of the places we reviewed in the first half of 2019 for their Sunday Roasts. Take your pick!

Goodman

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They are well known for their steaks but every last Sunday of the month, Goodman do a fine Sunday Roast in their Canary Wharf branch. Kris tried their Goodman Roast Beef | Roasted Vegetables, Yorkshire Pudding & Shallot Gravy whilst I ordered the Josper Grilled Chicken | New Potatoes, Curly Kale, Baby Carrots, Chestnuts, Chorizo, Tarragon Jus. Both dishes were really well executed overall, and the inclusion of the kale alongside the root vegetables added much needed vibrant greens. Service was pretty spot-on too.

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Rating : 8/10

Average price : £25

Location : Canary Wharf

Smiths Bar and Grill

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Smiths was one of our first roasts of 2019. We ordered the Slow-roasted British Lamb Shoulder and the 8 Day-Aged Slow-Roasted Free-range Pork Belly. We liked the bright and clean lines of the interiors. However, there were mixed reviews on the roast. Good bits were the soft lamb, the nicely roasted hunks of root vegetables and garlicky roast potatoes. Unfortunately, my pork belly was a bit chewy, the Yorkshire pud a bit dry and more effort could have been made on the veggies. The staff were friendly but needed slight chasing. After a slow start, the space filled up quite fast with Sunday diners towards late afternoon.

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Rating: 7/10

Average price of Roast : £10 – £18

Location : Paddington

Jugged Hare

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Jugged Hare has been on our list of places to visit for yonks. They do a fairly decent Sunday Roast alongside their seasonal game menu for which they are better known. I wanted to sample their game offering so I ordered the Wiltshire Red-Legged Partridge | Savoy Cabbage and Bacon, Grouse Liver Pâté, Game Chips, Bread Sauce and Red Wine Jus for my main. The bird was a bit fiddly to eat because of the numerous bones but the pate was delicious. Kris went for their 45 day Aged Longhorn Rump | Horseradish Cream, Yorkshire Pudding, Roast Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, Rotisserie Gravy. The cauliflower mash was exceptional; carrots and roasts potatoes very well done and the beef was melt-in-the-mouth. Unfortunately, the beef arrived cold, something which we brought to the attention of the staff who kindly took it off the bill and even offered us a complimentary dessert – Sticky Toffee Pudding | Butterscotch, Clotted Cream. Portions were on the smaller side. From the starters, the Game Scotch Egg | Cumberland Sauce was okay but the Black Pudding Croquettes | Guinness Sauce were phenomenal. Overall, we had huge expectations for this place and came back slightly underwhelmed.

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Rating : 7.5/10

Average price of Roast : £23

Location : Barbican

The Bedford

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Part of the Three Cheers collection of pubs, The Bedford also happens to be our favourite pub in Balham. It used to be our favourite South London pub until another pub took that crown (scroll below to find out which one)! For £15, you get to choose any three small plates, so we ordered a range as starters that included Chorizo & Butter Bean Stew; 1/2 pint of Chicken Skewers | Miso Mayo; Black Pudding Scotch Egg | Coronation Mayo. The Scotch Egg in particular was particularly delicious. From the roasts, we ordered the Grass Fed & Dry Aged Beef and Pork Belly. The roasts are more on the homely side with generous portions, rustic presentation and slathered with gravy. The gravy, particularly, had exceptional flavour!

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Rating :  9/10

Average price of Roast : £13 – £16

Location : Balham

Cafe Monico

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Whilst we didn’t quite visit Cafe Monico for the specific purpose of reviewing their Sunday Roast, once I saw Half-Banham Roast Chicken | Duck Fat Potatoes | Steamed Seasonal Vegetables Cauliflower Gratin | Red Wine Jus on the menu,  I knew I had to order. My Sunday Roast was a refined affair. Two very large pieces of chicken – soft and delicious – arrived beautifully splayed on my plate. I am always worried about roast chicken, as it can be easily overcooked and taste dry but this one was spot on. It was accompanied by some nicely done sweet carrots, tender broccoli, roast potatoes and a comforting cauliflower gratin. The roast potatoes were pretty close to being the perfect roast potatoes. They were nice and crispy on the outside while fluffy and piping hot on the inside. The duck fat did a good job of imparting flavour to the spuds. My only minor complaint was that I would have liked the cauliflower florets to be slightly smaller chunks under all that dense blanket of cheese to absorb the flavours better. In terms of the restaurant, this sophisticated restaurant from the Soho House Group is a perfect Central London location for a plush yet relaxed meal out.

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Rating :  9/10

Average price of Roast : £19 – £21

Location : Soho

The Royal Oak

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This is another one of those sought-after pubs that we were keen to tick of our list. The Royal Oak does mouthwatering roasts. They also have a decent collection of craft and draught beers which you should pair with their must order bar snacks: Nduja Scotch Egg | Roasted Garlic Aioli and Fried Merguez Filo |Whipped Feta and Harissa.  Kris ordered the 45 day-aged Shorthorn Beef | Horseradish cream whilst I sampled their Berkshire Pork Belly | Apple Sauce. All the roasts came served with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables and gravy. Both were exemplary, although portion sizes could have been bigger. Nevertheless, the roasts were top-notch and service was efficient and informal.

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Rating :  9/10

Average price of Roast : £14 – £23

Location : Marylebone

The Joker

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What an amazing place – it’s unbelievable! Finally, a local independent pub that ticks all our boxes in terms of gorgeous interiors, delicious food, attentive and friendly service. Originally from Brighton, The Joker is everything we love in neighborhood pubs. It is housed in what was formerly the second oldest Sainsburys (in the 1900s) in the UK when it used to be a market hall. Since then, the space has undergone numerous reincarnations as bars before the current owners took charge and stripped it back to its original grandeur, revealing the beautiful and colourful Victorian tiles on the floors and walls to create the atmospheric neighbourhood pub that we see today. We tried their magnificent Sunday Roasts by Humble Plates. Kris ordered the Rolled Lamb Shoulder and I had the Slow-cooked Pork Belly. Both arrived with celeriac purée, braised red cabbage, tender stem broccoli, roasted butternut, roasted carrot, crispy roast potatoes and a Yorkshire pudding. The roasts were exemplary with generous portions, lots of gravy and reasonably priced too. They make a divine Nitro Espresso Martini and have a Bellini station on Sundays. The Joker is hands down our favourite South London pub.

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Rating :  9/10

Average price of Roast : £15 – £16

Location : Croydon

So there you have it, some of our favourite venues for the good old Sunday Roast that we have discovered in 2019 so far.

Below are some other venues where we have enjoyed their Sunday Roast in the past:

Hawksmoor

The Jones Family Project

Mews of Mayfair 

Gladstone Arms