Since 2005, Roast restaurant has been overlooking Borough Market’s Floral Hall churning out the punters 7 days a week from breakfast to Sunday lunch. I’ve been a fan of their Roast to Go pork baps, partly due to the quality of the pig but mainly for the masses of crackling you get. £6.50 very well spent I say.
Upstairs in the first floor dining room it’s a touch more corporate. A massive space (like a cruise ship dining room) with the arched windows reminding you of Borough Market at every glance. There’s a suited and booted crowd; mainly groups of men but it’s lively and service is friendly.
We start with half a dozen Carlingford Rock oysters (£18.50). They’re fresh, bouncy, juicy. I douse them in lemon AND Scrubby Oak apple vinegar for extra zing and I’m not disappointed.
Seared scallops (£14.75) come with a lemon sauce so powerful it nearly takes over but not quite. The scallops are cooked well with the right about of sear on the outside while walnuts provide added texture.
The main star at Roast would be the meat. I opt for a 400g Hereford sirloin on the bone (£35) which is a beastly piece of beef. Although the steak is a blushing shade of pink, attention has been paid to the the fat which is charred and crisp; a joy to eat. The whole thing is well seasoned too. Chips are good enough to be demolished while being dunked in the chimichurri.
My gentleman companion goes for the pork belly (£24.75) which is huge, so big we can’t manage pudding which is worth noting, maybe skip a starter if you’ve a sweet tooth. The quality is sublime and the crackling is pure perfection. Gravy comes by the ocean-load – mix it up with the lump-less mash and your cockles will be well and truly warmed.
They’re proud to list their suppliers on the menu. House bread from Bread Ahead, fruit and veg from Grovers and cured meats from Cannon and Cannon are a stone’s through away in the market. That pork is from Wick’s Manor Farm in Essex and the beef from J Williams in North Wales. Roast is all about quality ingredients cooked simply. Just take a Rennie with you.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant