Focusing on classic British cuisine with a modern twist, Roast is perfectly located in one of Britain’s oldest and London’s best-known food market – Borough Market! The restaurant uses fresh, seasonal produce, supporting ethical suppliers and British producers including stallholders from the market itself. Opened in 2005 by Iqbal Wahhab, the founder of the well known Cinnamon Club in Westminster, Roast is a well-established restaurant situated on the first floor of the former Floral Hall.
The unique building of the Floral Hall (in the image above to the left) makes for a very spacious and airy dining room, filled with natural light during the day that streams in from the large arched windows – it offers nice views of the bustling market below as well as St. Paul’s Cathedral in the distance.
It was a beautifully sunny Saturday when my husband and I visited Roast after strolling along South Bank and browsing the stalls at Borough Market where we worked up quite an appetite. We settled for a bottle of Chilean Merlot that was recommended to us by the sommelier, accompanied by a basket of fresh bread each – my husband was served his own basket of gluten-free bread.
We both opted for the seared scallops with fennel, blueberries, lavender and smoked almonds for starters which was not only gorgeous to look at but a flavour combination that worked beautifully which was rather surprising to me as I would have never thought of pairing scallops with blueberries which added a nice freshness to the dish. My husband and I were both incredibly impressed by this starter!
For mains, my husband chose the Welsh rump of lamb with tabbouleh and harissa carrot. The Middle Eastern spices were a fantastic match for the tender lamb and a nice example of how well different cuisines can harmonize with one another. (This dish was part of the 3-course lunch menu which in my opinion is great value for money at £30).
I opted for one of my favourite British classics – Sussex beef Wellington with roast potatoes and broccoli as a side dish. The gravy was served in a cute stone pot and the meat was nice and tender perfectly cooked and still pink. We have a roast on most Sundays but Beef Wellington only at special occasions which made me appreciate this dish even more!
For dessert, I enjoyed a white chocolate set custard with spiced Victoria plums and honeycomb. British plums are seriously delicious and I liked the way they were spiced up and served with the custard which had a lovely consistency.
My husband who isn’t much of a sweet tooth had the cheese selection with Woodbridge pear chutney and gluten-free biscuits instead.
On our way out we admired James Cochran’s (i.e. Jimmy C’s) colourful image of William Shakespeare which is just around the corner under a railway arch at Clink Street.
We continued our way back home, the same way we came in before by strolling along South Bank, one of London’s most beautiful walks which is also a fantastic walk for first-time visitors as it passes so many of London’s iconic sights such as Shakespear’s Globe, Tate Modern and Millenium Bridge with St Paul’s Cathedral on the other side.