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Cuisine: British / Address: The Floral Hall / Stoney Street / London / SE1 1TL / England / Tel: 0845 034 7300

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      22.03.2010 15:39
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      A lovely restaurant, but not for vegetarians

      Roast is tucked inside Borough Market, just past the pubs and within the stalls. It is easily found - you can see the glass walls from the actual market, although the entrance is tucked sloghtly around the corner.

      To get in you can either climb the flight of stairs or use the little lift to take you up to the restaurant and bar. Being lazy, I used the lift, which was clean and quick.

      I had booked this restaurant about 6 weeks in advance to ensure that I was guaranteed a table on a Friday night, however, when we arrived the girl behind us was a walk-in and the staff said they would do their best to get her a table. So booking is a good idea, but not 100% necessary.

      The staff were very friendly, and as we had arrived early, we had our coats (and umbrella) taken and placed in the cloakroom, and we were shown to the bar and given the drinks menu. The bar menu is extensive. The cocktails are interesting, and certainly not your run of the mill mojitos etc. My partner opted for one made with beetroot, but others included pumpkin and other equally strange, yet tempting ingredients. Each cocktail was about £12, which although expensive, for the novelty, it was worth it.

      After about 20mins we were taken to our seats, perfectly located by the glass windows looking out over the market. This was a great spot in my opinion, as I could people watch the room, as well as the goings on outside.

      The tables are pretty close together and when the restaurant is full, you do sense the presence of the people next to you, but the noise level is quite buzzy anyway, so you don't really hear each other's conversations.

      The wine list is long. And pricey. Starting at about £20 and going up and up in price. Beers are equally pricey, with one priced at about £6, and my partner said that in a regular pub it would have been about £2.

      The food list is not long, but there is ample choice. Sadly, for vegetarians, there are only a couple of options. This is primarily a meat restaurant. For starters I had a brown windsor soup (basically the gravy from a beef stew) which was served with two small, yet incredibly tasty pieces of cheese on toast floating in it. My partner had the venison scotch egg served on picalilli. Both starters were absolutely delicious, and served beautifully.

      For mains I opted for the sirloin steak (cooked medium well) which was served with chips. My partner chose to have the duck breast, leg and liver, with a side dish of roast potatoes. We also shared some garlic mushrooms. The duck was cooked perfectly, and was very tasty, although a little too rich for me personally. The roast potatoes were perfectly crispy and yet fluffy in the middle. The steak, was slightly more medium than well cooked, but was huge and very tasty. And the chips were crispy, although a tad too salty. The garlic mushrooms were delicious, without being too garlicky. Nothing was greasy, everything was cooked beautifully.

      By the time it came to pudding we were both absolutely stuffed to the gills. But we wanted to at least look at the menu. With tempting dishes like cheesecake, cheeses and ice creams, we had to share something. We opted for the jaffa cake with brownie cream. And it was absolute dessert heaven.

      The waiting staff were very friendly, and maintained a good presence. They were on had to top up water and wine glasses, however, you never felt that they were lurking around. They were friendly and smiley and seemed happy to be there.

      The toilets (although I can only speak about the ladies) were very clean and well maintained, with plenty of soap and hygenic hand driers provided.

      All in all, the bill came to £130 for 2 courses each, the shared pudding, a bottle of white wine and service charge. So although it is not a cheap night out, given the quality of the food, and the friendly service, i think for a treat it is definitely worth it!

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