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Roast (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Roast in City of London, London

Floral Hall, Stoney Street, Borough Market, City of London, London, SE1 1TL
Cuisine: British Average Price: £35.00
Tel: 020 7940 1300 | Email to Roast | Transport: London Bridge | Write review

Roast Review

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Best for: occasion dining; British produce, especially meat; happiness.

Great: views of St Paul's and Borough Market.

A recent text between my friend and I:

‘Ha! Remember when you got pepper spray in my eye?’

‘Of course.’

I should start by saying my experience at Roast was nothing like my experience in Magaluf. Not that my time in Majorca’s sin pit didn’t bring me happiness, only that the happiness that comes from fish bowls and satanical holiday reps wears thin after the age of 17. At 17, however, Magaluf is the epitome of overwhelming joy.

Happiness in my world is a key metric. The level of happiness I feel is affected by the balance between positive powers, awesomeness and insanity, and the negative power, bullshit. It’s adaptable too. It can be used to sum up potential new love interests – yoyo collection: awesome; tattoo of a cactus on his face: insane; appeared on The Apprentice: bullshit – and it can be used to review restaurants. Here’s how London’s Roast fared using the awesomeness/insanity/bullshit happiness metric.

Awesomeness rank: high
Champagne has always been my go-to celebratory drink. My mother and I were celebrating her birthday. Ordering two glasses of their finest (yet reasonably priced) Champagne, I was then politely offered an alternative suggestion: an English sparkling wine. I must admit, I was initially apprehensive but the Roast Chapter II 2008 Chapel Down from Kent was the perfect tipple to toast my mum's birthday, and put Champagne on par with Magaluf’s fish bowls.

Mum suitably satisfied with the birthday ceremonial, I was free to peruse the menu where I noticed Roast’s two stars from the Sustainable Restaurant Association. This means they source food sustainably and work closely with their local community. Roast’s commitment to working with fresh, local, seasonal produce means you can actually taste the awesomeness.

The starter of Norfolk asparagus was firm with a slight crunch of awesome, combined with some heat from a perfectly creamy Hollandaise awesome. With every bite of the roasted fillet of Whitestone Cliff Longhorn I could practically taste the cow’s fresh air, luscious green grass, and British countryside environment. The beef dripping roasties, Yorkshire pudding and mountain of vegetables came in abundance. I couldn’t have managed it all unless I’d requested to move to a table for 10, insisting the two seats either side of me remain empty so that more food could have been arrayed before my open and eager mouth.

Insanity rank: high.
Roast is right on Borough Market. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during market days, you can sit drinking your awesome British sparkling wine and eating your awesome sustainable food whilst watching the insane gathering of traders and public. High above, and watching like a God, you can peer down at the hustle and bustle from your tranquil higher plane; a cloud of white table cloths and sparkling silver wear. You feel you’ve been liberated from all human pieties; a piety-smushing, if you will.

The market is not the only sight; St Paul’s Cathedral is also visible. And I’m not talking a zit on Cheryl Cole’s immaculate face visible (read: nawwwt) but truly, insanely visible. Well, as much as the temperamental British weather allows. A mist of rain had thrown St Paul’s into a slight haze. Squinting through it, I longed for the weather to heat up. My mum mused about how the outside doesn't bother her. She was having a perfectly lovely time inside, hugging a glass of the 2005 Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the empty bottle of which she later asked to take home to stuff a candle in. In fairness, it was exceptional; another gentle suggestion from Roast's well-informed staff after I had attempted to order a bottle of Rioja. The velvet Chateauneuf-du-Pape indeed was more deserving of the pink beef.

Bullshit rank: low.
Roast scores low on bullshit. Their menu isn’t bullshit, it’s awesome. Their ‘amazing views’ aren’t bullshit, they’re insane. And the people who fill Roast aren’t bullshit.
Let’s not be coy, Roast isn’t cheap. I would be highly suspicious if a restaurant of this standard was. As mum noted: nothing in life is free and nothing great in life is cheap. But where other high-end restaurants let themselves down is their sheer level of bullshit. Their stuffy and pretentious demeanor leads to stuffy and pretentious guests, drinking and eating all the bullshit they can manage.

Roast is not tolerant of irksome bullshit. The atmosphere is relaxed; staff do not look down on guests and in turn guests do not look down on staff. There is unison in the appreciation of quality, unison in pride of British food and drink, and unison in an ethos of relaxed dining. Tables fill with groups of friends, with dates, with family, with people of all ages.

Overall happiness: very high.
The praise I have for Roast is boundless. By the time I left I was practically prone and unresponsive. I felt like a baby floating in amniotic fluid; happy. Not even a shot of pepper spray to the eye could have tainted such a perfect evening. more

Faye Armstrong

Customer Reviews for Roast

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Roast.

“What an amazing restaurant. Even without the food the vista of London in full swing is spectacular. Definite contender for 'best view of Borough Market from a restaurant window'. And the food will actually distract you from said view. Brilliant, if a trifle steep. Special treat territory.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Ross, Camberwell (5 years 3 months 3 days ago)

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Additional Information

Roast Food & Drinks

  • Cuisine Type: British
  • Average Price: £35.00

Roast Food Menu

Using native ingredients wherever possible, the seasonal menu crams in a mouthwatering array of fish, grills, game and - yes - roasts.

Updated 13/07/2008

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Venue ID: 18821

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