Friday, May 28, 2010

Pain/ pleasure in Phuket...

Retreat to Phuket

Yoga and cooking in Phuket, one of my fave combinations

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Roast roast everywhere

I'll put my hand up and say that I'm one of the worst people for making dinner reservations. I'm a double-booker kind of girl, you know the kind that says yes to one thing for next Wednesday and then says hell yeah to another two days later for the same Wednesday. And no matter how much I try to keep my Moleskine in check, it somehow never reflects the full level of committments for one chosen week or month. With all this confusion going on, well dinner reservations mostly seem like a bit of an accident waiting to happen.

This would explain why I've never managed to eat at Roast until yesterday. While my laissez-fair attitude might not go amiss at my favourite in-working-proximity gastropub in Thames Ditton (The Albany - and even that can be problematic sometimes), it is a definite no no at Roast. How many Saturdays have I wandered round Borough Market, tiring myself out to the point of exhaustion with all that cheese nibbling and olive tasting and looked hopefully up at the steel and glass concoction that is Roast perched above the market in the most enticing manner.

Time after time, I've beamed up the little lift, or snuck up the stairs in the hope that this would be the day they would magically have a cancellation and I would be permitted into their womb of meaty goodness. No such luck.

I'd even taken to popping my head up like a very insistent jack in the box on weekdays from time to time. Still no joy. I guess whoever said Thursday is the new Friday was five steps ahead of me. I thought Thursday was still in the realms of "No big night for me tonight, I'll save it until the weekend".

And then yesterday, on the off chance, it happened. Farzana and I were mooching around, sipping on a few well-earned post work cocktails and we thought, well, we might as well try. And it worked. Instead of the normal tight smile and the familiar tone of fully booked ringing in my ears as I sloped down the stairs, the hostess gave us a dazzling smile and showed us to two seats in perfect view of the open kitchen where the chefs were busy doing what they do best, creating very tasty food.

If we'd had more notice, we'd have racked up a humungous appetite - as it was, we only ordered mains and were jean-poppingly stuffed after we'd finished their gargantuan portions. My slow roast Wicks Manor pork belly with roast potatoes was deliciously tender and balanced with a fine amount of crispy crackling, apple sauce and gravy. Perfection. Farzana's pollock was similarly impressive - a big hunk of fish that appeared just the tiniest bit scary until you realised it was a delicate confection of taste and a treat for the tastebuds.

In short, it was worth all the anticipation - enough to even tempt me into booking a table next time - now I know what I've been missing out on, I'm loathe to do it again...

Waiting rating
: High - service was unobtrusive but perfectly timed and they didnt bat an eyelid at my jeans and straw trilby
Scoffing potential: Out of this world. If you are a carnivore or a pescaterian, you are going to be in your element here - check out the daily specials too, next time I'm gunning for suckling pig day
Wallet buddy: Not as wallet unfriendly as you might think and the portions are huge.
The crowd: Young to middling, some celebratory dinners, some romantic deux a deuxs, some dressed to kill, some not
Entertainment: Open kitchens always add spice into the mix when the conversation is flagging, or when you really really want your food to turn up and need some distraction.

6 Southwark Street
London SE1 1TQ
020 7940 1300