I’ll admit that as I stepped off the tube at London Bridge station, I was feeling pretty stressed out. I’d just crossed London at rush hour with a buggy and the girls and I was close to tears after a long day of coralling and pacifying and entertaining children around London. We were all ready for dinner, and hanger was setting in with alarming speed.
Roast is tucked away in Borough Market, a short walk from London Borough Station. The girls were buzzing around me as we walked through the market as it was closing, the end of the day for many. We passed a busy pub, with people spilling out on the street, drinking, smoking, laughing and chatting and I pushed the girls through the crowd, and we arrived at Roast.
Matt and I used to spend long lazy weekends at Borough market when we used to live in London but that was long before Roast arrived here. The restaurant sits above the market in the portico of the Floral Hall, accessed by lift, or stairs. There’s something clever about this – as you ascend, you leave the hub-bub of the bazaar below, and arrive in Roast, as if you have been transported to relaxation.
At reception, the staff couldn’t have been more wonderful. Bear in mind my harassed mother appearance and state as they gently and expertly helped me collapse the buggy, swept away our coats and reassured me that despite us being early, our table was ready.
The restaurant is open, bright and elegant, with huge windows overlooking the market, and where we found our table. The waitress brought me a generous glass of merlot, and for the first time that day, I relaxed. The girls busied themselves with colouring bits and bobs and a treat lemonade as I pondered over the menu and waited for Matt to arrive. What I loved immediately, from a glance at their website and of course, menu, is that the food at Roast is sourced on it’s doorstep within the iconic market, with notes in the menu as to where.
It’s worth noting for families that Roast have an exceptional offer whereby children under 12 can receive a free meal if they are dining with a full paying adult – and the children’s menu is fantastic. Our girls both chose pasta, their favourite – but there are the usual suspects here, from fish fingers to baby pork sausages, burger as you’d expect and even a mini roast dinner meaning that the fussiest of eaters are well accommodated at Roast. Our waitress wasn’t only incredibly kind with the girls but also made super recommendations for both Matt and I.
Our starters arrived – for me, the requisite oysters that I LOVE – full, plump, tender; and for Matt, the softest of scallops. The vinaigrette with the oysters was simply perfect; and the sommelier brought a crispy, citrusy and light Vinho Verde to accompany them. Matt’s scallops were paired with a Chevauceau Blanc. Both perfect.
Onto the mains; the girls’ pasta arrived to much delight with a tomato sauce and liberal sprinkling of cheese, and was keenly devoured with lots of smacked lips and tomatoey faces! Matt had ordered the pork belly, with creamy mash and apple sauce (naturally!), whilst I could not hide my delight as my whole seabass arrived – my absolute favourite – with clam sauce, this was seriously my favourite meal for some time. Again, the sommelier recommended perfect wines; for Matt, a hearty Chevauceau rouge from the Languedoc, and for me, Roast’s own Bacchus Reserve, from the Chapel Down Winery in Kent. I’m writing this while salivating at the memory, if that gives any indication as to how good it was.
Matt and I were stuffed by this point, completely satiated so ordered coffees while of course, the girls had the knickerbocker glories that they had had their eye on since ordering. It has to be said that the staff at Roast are absolutely lovely; welcoming, polite, knowledgeable and so accommodating of our children. They were attentive without being fussy and really helped to make our experience at Roast relaxing, and wonderful at the end of a very – let’s say – demanding day. We couldn’t recommend more – (especially during the holidays for that free children’s meal offer!) and without a doubt, will be visiting again, very soon.
Disclaimer: . We were guests of Roast restaurant and our meal provided free of charge. As ever, we only review honestly and in keeping with The Motherload®® ethos at all times and welcome your own feedback and experience of this venue.
Image credit: Kate Dyson