Training for a brunchathon is no mean feat. It requires a cast iron stomach to cope with a mountain of carbs, plus the ability to haul one’s sorry carcass out from under a warm duvet on a freezing morning and trek across town to indulge in a hearty jar or two or three or four of Bloody Marys (oops) and a gargantuan plate of assorted grilled meats. A tough job but somebody has to do it.
This week’s regime saw me scale a flight of stairs to feast at Roast in Borough market, one of my all time favourite London foodie haunts and with a smattering of top-notch drinking holes too. I would highly recommend a visit to the market to any foodie travellers looking for a slice of “real London.” There are game butchers, poulterers, greengrocers, fish stalls and some great restaurants too, Roast being one of them.
The first thing you notice when you enter is the buzz. Even at 1015 on a Saturday morning the restaurant was heaving and resounding with the sound of diner chatter and clatter. Then as you ascend the steps up to the higher level you take in the expansive view out across the tops of buildings and over the gleaming railway lines that pan out to South East London. It’s all quite invigorating and somehow helps rustle up a serious appetite, along with the full on aromas of grilled brunches wafting from the kitchen.
After scanning the extensive brunch menu we kicked off with some of their new signature Bloody Marys. First up, to accompany a starter of smoked kippers was a Bloody Smoked.
Finlandia vodka, smoked whisky and the usual spicy melange. Sure as heck inhaled that one like it was a mere cheroot. Most delicious. The kipper was really packed with flavour and as luck would have it, combined perfectly with the cigar. I mean drink.
From the specials menu we ordered a couple of intriguing sounding dishes, one being a duck egg with squid and chorizo, the other smoked haddock cooked with tomato sauce and an egg in a skillet – all sounding marvellous but unfortunately not hitting the spot. Our waiter genially whisked it away and replaced it with our second choice – the full Scottish breakfast. So to show we meant well and out of the goodness of my heart, (cough) I ordered another Bloody Mary – this time the Caesar. Well, all hail Caesar is all I can say. Clamato juice replaces tomato and the silky finish is light on the palette. Et tu Brute my companion toasted as she began the slow ascent to her massive brunch platter.
The Scottish breakfast was everything and more than you could hope for and totally hit the spot: black pudding, haggis, potato scones, grilled tomato, portobello mushroom, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage. A feast fit for a King! To celebrate the resounding success we duly ordered the third Bloody Mary – Bloody Maria with tequila and port. Yikes. I popped my belt buckle down a notch and chugged it merrily, unable now to move. That is proper brunch training right there. Hard work but somebody has to do it.
The views are fantastic, service impeccable, traditional brunches are a feast and you couldn’t wish for a better location for pubs to stumble into afterwards. I got as far as the Market Porter where they have Harvey’s Best and a host of other guest ales on tap. Well, it’s always important to rest after a hard brunchathon training session you know.
Read more brunch adventures at #brunchathon on twitter.
Read menus and book for Roast here.