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Dr John Hawkins

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Pumpkins, Apples and Cats

Posted on 2010/10/29 08:26:40 (October 2010).

[Sunday 24th October]
In hindsight I suppose this was quite a Halloweed themed day, albeit a week early, and in no way intentional.

We'd planned to meet up with Mick for lunch, and eventually settled on the idea of going to Borough Market, where they were having a one-off Sunday opening for an apple festival.

As it was going to be Sunday lunchtime I thought we should try a restaurant there called Roast, which, as you can imagine, specialises in roast meals. Here's my review:

I ordered the vegetarian option (a stuffed pumpkin) and noticed the menu mentioned the roast potatoes were cooked in beef dripping. I asked if there was an alternative to go with the vegetarian option and they said they could do mashed potatoes instead (not really what I want for Sunday lunch in the first place), but that would have to be for the whole table! That just seemed crazy to me - there were three of us dining and I was the only vegetarian. After some debate the waiter said "I'll see what I can do for you" as though he was doing me a special favour. We eventually got what appeared to be one portion of mashed potato and one portion of roast potatoes - for three people. At 26 a head for two courses it's baffling that they're so mean over a couple of potatoes.

I didn't particularly enjoy the stuffed pumpkin, the filling was a kind of ratatouille with a few very small chunks of not-particularly-flavoursome cheese. It was pretty bland, didn't feel very traditionally British, so was not really not the sort of thing I want for Sunday lunch, and really did not feel like it was worth the 16 or so it is marked up at on the menu. My wife had the roast beef and was similarly underwhelmed, and even the potatoes cooked in beef dripping, over which so much fuss had been made, were apparently unspectacular. The mashed potatoes were too salty and too much like a puree - given that my main dish was lacking in texture too I felt a bit like I was eating a meal of baby food.

Desserts were better - I had a crumble with custard that was simple but good (but still not worth the presumably 8 ish price tag). It's a nice space too - very light and airy, and they had live jazz from 1pm... but the good points didn't really overcome the fact that the food was bland, overpriced, and the ridiculous quibbles over potatoes seemed nonsensical and overall a bit mean.

I don't think I'd go again, and my wife said the same thing.


After that we had a wander around Borough Market, wherein unsurprisingly I bought some apples.

We then headed up to King's Cross, to see Mick's new place there, and for Chie to spend some time with Mick's cat Coco, of whom she is very fond.



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