Restaurant review: Roast, London

Meal: The Cook’s Special Breakfast at Roast.

Venue: The acclaimed Roast – sitting above London’s Borough Market – is a must for carnivores everywhere. A classy but unpretentious restaurant, breakfast is all City boys and groups of well-to-do ladies organising charity events.

I love the smell of lobster in the morning. Well, based on our sampling of Roast’s daring new breakfast special, it pongs a lot less than my Dad’s kippers when I was growing up. The idea of seafood for breakfast has always slightly turned my stomach (probably as a result of those bloody kippers), but when Gekko was invited to Roast to check out their brave new addition to the breakfast menu, we didn’t have to be asked twice.

The Roast kitchen

I’ve wanted to go to Roast ever since it opened in 2005, and I’ve frequently had meat lust at the sight of their hearty, well, roasts, on various TV food porn shows. Kicking off any morning in Borough Market is always a pleasure anyway, and Roast sits above it like a foodie watchtower with a brilliant view of St Paul’s across the rooftops and railways. London’s oldest food market still retains a mysterious allure, wrapped up in its Medieval history, riverside location and the mythical tales of celebrity chefs wrestling each other for the last perfectly organic carrot at dawn. But more importantly, it’s a perfect spot for people watching whilst enjoying a spectacular breakfast. (Although, be warned, there are a lot less stores in the week than there are at the weekend).

Borough Market

There’s no better place to sample the Borough ‘ambience’ than at Roast. Which leads us nicely to the lobster. Roast’s thinking is that if you’re not fancying a mammoth meat feast such as ‘The Full Borough’, then you might want something a little lighter that is still of gourmet quality. Hence the chefs sourced some mighty fine Dorset Blue crustaceans from the market downstairs, and have teamed them with toasted English muffins, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.

The Cook's Special

And, despite my misgivings about ocean fayre at brekkie, it’s a triumph. Succulent strips of lobster, a superbly cooked egg and a full-bodied hollandaise. Light enough not to require a post-match snooze in a darkened room, yet hearty enough to mean a distinct lack of any hunger pangs until around two in the afternoon, not to mention classy enough to garner much jealousy from the fruit salad breakfast brigade once back in the office. I’ll be going back to Roast as soon as possible. Is it lunchtime yet?

Verdict: An excellent start to the day in one of London’s best locations. Gourmet but unfussy fayre.

Dan Pilkington

Find out more about Roast here

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