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I've never seen myself
as a typical Englishman, although I can't complain properly, I like
to moan a lot, talk incessantly about the weather and I'm big on
manners. But there is one thing that remind me more than anything
that I am typical English and that is a roastie – a roast dinner if
you didn't get it. A very good friend use to call me Mr Les Rosbifs
when she wanted to pull my leg, but I took with great pride, as there
is nothing much better than a roast dinner on a Sunday or any night
for that matter.
Why is it then, it's
very hard to get a great roast dinner in restaurants. Most time the
meat is well cooked, the vegetables are fresh and crunchy, but the
roast potatoes just don't cut the mustard. In fact over many years I
no longer order a roast dinner because it never lives up to a home
made roastie For some unknown reason I broke my rule and still wish
After spending three
hours standing in Hyde Park on a very wet Sunday morning, marshalling
1000 runners doing the British Heart Foundation Job 2012. I met a
friend and we walked to Belgavria and went to a restaurant called
Thomas Cupit for lunch. Downstairs is actually a bar, which was very
busy and nearly everyone was eating, which is I took to be a great
sign. We didn't have to wait for a table and as we sat down by a
polite and smiley waitress we were asked if we would like a drink
whilst looking at the menu, a great start as far as I was concerned.
After a study of the
menu the roast dinner was grabbing all my attention, but wasn't sure,
due to my roast potatoes experience and my golden rule. There were
three roast options, beef, lamb and pork but I wanted the best of two
of them, the yorkshire pudding from the beef and the crackling from
the pork. After a jovial chat with our waitress I was advised that if
I ordered the pork see would ensure I had a yorkshire pub – this
was just getting better.
Carlingford Rock Oysters
For starters my friend
ordered the Carlingford Rock Oysters, which where very plumb and full of the salty flavour
you would expect and with the usual squeeze of lemon, shallots in red
wine vinegar and a hit of Tabasco they were gorgeous. They had also
cut the oysters foot making it easier to eat. Also the lemon was
covered with muslin so no lemon pips would fall into the oysters.
It's little things like this that shows the restaurant has thought
about the overall dining experience rather just cook and serve. I
ordered dressed crab with crisp bread, which was delicious. The crab
was fresh and delicate but there was a little too much mayonnaise but
not enough overpower the wonderful crab meat. The crisp bread were
well, crisp and had a light flavour and complimented the crab.
For the roast I ordered
the pork and it was perfectly cooked with the crackling salty and
crisp. The carrots and French beans were fresh and crunchy, as was
the cauliflower in the cauliflower cheese, which wasn't to strong.
The yorkshire pudding where light and fluffy and were not greasy. But
what about the roast potatoes, unfortunately they didn't work as they
were neither crispy or fluffy, they appeared to be an after thought
planked on the plate, which was a shame as it would have my first
perfect roast dinner at a restaurant.
There wasn't room for
desserts but I finished with my usual double espresso, which had a
deep full flavour and not bitter it also hadn't been burnt. The staff
were very polite, attentive but not intrusive, in fact our table was
by the ordering bench and most of time we weren't aware of them
working, another sign of a small detail being taken into
I am being a bit hard
on the roast potatoes, as overall it was a wonderful Sunday lunch. If
you're not as fussy as me then you will not be disappointed and will
have a wonderful meal. but at £17.75 for the pork it's is a little
pricey, but worth it. If you don't fancy a roast dinner, the fish and
chips and steak and ale pie looked very good.