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Tuesday
Feb012011

Roast - It Left Me Cold

 

Roast has been hailed as the "best breakfast" in London for a while now.  That says a lot. There’s stiff competition in this city in the breakfast category. Better than the Wolseley? The people who perfected breakfast to such a degree A.A Gill wrote a book on the subject? Better than Helene Darroze? Where they serve eggs and truffles all under the flying banner of two Michelin stars.
Sadly, no. Lets be honest, at breakfast time service is important. First thing in the morning, desperate for caffeine and bacon, nothing has the potential to ruin my meal more than rude staff. Anyone else agree? 

The Boyfriend and I stumbled into Roast after a pleasant walk through Borough market. It was a sunny day, and neither the Boyfriend or I were sporting a hangover. More impressive, we were awake and moving before midday. It was set to be a great day. How swiftly things went downhill.

The restaurant itself is quite large. Set on the second floor of a building in the middle of Borough Market, with large windows so you can look down at the bustling market below. However, the person who designed this place clearly didn’t think through the fact that if you have a 150 cover-ish (guessing that) restaurant, having an entrance area the size of a small walk in wardrobe is going to lead to problems. 
When the Boyfriend and I entered the restaurant, the entrance area was packed because there were approximately five other people already waiting. We asked if there was space for two (apparently you should book for breakfast here). We were told to wait until they found out how long a table would be. That was fine – who doesn’t like getting cozy in a confined space with a load of strangers. Ten minutes or so later another couple arrived. They asked for a table and were immediately taken through.  When the Boyfriend and I queried this, and pointed out we had been waiting for a table for two, we were told that we would have to wait, in a rude, brisk abrupt manner. Five minutes later we were finally taken to our table.
This is where we encountered our second problem. Any good breakfast establishment and certainly any establishment claiming to be the The Best  Breakfast in London should provide newspapers. Its common sense. In a large restaurant you should have a lot of newspapers. Clearly this logic was lost, as by the time we arrived there were about 3 random sections left.
Our table was at least okay. The problem with the whole no “table clothes” thing that’s taking London by storm now is that it requires investment into very high quality tables to make it work. Some restaurants – Bar Boulud, Bocca di Lupo for instance, realize this.  Roast doesn’t. Obvious chips in the dark wood table made the room, which had so much potential thanks to giant ceilings, look tacky and a bit cheap.
Anyway, on to the food. The Boyfriend and I started with teas. They were fine. At least the teapots were cute. The Boyfriend was disappointed to see that the Lobster omelette, advertised on their website and the only reason we had come actually wasn’t available. So instead he settled for an egg white omelette with smoked trout and I with Eggs Royale and a side of bacon.
The food came pretty swiftly so no complaints there. The food was a different story however. I mean look at the bacon. That’s a pretty measly portion and for 3.50! Outrageous! 4 tiny slices!
The Boyfriend described his omlette as bland and not exactly exciting.   
Hollandaise is basic that any good restaurant should have perfect. Especially one that claims to serve a great breakfast. Sadly, mine was overly acidic and far too tangy. The egg and the rest of the dish was fine, but ruined by the sauce.
Overall, it was an incredibly disappointing experience. Incredibly disappointing and incredibly expensive. It came to £30.00. Best breakfast in London? Yeah right.


Roast on Urbanspoon