Reasons to be cheerful about the arrival of autumn? The turning leaves, the crisp air, the return of our favourite cosy jumpers… oh and the start of Sunday roast season! There are few things so institutionally British as the Sunday roast and when executed properly nothing is as comforting, particularly on a cold autumnal afternoon when thoughts of the new week ahead start to creep in.
For my first proper roast of the season I visited the Royal Oak in Marylebone, having heard great things about their straightforward approach to cooking, and it’s safe to say it didn’t disappoint.
A gastropub through and through, both food and interiors can be described as ‘rustic chic’ and I’ve always been a big fan of a proper pub design. The Sunday menu offers the choice between roast topside of beef with homemade horseradish, cote de boeuf with braised brisket, Cornish red chicken or roast lamb, all served with the traditional sides. Wash it all down with the wide selection of London-brewed beers that change daily.
From the perfectly executed starters of shorthorn beef tartare and an nduja scotch egg with roasted garlic aioli to the roast beef itself, everything was cooked to perfection and the quality of the ingredients was impressive. It may sound strange to focus on the gravy but I found this particularly tasty, jam-packed full of flavours and you could tell lots of attention and love had gone into what is effectively the ultimate sidekick to any roast (often underestimated in terms of importance!)
This is the kind of place you want to spend all of Sunday afternoon and the evening too – especially if it’s grey and raining outside.
Price Rating – ££
Ambience – ****
Service – ***
I would recommend booking ahead of schedule as Sunday is understandably very popular! Food is served on Sunday 12pm – 8pm and you can book online here.