Providing the perfect end to a busy week, The Chapter Collection of elevated pubs located throughout London present a Sunday Roast that’s tipped to be a bestseller.
On a gloomy Sunday after a night out on the day before, Sunday Roast is the perfect remedy for all one’s troubles. My guest and I dived into a full roast at The Clerk & Well part of The Chapter Collection pubs.
As the name suggests, it’s a pub located in Clerkenwell with traditional rustic dark wood décor that serves a pretty impressive roast. The Sunday menu offers a range of freshly prepared modern British starters, roasts and desserts to choose from.
There is also a great list of drinks with a twist. My guest went for a Jalapeno Margarita, a refreshing cocktail with lime zest and hot spice. I had a little sip but the heat of the jalapeno was definitely not for me.
My guest on the other hand loved it. I stayed more true to the pub traditions choosing half a pint of Guinness with blackcurrant, also known as purple Guinness.
It’s my favourite go to drink with a Sunday roast. I love the chocolate coffee richness of Guinness balanced by sweet and floral hint of blackcurrant. The key is in the measurement – half pint only, otherwise Guinness’s richness will be enough to make it into an actual meal.
For starters we shared crab and crayfish cocktail and buttermilk fried chicken, our original plan to share smoked cod croquettes with truffle failed when we were told they’d run out.
Both starters were served in three, the cocktail – with three slices of roman lettuce and avocado slices, and the chicken was also three slices. We’re good at sharing though, so we divided and conquered the third pieces.
The cocktail offered a great twist to the old classic of prawn cocktail. It was well balanced with plenty of crab meaty texture and a lovely orange twist to the traditional Marie Rose sauce.
We ate it like Korean BBQ, wrapping the avocado, a spoon full of crab and crayfish in the lettuce leaf with a sprinkle of black pepper. Crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside, it was a perfect serving suggestion.
The chicken starter was good, although nothing particularly special to note except for the blue cheese dip which we kept it for our roasts. These arrived promptly and looking impressive, especially my guest’s – The Chapter Roast with roast pork belly and rump of beef.
I had immediate food envy. I’d ordered a Cambrian chicken supreme, which appeared small and slightly less impressive looking in comparison to almost literally a mountain of good looking meat.
But the chicken was faultless, the meat was very flavoursome with plenty of herbs. It was also free range, my must ask question before ordering chicken in restaurants.
Not to mention the trimmings. Under the Sunday roast pyramid rested a palatable braised red cabbage spiced with anise flower along a side of tender spring broccoli and roasted potatoes and carrots. You could tell each vegetable was individually prepared with no flavour cross contamination.
We also shared a side of smoked cheesy cauliflower, which was delightful but too much to handle by then.
At the end my chosen Sunday roast turned out to be just the right size actually, leaving space for a dessert and a little sample of the meats my guest had prior to that.
The crispy crackling skin with melt in the mouth meat of the pork belly deserved a bow. As a non beef eater I skipped the beef but my guest pointed that he would have preferred it slightly pink inside rather than well done. Nevertheless it was very tender.
I don’t know how but he had space for a rich sticky toffee pudding with banana split ice cream. Banana flavoured desserts always remind me of the Canaries, so I try a tiny spoon of the pudding focusing on getting plenty of ice cream.
It’s very delicate, light and natural – a good balance to a dense pudding filled with walnuts. My guest seemed pleased with it too finishing it in no time.
He’s a bit of an expert when it comes to sticky toffee puddings having tried so many. While I’m more of a panna cotta girl for the same reason.
Hence, my choice of dessert that afternoon was the panna cotta with blueberry compote. It was a bit on the firmer side for my liking but I appreciated the ample milky flavour, some can be a bit watery.
The compote was the highlight though – not sugary, with a little tartness packed with natural berry flavour and berries still intact, it reminded me of grandmother’s homemade compote, somewhat resembling wild berries of the forest.
Sunday Roast is a staple in British cuisine, present on most pub Sunday menus making it increasingly hard to find a good spot in the pool of preheated, dry and microwaved plates, in London perhaps more than in the countryside.
Hence I always value a good pub especially in central London. The Clerk & Well is one of them.
The Clerk & Well, 156 Clerkenwell Rd, London EC1R 5DU