Tuesday, November 15, 2016
The First Sunday Roast of the Season @ The Bell, Walthamstow
I'd forgotten how much I missed having a good Sunday roast. Specifically, a hot plate filled to the edges with roast beef (or pork belly or chicken), a pile of roast vegetables, a big, fluffy cloud of a Yorkshire pudding - all swimming in a thick, rich gravy. Specifically, after a long, bracing walk in the cold - the kind of walk that leaves you with a runny nose, red cheeks, and numb toes.
We had that kind of Sunday roast a few weekends ago at The Bell in Walthamstow. They start serving lunch at 12, but we were warned that it would get busy and, sure enough, every table was taken by 1 pm.
For a lighter version of a Sunday roast, The Bell also serves roast meat of your choice between two soft pieces of brioche, but we arrived with big appetites, so went the whole hog (no pun intended).
While John cut into his roast beef (served with a generous portion of gravy and horseradish), I eagerly anticipated my roast pork belly. Although the crackling was too thick and tough to cut into, let alone eat (a bit disappointing), the belly itself was melt-in-the-mouth tender. Overall, the dish was a little under-seasoned (which I prefer to being overly salty), but it was so satisfying, I ate every last bite. I especially loved the tangy red cabbage buried under the mound of vegetables and the apple sauce - both perfect accompaniments for the pork belly.
Before our plates could be whisked away, we'd already decided on dessert: apple crumble and sticky toffee pudding. The heat radiating off our apple crumble plate was incredible - we warmed our hands above it like it was a fire! I only wished it was served with ice cream instead of double cream (I'm American like that).
Being the greedy guts that I am, I dipped my fork into my brother-in-law's sticky toffee pudding ... which was a bit on the dry side. But, happy with our apple crumble, I scooped the last mouthful into my mouth (which I'm pretty sure was still steaming hot).
I'm so looking forward to taking my parents to The Bell for a roast when they're here in December. What's your favorite place to go for a roast? We love making our own too (John's speciality is lamb and/or chicken ... I handle all the sides!).