Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Roast, Borough Market, Celebrates Malbec World Day



Wine pairing has become very fashionable. Trendy enough for TV chefs to display ostensibly their knowledge. I am told that John Torode is starting a new pairing venture. Behind the scenes there are some solid professionals playing the game too and it is certainly an interesting activity, getting the feel of which wine enhances which food.

At Pebble Soup HQ, we have been sporadically keeping wine-notes. One of the grape which seems to hit the spot with me is Argentinian Malbec. Possibly because it doesn't explode my papillae but still is powerfully flavoured, full bodied and has a long lingering aftertaste.

Readers who have been following this blog will know that "world days", "national days" "whatever days" spur me on for various and often frivolous reasons. So I was not going to ignore, "Malbec World Day," which takes place on the 17th April, the day on which in 1853 Argentinean president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento officially began his mission to transform his nation's wine industry.
 
Borough Market-based restaurant Roast, is joining in the festivities with special additions to its à la carte offering. Roast is a landmark. Founded by Iqbal Wahhab, a restaurateur who started as a journalist and went on to create the legendary (and in my opinion a tat over-rated) Cinnamon Club . 
 
From 15-21 April, a trio of dishes has been created by Head Chef and keen forager Marcus Verbene. This special menu is based solely on British seasonal ingredients to pair exclusively with the restaurant’s new and exclusive wine,  Roast Malbec 2010 Bodega Ruca Malen.
 
At Pebble Soup HQ we could not wait to start celebrating as at every mention of Roast, there was somebody to remind me how lucky I was and how nice the place is.
 

Situated inside the market, the restaurant is over two floors, the second floor was originally a theater, with windows lining for walls and skylights for ceiling, it is light and airy. On arrival, we were directed to our table by a window with a view of St Pauls' dome.

The tables are rather close to one another but in some ways it doesn't matter as the room is so vast. In fact, I found it rather nice to be able to peek without intruding on other diners' choices. Everybody seemed to have something to celebrate, so there was a lot of smiles around.

This restaurant has class in abondance which is reflected in the design, the crispiness of environment, the friendliness and smoothness of the service. Roast is certainly a treat.


With the blue and purple light blending nicely with the natural tones of dust our flute of Chapter 2 sparkling wine from the Tenterden winery exclusive to Roast looked like shimmering liquid gold.

The starter  Betroot and Wild Herb salad with Stichelton (£8.75) was accompanied by a glass of La Brouette Blanc 2012 Vin du Gers which cut through the saltiness of the Stichelton. This wine is just a delight. But the real surprise came from the wild herbs: pennywort, wild chervil, sweet cisely and wild fennel, some of which where a real discovery.

To pair Malbec, strong flavours are required, the main course designed specially for this celebration week is Venison Wellington with MacSween's haggis and a shallot and Malbec reduction (£32.50). Roast has its own Malbec 2010, Bodega Ruca Malen, Mendoza (£11.40 per Glass). A best-seller and you soon understand why, it has all the qualities of a Malbec.


This Venison Wellington is a clever dish. It works in strata, it has to, in order to held the haggis in place an extra thin pancake is added, the venison melts like butter in the mouth. Personally I loved the pairing haggis and Malbec. The chefs in the kitchen do a sterling job. All the portions are dished out perfectly similar, there is elegance in the presentation and cleverness in the execution.


 
 We were told to leave room for dessert, Soft-centered chocolate pudding with sour cherry ice-cream (£8.25).

All in all, Roast is impressive, the enticing menu adapted to its surrondings, the incredible setting, the great design and the delicious wine list. It doesn't come cheap but you wouldn't expect it be. If the Malbec pairing menu is representative of their everyday dishes, it is cool and classy.
 
Roast
The Floral Hall, Borough Market, Stoney
Street, London, SE1 1TL
0845 034 7300
0845 034 7300
 
Head Chef Marcus Verberne

Restaurant: 120 places
Bar: 30 places
Lunch - £30
Dinner - £42
opened in 2005 Roast is famous for its breakfast
Roast on Urbanspoon

Square Meal
Disclaimer: We were guest of Roast and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff who looked after us.


 

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