How often does a Sunday roast really satisfy your desires? A really great roast takes time and effort to prepare. It’s tricky to get everything ready to serve at the same time – making sure the Yorkshire puddings are perfectly risen with a crispy shell that’s soft in the middle; that you got the best cut of beef and it’s pink and not over-cooked; that the roast spuds are crispy and not under-cooked, and that the veg is neither mush nor too raw.
All too often I’m disappointed with Sunday roasts served in pubs and restaurants that don’t live up to my expectations (nostalgic memories of mum’s perfect roasts, perhaps through rose-tinted glasses…) particularly if the cuts of meat used aren’t the best.
So for me, the thought of a good old Sunday roast is often better than what you get.
Our first visit to Cow + Pig was for Sunday lunch (well, all Sunday afternoon as it turned out) a few weeks ago. As the name implies, Cow + Pig specialises in meaty dishes and there are a lot to choose from.
We were warmly greeted and seated, and started with these cocktails (white lady @ £7 and whisky sour @ £8 from the cocktail menu here) while reading the wine list and menus:
– starters and grill menus
– Sunday lunch
– grazing lunch and dirty dogs
– the rest, salads and sides
– pudding and dessert wine
– after-dinner drinks menu
For starters, we shared cheese + onion doughnuts @ £3.50 (six cave-matured cheddar and onion doughnut-shaped puffs with garlic mayo – so tasty, and lighter than you might expect) and gin salmon @ £7.50 (oak-smoked gin-cured salmon, pickled cucumber and brown bread – really good but surprisingly not as exciting as the cheese and onion doughuts).
Cheddar and onion puffs – starter @ £3.50
Oak-smoked, gin cured salmon – starter @ £7.50
At Cow + Pig every Sunday boasts the best roast.
This bold statement appears on the Sunday lunch menu, along with “all our meats are hand-picked, locally sourced and served with lovingly made week long gravy, Covent Garden vegetables, roasted potatoes and Yorkies your nan will be proud of.”
Can you resist?
It’s a thoughtfully crafted menu that is beautifully branded, lets you know that meats and produce are carefully and locally selected, and appeals to the reader’s desire for perfect food with direct questions such as: “why not try the best you can possibly get – a roasted 500g fillet steak served with all the trimmings @ £60 to share between two”.
Why not indeed? We could think of no good reason not to try the best you can possibly get. It was K’s birthday after all.
And so we ordered rare fillet steak (perfectly pink, melt in your mouth beef) with Yorkshire puddings (exceptional Yorkies, on a par with Plum + Spilt Milk or Crocker’s Folly), mixed roast veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, parsnips, squash), crispy roast potatoes with rosemary, cauliflower cheese and gravy (gorgeous).
Sunday fillet steak for two – roast dinner @ £30 a head
Fillet steak with gravy
To accompany ‘the best’ Sunday lunch option, we chose – as a birthday treat – a bottle of Rioja Roda I Reserva @ £75.00.
This was all very pleasing, filling and relaxing. We were served by a few different people, most of whom were outstandingly helpful, friendly and chatty and came across as knowing the menus (both food and drink) inside out, and happy (proud, even) to be working here. Good.
The restaurant design is appealing, from the clean, simple Cow + Pig logo and clearly laid out menus, to the playful pictures and cow and pig themed furnishings (cow skin chairs and wooden pig decorations). Tables are arranged spaciously and with some privacy making it a comfortable place to eat leisurely and while away a few hours (we arrived slightly early for our 1pm reservation and didn’t leave until after 4.30pm).
Branding and humour
We attempted a sharing platter of cheese and biscuits with tasty chutney. Cheeses included: Ellie’s goats cheese from Kent, Lord London from East Sussex, Mayfield Swiss style cheese from East Sussex, Winterdale shaw cheddar from Sevenoaks, Kentish blue (gorgeous), Lancashire bomb and Baron brie from Suffolk.
Cheese and biscuits with chutney @ £12.00 to share
Cheese selection – includes Baron brie, Kentish blue, Winterdale shaw cheddar
‘Happy birthday’ and cognac
I’d brought some birthday cake and candles (apple and cinnamon cake – LardButty homemade recipe coming soon) which I’d slipped to our waitress earlier. She brought the lit cake out, and got a rendition of Happy birthday going. Others joined in. It seemed like nothing was too much trouble.
And so we ordered Remy Martin XO cognacs @ £12 each and coffees to prolong this enjoyable afternoon just a bit more. A birthday afternoon well spent.
When the bill arrived, something was missing. We questioned that we hadn’t been charged for something we’d had. Maybe I shouldn’t advertise this but it was such a nice gesture: we’d been given some complimentary drinks by way of a birthday treat and a thankyou. How nice, and unexpected, was that?
This is somewhere to come for a celebration and be assured you’re in safe hands, for a reliably good meal.
It’s also a great place to come even if you’re not celebrating and splashing out. For food of this high quality, it’s reasonably priced:
We were back just over a week later. On this mid-week evening visit, I had a Gentle Ocean Breeze alcohol-free cocktail @ £2.50 (absolutely gorgeous with cucumber and elderflower and other mystery ingredients left to the barman’s creativity).
We ordered these starters: cheese and onion doughnuts (K enjoyed them so much last time, he couldn’t venture to try anything different; and you get six rings for £3.50) and salt and peppered calamari @ £7.50 (again, a big portion).
Salt + peppered calamari rings with garlic mayo @ £7.00
We shared a bottle of Les Puits Neuf Chateauneuf-du-Pape @ £35.00 (note that there’s a good choice of wines, starting from £14.00 a bottle) and, for main course, both had the Cow + Pig plate of meat – a hugely filling plate of seven meats, chips and slaw @ £18.00 a plate (if I have this again, I’ll skip the starter).
Cow + Pig plate of meat – with chips and slaw @ £18.00
L-R (ish): Pork belly with crackling, black pudding, burnt ends, Orchard sausage, steak, lamb chop, beef in tomato ragu
We added half a grilled lobster with garlic butter @ £15, making it surf n turf and shared this.
Half a grilled lobster @ £15.00
On this visit, we had a window seat under a canopy of twigs and leaves:
Interior – bringing the outside in
The cow theme extends to the furnishings
The verdict: Best Sunday roast I’ve had in a long time. Extensive menus with an interesting twist. Great service and reasonably priced. If you like great quality meat and are handy for Bromley, give this restaurant a try. It’s one of those rare occasions where a restaurant scores five out of five in the LardButty index.
– Lardbutty rating: 5 / 5
– Type: British, steakhouse
– Address: 39 East St, Bromley
– Postcode: BR1 1QQ
– Tel: 020 8464 8877
– Nearest station: Bromley North
– Website + menus: Cow + Pig website
– Photos on flickr: Cow + Pig photos
– Location: Cow + Pig map
Filed under: Best of..., British, LardButty food / restaurant reviews, steakhouse | Tagged: 5 / 5, 5/5, beef ragu, Bromley, calamari, cheese and onion doughnuts, Cow + Pig, East Street, fillet steak, Lardbutty, LardButty London, lobster, North Bromley, plate of meat, steakhouse | Leave a comment »