One of the hardest meals for a restaurant or gastropub to reproduce is the Sunday roast. It’s not that any of these establishments doesn’t have the resources to assemble all that you are looking for with this English institution; good quality meat with crispy bits at the end, roast potatoes that are done just so, glazed parsnips and of course, the gravy that has been addled with just the right amount of sherry. The reason why it is so hard to get it right is because of the little idiosyncrasies which are particular to whichever parent put together. Your mum or your dad would have their own particular way of preparing the vegetables or cooking the meat. The deep attachment that we have to different aspects of the meal mean that someone else’s version will always suffer in comparison.
But before this turns into a voiceover for a Bisto commercial, it can’t be worth the hassle of going all the way home for a good Sunday roast. The expensive train journeys and the awkward conversations with your parents about how much you’re paying in rent mean that it is worth finding some alternatives. One of these places is Oslo, a neat and spacious venue in Hackney, which doubles up as a music venue.
I didn’t start with the roast but went for some baby calamari, which is the Sunday roast equivalent of nicking a few carrots or potatoes before starting. The calamari were very well prepared, well seasoned and went very well with the sweet chilli sauce.
Onto the main course and there was a huge amount of food to tackle. I went for the roast beef and this came with roasted potatoes, roasted parsnips, a Yorkshire pudding, kale, carrots and gravy. It was a sumptuous amount of food and packed full of flavour. The roast beef was very sturdy and had a very good resonance with the gravy. Whilst the roasted parsnips and potatoes did not come up to the standard put down by my dad, I’m struggling to think of a chef in the world that could.
The very charming meal was rounded with a very decadent Eton Mess, which featured blueberries, strawberries, meringue, whipped cream and topped off with a berry coulis. If you’re hankering after a proper Sunday roast with all the trimmings, I would very much recommend Oslo. The food is very well prepared, the service is very attentive and the venue itself is a fine place to hang out on a Sunday afternoon.
1a Amhurst Road