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|Address:||Floral Hall, Stoney Street, London SE1 1TL|
|Tel:||020 3589 2108|
|Price: £53.00||Wine: £22.00||Champagne: £49.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 7-11am Sat 8.30-11.30am 12N-3.45pm 5.30-10.45pm (Sat 6pm-) Sun 11.30am-6.30pm|
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Roast. Bold name, bold venue. Bold under-performance. I recently had an important lunch – thankfully with family rather than business – at Roast, having wanted to try it for a (too) long time. What I found was more than disappointing, it was bordering on the infuriating. The food was OK, but uninspired yes, the produce comes from Borough Market below, yes there is a “Roll of Honour” of the suppliers, but all this is little use when everything else implodes upon itself in a spectacular succession of failures: The service, on balance is probably the best element, where at least they were friendly, the comical one hour wait for our main courses (2 roast beefs, one cod and a plat du jour squid) was probably due to a totally mis-managed kitchen. But it doesn't stop here: the dining room is dated, the tables are cramped the acoustics are about as good as those of the departure hall at St. Pancras International, the place is full of groups and a haze of alcohol hangs over the dining room… It is a great pity, as the space has obvious potential, but there are just too many things unforgivably wrong here that one has to doubt if this really still is one of the best British restaurants in London. Also, although obviously not, Roast's management hide behind a thick layer of “branding” which gives the places on top of all its other shortcomings, the feel of a chain restaurant. And if London's South Bank has enough of one thing, than it is chain restaurants.Pity.