Every country has deep-rooted traditions which reflect years of history and heritage from a certain culture. Whether it’s religions, spiritualities or age-old laws, they’re well-honed disciplines which have been perfected over the years by fathers and forefathers. For centuries, tourists have flocked from around the world to soak up British culture and bask in our classical traditions and d’you know what I consider to be one of the most important of all time?
Well-cooked roast potatoes which are browned on the outside with fluffy innards. Medleys of vegetables with homely flavours which feel like a hug from your Mum. Perfectly juicy meats with the appropriate meat-accompaniment, like crackling for pork, stuffing for chicken, yorkies for beef. Then lashings of gravy, until your spuds are floating around your plate like tiny little carb boats. I take the roast dinner tradition really, really seriously and so should you – starting with Jones and Sons roast dinner.
We headed to Dalston where Jones and Sons offer one of two restaurant options to enjoy their roast in – the other being Trip Space in Haggerston. It was a lazy, cold, rainy Sunday afternoon – the type of Sunday when only a roast dinner will do. We cosied ourselves around one of their tables with warming glasses of red wine and lapped up the comforting, chatty atmosphere. Soon enough we were getting involved with their starters, to warm-up our palates and do a few pre-marathon stretches. I had what were the best scallops I’ve ever had. Ever. Good God, Mr Jones and all your sons – I don’t know what you did to them but they were like delicately buttery parcels of heaven. They came with a pumpkin and shellfish reduction, plus caviar because, well, why not. Tom ordered their wild hare terrine which came with pickled carrots and wholegrain mustard. I would describe their flavour to you, but I didn’t get a look in – Tom silently, busily worked his way through them as if he was in some kind of incredibly British eating contest. He did later report though that it tasted amazing. Anyway, enough of that; onto the roast, right?
I ordered Herefordshire beef, Tom ordered slow-roast pork belly. Both came with trimmings, yorkies and loads of gravy. My beef was ridiculously juicy and a bit bloody as requested, with an awesome amount of flavour. I was a bit disappointed at first when one slice of beef arrived. One slice? But actually, there was so much other roasty bits, plus it was a good ol’ wedge, so on reflection, one wedge was more than enough. Tom’s pork belly was even better than the mind-blowing juicy beef wedge. It was ridiculous. The vegetables were tasty – we recommend the honey-drizzled parsnips and the cauliflower cheese – but have to be ordered as separate sides but are worth ordering. Then we had massive, freshly-made crispy yorkshires and enough gravy to make stuff float around.
Two glasses of red later, we were full, satisfied and re-living our Jones and Sons roast memories. Tastes just like your home roast, but without the washing up.