If there’s one thing I love England for it’s for their immense devotion to providing their countrymen with a pleasurable way to end off a long and hard week. Two words. 1. Sunday 2. Roast. Of course, the reason for the long and hard week is because I’ve had to work my body to the max to burn off the million calories from that one meal. But I digress…
I’m ashamed that after living here for two years and having kept up this blog for basically the same amount of time, not a single entry has ever been devoted to one of my most favoured English gastronomic experiences. I have to specify English because let’s face it, not even the crème-de-la-crème of Sunday Roasts will ever beat out Chinese-style lobster and Peking duck.
But it’s never too late to correct an error (is it?) so I will now begin to document my Sunday Roast experiences. The good, the bad, and most especially, the OMG-THAT-WAS-SO-AMAZING-I-WISH-EVERYDAY-WAS-SUNDAY experiences.
Allium Brasserie Abbey Hotel, North Parade, Bath BA1 1LF
Price: £££ || Atmosphere: 3/5 || Service: 5/5 || Would I go back? Yes, but it wouldn’t be my first pick
Allium Brasserie’s one of the more pricier Sunday Roasts I’ve come across, but with Chris Staines, bearer of a Michelin star, as head chef I can see why. I ordered my go-to dish, the traditional roast sirloin of beef. At £18.95 the roast came with the regular trimmings: Yorkshire pudding, parsnips, carrots, roasted potatoes, and a bed of greens and bacon.
-I appreciated that the server asked if I was OK with my roast being served pink.
-We were served bread that was ACE! It was a beautiful sourdough bread that’s leaving me with a watery mouth just thinking about it even 9 hours later. Props to serving this delicious bread warm and for providing us with room temperature butter that just melted right onto the bread. We ordered another round of bread because it was so good.
-The service was quick, efficient, polite, and I never had to wait long before my empty glass of water was refilled.
-The meal itself was pretty nice. The beef was tender and juicy, although the slices were precut for me and I’d prefer to be served a chunk of meat and be given a steak knife so I can cut my own portions. That way the beef will stay warmer as well. The carrots were caramelized and pretty delicious. The roasted potatoes were piping hot and seeing as they were triple fried in duck fat, pretty tasty as well (but just three potatoes? Come on…).
-The atmosphere and ambience of the restaurant was definitely catered towards a higher end clientele. It’s probably nice as a romantic date kind of setting, but on a Sunday afternoon I just want to have a good laugh and relax with my friends. Allium Brasserie is definitely not the place for that. We all felt we had to be on our best behaviour and had to make sure our indoor voices were in check.
-Not enough gravy. I adore gravy, and the more of it I get, the happier this girl will be. I want to be able to dunk my beef, all my vegetables, and have enough gravy left over so that my Yorkshire pudding can go for a lovely swim. The gravy supply was definitely lacking, leaving my Yorkshire pudding dry and lonely. Poor thing.
-I’m a self-confessed quantity over quality girl and while I’ll admit I didn’t really NEED to eat more at the end of my meal I would have preferred to leave the restaurant STUFFED . I mean, a Sunday Roast should leave you satisfied all day long. I just had dinner 2 hours ago. I would have preferred more of everything and would have also appreciated more vegetables, namely greens. Broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts – anything! I mean, at that price I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
-For the next point I don’t think I can hold it against Allium Brasserie because I think this particular downfall may be a remnant from last night’s dinner, but I found certain parts of my meal to be overly salty (eg. bed of greens with bacon). I’m stating I could be biased because I had a doner kebab for dinner last night, which was so loaded with sodium that I woke up today with a completely parched mouth and proceeded to drink a 1.5 litres in one take. I think my palette was a little extra sensitive to salt today, so again, can’t hold this point against Allium but I thought it’d be worth a mention.
In conclusion, not a bad experience whatsoever. It just wasn’t my ideal situation but I would recommend it to those who I know would appreciate Allium Brasserie’s qualities.