Saturday, 7 November 2015

Sunday Roast @ Pizza East, Shoreditch

For me a leisurely roast lunch is the absolute best way to while away a grey and cold winters Sunday, so I was very excited to be invited to try out the Sunday roast at Pizza East in Shoreditch. You wouldn't know it from the name, but as well as doing a cracking selection of antipasti and small plates along with pizzas (obviously), Pizza East also offers a Sunday Roast. So last Sunday I went along to try it, taking with me a plus one in the shape of my half-Mexican, Los Angeles born-and-bred friend Armando, who (shock horror) had never had a British Sunday roast lunch, so I was interested to see what he made of it too.

A bit of background for those who don't know Pizza East; it's a great place to pop in, have a nice meal from a menu that has something for everyone really, at good value, in a laid back atmosphere. Service is always prompt, and I've always found the staff to be really friendly, relaxed and not at all pretentious (as you can experience in other trendy East London joints).

We kicked off our experience with a couple of cocktails, a Picante de la Casa for Armando, which had a serious kick to it and was a highly addictive, zesty little number, made with limes, chilli and coriander. It certainly blew the cobwebs out! I opted for a Giallo, which was a well-balanced blend of crème de peche, passion fruit and basil. Once our tropical fruit-based cocktails had blown away any inch of winter blues, it was time to address the serious subject of food.

Picante de la Casa cocktail- highly addictive, with a good chilli kick

Pretty as a picture, my Giallo cocktail

Pizza East takes the difficult out of ordering for you on this one- there are 3 Sunday roast options; rib of beef, roast chicken & pork belly. All of these can be ordered for one or two people. So basically you pick your meat, and job done. I'm a roast beef and Yorkshire pud kind-of-gal pretty much every time, so my decision was easy, and my companion opted for the pork belly.

After a short wait, my plate arrived piled high with food, just the way a roast should be. I'm not going to say the presentation was a work of art, but to be honest with a Sunday roast, who wants perfect little precise portions? Not me, I say cram on as much as possible in this instance. The beef was a thick chunk of freshly carved rib, which was cooked beautifully, perfectly tender and flavoursome, with the fat being soft, buttery and delicious. The pork too was really well cooked, and had a good slab of crunchy crackling on it. Of course, it would make sense that the meat would be good, as I'm pretty sure it's roasted within their beautiful wood-fired pizza ovens. The veg was the real hero for me- roasted fennel added something a bit more interesting to the plate than usual roast accompaniments, the roasted carrots were sweet and still had a bit of bite to them, and the crunchy, fluffy roast potatoes were very good indeed. We also got a separate serving of steamed greens which added a nice freshness to my huge heart-attack-on-a-plate of a meal, and an extra jug of gravy each. I like to have my roast swimming in gravy so this was ideal.

Look at that lovely veg, such an important element to a roast.

My plate with half a cow on it.

After this HUGE plate of food each, we felt we really should sample the dessert, but were pretty full, so were considering something light and fresh perhaps, like a sorbet or fruit salad. So we opted for the salted caramel chocolate tart and the banana bread with caramel sauce and ice cream....I mean if you're going to do it, you may as well go all out. Again these were lovely, particularly the banana bread which was warm, comforting, stodgy goodness. Just what you need after eating all the carbs in the world..!

I always find that there's something very satisfying about a very precise slice of tart

Oh yes. Warm banana bread, cold ice cream, caramel sauce.

After this it was time to make a move, not least because I urgently needed to get home, get out of my jeans and into something with an elasticated waistband. I must say we had a lovely time, and I can confirm that Armando is a roast-convert now, so I think it was a good first impression for him of a British Sunday roast lunch. Thank you goes to the Pizza East staff for a great meal and top service. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday!