There’s only one thing for it on a Sunday when you’re more than slightly fragile from the night before – a roast. We live just round the corner from Brown’s so I’m surprised it’s taken us this long to try their Sunday lunch. The restaurant was very busy indeed and, without a booking, we took a seat in the bar area (or rather a very tired, saggy sofa).
Stu went for the beef and I went for the chicken, swayed by the inclusion of bread sauce – what a rare treat!
The food took absolutely ages, but it was extremely busy and we had nowhere to be. The first thing that struck us when the food arrived is that there didn’t seem to be loads of it – especially on the beef plate. For the £14.95 price tag I would’ve hoped for a larger portion (although the chicken itself was sizeable).
The beef was absolutely delicious, cooked pink it was tender and flavourful, everything you hope for. Served with a surprising addition of horseradish creme fraiche, it was a delight. The chicken (£13.95) was bigger than the beef and actually well cooked, as is always a risk with chicken, it can go so dry if not cooked with attention. Half the breast didn’t escape the dryness trap but the leg meat especially was moist. It had good flavour on the skin, although this could have been crispier.
The Yorkshire pudding was served with the beef only (I know it’s traditional, but c’mon man, I’d love one with chicken too!) and was fine if a bit dry and crunchy. We do like a bit of pudding goo inside of a yorkie. The stuffing isn’t worth writing about, it was a tiny, over cooked disc of crispy sausage that I could’ve done without. The same could be said of the pig in blanket. The bread sauce I was so looking forward to was also a disappointment, being far too thick, having congealed on the plate with an overwhelming flavour of thyme and nothing else. We make ours with an age old Delia Smith recipe and it’s infinitely better! Improving, the veg was delicious, roasted really is the tastiest way over boiled. As always, we can do without red cabbage, but Brown’s version isn’t too overwhelmingly spiced or sweet/acidic so it was actually quite pleasant this time. The roasties were ok but a bit dry and lacklustre like they had been sat out a while, the gravy was tasty but there wasn’t enough of it. If you look at the pictures, this is with gravy and you would be hard pushed to spot any.
So, all in all, the verdict isn’t great but as far as the meat and veg goes it was well cooked and tasty – the promise of these little extras such as bread sauce and horseradish creme fraiche were more exciting on paper than in the eating, which added a disappointment factor, and the portion size could have been bigger for the beef. Not a bad roast for one so close to home, but it didn’t insight any mouthgasms either.
Atmosphere and surroundings: 7/10