The Bull and Last, London

There is seldom a better meal than a proper Sunday roast. By that I mean, a proper Sunday roast in Britain! It naturally follows that the nations favourite and most frequented building outside of the house, the pub, should be the best place to have it, no? However, this is seldom the case where far too many pubs know all too well about ruining a perfectly good Sunday roast. Rubbery meat, cold vegetables, soggy potatoes, flat or no Yorkshire pudding  are just some of the deceptions served up in the name of a roast at many a tavern and public house,  a travesty of Britains favourite meal. 

What do I think a roast should have? Well, apart from a choice of beef, pork, lamb, chicken or as I once had on my menu, 12 different meats, there should be, in the winter, crispy roast potatoes (preferably duck fat roasted), savoy cabbage/cavolo nero/preferred greens, honey roasted parsnips, glazed carrots, cauliflower/beetroot/turnips or pumpkin, and giant Yorkies, lashings of homemade gravy and the appropriate sauce to go with the right meat. It should be a meal that takes up most of the afternoon, involves a bloody mary and the Sunday crossword, good company and a walk home to help digest. The recent Observer Food Monthly awards decided that a pub in northwest London was worthy of being being crowned Best Sunday Roast. A pub by the name of Bull & Last. So, is it really all that good?

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Wantons
Fritters
Fish Board

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Pigs Trotters Wantons are nibbles of fabled glory. Creamy, meaty porcine goodness – only to be let down by the sweet chilli sauce, not entirely a downfall though. I was expecting something much different to the tempura vegetables we got that on the menu read as Red onion, courgette and celery leaf fritters. Whilst crunchy and all that, a more appropriate wording on the menu would have stopped me ordering these nibbles. Now, my shared starter of the fish board was a thing of beauty comprising a cod croquette, squid tempura (baby, baby squid, mind you!), mackerel pate, potted shrimp, fennel & soda bread, beetroot cured salmon.

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Now, onto the star attraction… the roast. I chose Roast Chicken with squash, roast potatoes, bread sauce. What arrived was a larger than life plate of food, but there was no Yorkshire pudding, which I kindly requested, and was served. The chicken breast was a little on the dry side, while the thigh was grilled and, thankfully, moist. Bread sauce, I’m afraid, needs some serious work as what I got was a wallpaper paste of starch. The others had roast beef which dutifully came with parsnips, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, Yorkie…the works – it would have been nicer if the chicken came with all that too!

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Dessert wise, I found that I didn’t have much space to fit any of the lovely sounding and looking (we peeked at other tables) desserts, so instead went for homemade ice creams of Ferrero Rocher and Gingerbread. Yes, they taste just as wonderful and intense as they sound and you expect them to. Sensational would be the appropriate word!

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Having sampled the famed Sunday lunch, I think another trip to this neighbourhood gem to sample the a la carte menu is more than warranted!

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Overall Experience: 8
Food: 7
Recommend you go: 8
Website
Bull & Last on Urbanspoon
Square Meal

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