Lucy Self spends her Sunday in Soho sampling Blacklock’s new roast and finds an instant winter classic…
With its flesh-focused menu and Soho basement location made for those days when winter’s cloak of grey sends you burrowing underground, Blacklock is such an obvious Sunday roast choice, we wonder why they took so long to offer it. Well, we would have wondered, had we not chatted up the dishy owner whilst we waited for pudding (who told us they were originally following other Soho stalwarts by closing on Sundays but then realised they were missing a seriously meaty trick). Mid-course flirting with the floppy-haired Gordon aside, offer it now they do and it’s an absolute belter.
On the third Sunday of trading the room was full, the staff on full-beam charm and the food quality high. So high in fact, that the picture of its three-meat platter is likely to cruise to legend Instagram status within the month. The menu gets to the point quickly. Alongside a handful of starters (which we opted not to tackle, having seen the aforementioned platter en route to another table as we took our seats), there’s a lamb, beef and pork option or, for £20 a head, you can get a mix of all three with the full trio of sides.
For me, the perfect roast dinner is a culinary holy grail. Everyone says it’s simple. A bit of meat, some veg and a few spuds… what can go wrong? The answer nine times out of ten (ten if you’re eating at my mum’s house) is everything. A less than perfect crunch on the potatoes. Greens that sail past crisp and glistening to sad and soggy in an instant. A butcher-purchased prime cut of beef cooked and rested for the advised amount of time, only to find it heartbreakingly past its pink centre on carving.
Of course Blacklock’s offering made it look easy. Beef ribs as long as your arm are piled on top of blushing strips of meat from the fore-rib, there’s rosy rounds of pink Middlewhite pork loin an inch thick with glorious fat, and thick slices of sweet Cornish lamb. Duck fat roasties with such a satisfying crunch, we failed to stop dunking them in bone marrow gravy until so full we feared we couldn’t go on.
Giant Yorkshire puddings puff up winningly from the bottom of the platter and are best left until the meaty juices make puddles at the bottom. The three vegetables sides are top notch: a cauliflower cheese all cream and bite, peas loud with mint and lemon; and tangle of root vegetables lifted brightly out of cloying sweetness with a bright gremolata.
Sticking to the simplest of dessert guns (the single pudding offering was much talked about when they opened), the meal ended with a whole white chocolate cheese cake. Cut and served a tad clumsily at the table with a tart puddle of strawberry sauce. This gesture of old-fashioned hospitality sums up the Sunday roast offering at Blacklock – the warm charm of home-cooking left in the capable hands of a restaurant who knows exactly what it’s doing.
Blacklock – 24 Great Windmill St, London W1D 7LG
Words by Lucy Self, our new girl about town and restaurant writer. She is an all round food obsessive and has been writing about food in London for several years, as well as having a steady day job in restaurant PR.