Having conquered the sandwich world and looking for fresh challenges, Mondo Sando are now serving Sunday roasts at their permanent pub residencies, the White Horse in Peckham and the Grove House Tavern in Camberwell. Long Live Mondo Arrosto.
The first thing to note is that the White Horse is a proper English pub. It's got a lovely cosy bar area, a beer garden, a huge screen for sports (but in a separate area) and a pool table (ditto) so you can pick your perfect pub Sunday. This would definitely be my local if I was, well, local. Still, I was very happy to be here for a Sunday roast pub lunch , as the setting was perfect.
They have a selection of beef, pork or veggie roasts plus a sharing special, which on our visit was lamb shoulder with tahini yoghurt, harissa oil and yorkies. There is the option of adding roasties and gravy for £5, which I did as the concept of a Sunday roast without roast potatoes is a travesty which cannot be tolerated. As it turned out, roasties and gravy come as standard anyway, so these were extra - if there is such a thing where roasties are concerned. Showing a good understanding of their market, they also offer an extra Yorkshire pudding and an extra jug of gravy for £1.50 each (obviously we had both).
There is also a selection of sides; on offer on our visit was chargrilled broccoli with the lamb's tahini yoghurt and harissa oil, which went beautifully with the slight char of the broccoli. We could have ordered cheesy leeks with cheddar, bechamel and crumb or indeed fried stuffing balls with pecorino sauce, if we hadn't already gone hard on the potatoes and yorkies. Ah well, next time.
And so to the roast. First impressions were that the promised rare beef was in reality much closer to medium. After my initial disappointment it turned out to still be soft, juicy and with a good flavour, so on to the rest of the plate. For those of you expecting me to diss the Yorkie as overdone, it's not going to happen; I have no time for flabby, pale Yorkshire pudding. That contrast between the crispy shell and soft, yielding inside is everything.
The roasties were cooked well, with a satisfying blend of crispy wonderfulness and a gravy-soaked version of the same. I think the gravy could have been a little more intense, but basically it was the pub roast you hope you will get put in front of you when you turn up, sleep-deprived and hanging after a big night, at your local on a Sunday lunchtime. And how do I know this? From the table next to us, which was four lads who looked somewhat less than ready for their day. They each had a pint and a roast in front of them, plus a pint glass of water and a tube of Berocca in the middle of the table. It'll sort you out; if that's not a classic Sunday roast, I don't know what is.
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Deputy Editor, Chatting Food London: Amanda David
Amanda David is a freelance food writer specialising in London’s restaurants, bars, exhibitions and events. She is the Events Editor for London Cheapo and a regular contributor to Palate Magazine.
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