Sussex Bar & Restaurant, Soho

If you name’s not down your not coming in, to read this review of Sussex Bar & Restaurant in Soho.

OK, you are in.

Booze is back in my life, and hence so are reviews of roast dinners being published closer to the next roast than the one I’m reviewing. Albeit I’m currently in Sicily and it’s unlikely that I’ll find a roast dinner here on Sunday – Sicily, the place where restaurant research dies a death, because they simply don’t do crap food here. Well, if they do, you have to research it.

Yeah, I even wore a t-shirt yesterday…remember warmth? Obviously I’m assuming that you are reading in March when I post this, and not August.

Life seems to have had a Sicilian theme recently, from watching Operation Mincemeat on Friday, to seeing Lisa MAFIA on Saturday (accidentally, please don’t judge we just needed food and went to Boxpark, and I live in Croydon), and now, erm…yeah there’s no connection to this review of Sussex Bar & Restaurant. Maybe the carrots were from Sicily?

What I didn’t realise before I went, was that I’d been to a restaurant in the same group as Sussex Bar & Restaurant quite a few years ago – Rabbit, in Chelsea. And scored it a lowly 6.15 out of 10, for the smallest roast dinner ever. Oh, but I did go with a Mediterranean young lady…so there’s your semi-Sicilian connection.

Miniscule Of Sound

I had reasonable hopes for Sussex Bar & Restaurant, but also a reasonably whopping hangover.

Firstly though, I have a gripe. Is it not obvious that I voted for remain? Is it not obvious that I loathe the scourge of Brexit and its pied-pipers of sunlit uploads, cakeism and lower priced food/energy bills (because that happened, right?).

Maybe I need to make my opposition to Brexit even clearer? Tell me, am I missing some opportunities here? I know some reviews I manage not to mention Brexit…but I’d still like to think you know me! Tsk.

Sussex Bar & Restaurant, Soho, Roast Dinner Menu

They were rather quiet for Soho, with plenty of free tables – apparently they haven’t been doing Sunday roasts for that many months – though they are famous for their beef wellington. 5 accomplices this week, and guess how many of them were up for sharing a beef wellington? Yep, I ordered the pork.

5 accomplices this week, and guess how many of them were up for sharing the bone-in sirloin? Yep, I ordered the pork.

Pork or lamb were the solo roasts at £26.00 each, sirloin sharer was £70.00 and the beef wellington sharer was £84.00. If you are vegetarian or vegan…then I guess you’d need to look at the side plates…or Mildreds.

Ministry Of Roast

Pork Roast Dinner at Sussex Bar & Restaurant, Soho

Starting with the roasted carrots, which were perfectly cooked and really brought out the carrot in them.

The cabbage was rather on the luxurious side, buttery and peppery – I couldn’t really ask for much more in life. Except for this new Bible from Donald Trump, at the bargain price of just $60. It’s what God would want, no? I’ll check with my Sicilian friends this weekend during the slashing men with long hair and beards parade, which seems to be advertised everywhere. Must make sure I’m cleanly shaven that day.

Maybe I just couldn’t ask for any more in cabbage.

Parsnips needed a little crisping up, but in terms of flavour they wowed – bear in mind that I’d had a beer or 10 the day before and was a tad wobbly still, that I can compliment flavour should sound impressive.

Only two roast potatoes, and not quite crispy on the outside – well, perhaps a touch tough, but inside were really fluffy and again the quality of potato seemed excellent.

Ministry Of Bone Marrow

Then we encountered a genius masterstroke, and I’m not just talking about my idea to write a blog about Sunday roasts (but that is genius):

Yorkshire Pudding With Bone Marrow at Sussex Bar & Restaurant, Soho

A Yorkshire pudding filled with bone marrow. You had to upgrade to this, which cost, I think, an extra £2.00, however the combination of bone marrow and crispy yorkie was dreamy – along with the gravy which I’ll mention more of later. Oh…and it was freshly-cooked – not that I should have to mention this, but…London. Which meant that the crispy bits were still appealing – and the yorkie was definitely on the crispy side.

The pork was thinly-sliced rolled pork with a little bit of fat, and not really anything in the way of crackling – well, what would have been crackling was kind of just toughness. Despite the minor crackling disappointment, the pork was really tender, full of flavour and really rather ace. Just imagine what proper crackling would have given to it though.

Finally, the gravy was silky, sticky and meaty – one of those gravies that really bring everything together. Not that it needed much bringing together…as quality was high throughout.

Sussex Bar & Restaurant Enters The Ministry Of Roasts

So was there anything to complain about? Well, the beer choice was a bit whatever, the roasties could have had crispier edges (though others on the table raved about theirs), the crackling really should have been done properly.

But I’m really picking at the edges here, and everything had quality throughout – you could tell that thought and effort had gone into procurement of the ingredients, let alone the cooking. A good chef can only go so far with mediocre ingredients (hello certain pub chains).

I mused in the morning as to whether this could get into the list of best roast dinners in central London, thinking maybe it might score an 8. In the end, it isn’t far from a 9.

Several accomplices scored in the 9’s – a 9.00, a 9.20 and a 9.50 – better than Blacklock was high praise indeed from one, though on the flip side she wasn’t so keen on the wine selection. I cannot say that I know enough about wine to comment. The other two accomplices scored very highly too, an 8.75 and an 8.80.

Which is where I am too. My score is a whopping 8.86 out of 10 – which at the time of writing makes it the 6th best roast dinner in London, and puts it on the list of best roast dinners in central London. High praise for high quality.

Hopefully Sussex Bar & Restaurant won’t be so quiet on Sundays for much longer.

No roast next week as I’m in Sicily – chances of finding a roast here seems only marginally higher than finding a Sicilian priest reading from Donald Trump’s new Bible. Instead I’ll be back the week after…apparently I booked a roast dinner whilst I was re-toxing, shortly after agreeing to go to New York. And shortly before falling over outside my flat.

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Summary:

Sussex Bar & Restaurant, Soho

Station: Tottenham Court Road

Tube Lines: Central, Elizabeth, Northern

Fare Zone: Zone 1

Price: £26.00

Rating: 8.86

Get Booking

https://www.sussex-restaurant.com/

Instagrim

Loved & Loathed

Loved: Everything. The quality of ingredients was excellent, veg super, crispy yorkie with bone marrow a dream - pork and gravy really good too. Just book it.

Loathed: Nothing really. I wasn't keen on either their pale ale or lager, and the crackling wasn't done properly on the pork, and their Instagrim handle calls themselves a "resto"...urgh. Otherwise...just book it.

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