Restaurant Review: Rotunda Bar and Restaurant, N1

Claire Wiseman tries out a summer delicacy in a terraced bar and restaurant on Regent’s Canal

Now that summer’s finally arrived, it’s hard to beat the Rotunda Bar and Restaurant’s terrace for atmosphere.

The d�cor is less than thrilling, but its location along the canal makes it the perfect spot for a cocktail from the expert barmen in this waterside restaurant overlooking Regent’s Canal. My friend and I sampled a confusing but pleasant English rosemary martini.

We moved inside for starters and ordered a huge half pint of king prawns. Sweet and not too fishy, they were perfect with a Bloody Mary sauce.

An English summer salad starter was impressive as well - lightly dressed and just enough to prepare me for the feast ahead.

I’ll preface with this: the Rotunda menu loves its meat.

Pasta and veggie dishes are available as well, but it’s the meat that they really take pride in.

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I had come to sample the Thursday hog roast, having heard rumours that the patio-grilled specialty is impressive. And I was not let down.

One bite of this juicy, fatty cut and all my preconceived pork notions went out the window.

It was massive to say the least, and the rim of crackling skin was entirely worthy of its name. The apple sauce was the smoothest I’ve ever tried and nicely cut the richness of the pork. The vegetables underneath were too oily, but on the whole it was a wonderful and commendable dish.

My friend’s sirloin was less impressive. The grilled mushrooms and tomatoes were excellent, she said, but really outshone the meat.

But here’s the kicker: all the Rotunda’s beef and lamb comes from its very own farm in Northumberland. For proof, check out the menu’s photos of chef Ian Green romping the moors with his future mains.

When I spoke to him, I found the man can name each and every ingredient’s home supplier. And he can tell you why the menu changes weekly, and why it’s best to buy your herbs from the bicycling stockist from Global Generations.

So while the sirloin was overpriced at �23, what you’re really paying for is the knowledge that your steak was hand-reared for this restaurant and prepared by a man who takes pride in his simply prepared dishes.

And of course, the dessert was no exception.

The summer berry millefeuille was drenched in rich creme fraiche, and the smooth lemon posset was paired with a nutty biscotti to cut the custard’s sweetness.

Summer’s in full swing at the Rotunda, and it’s sure to be delicious.