Restaurant review: Toast and Roast, Hackney Central, E9

A thoroughly congenial Sunday afternoon at Toast and Roast

A thoroughly congenial Sunday afternoon at Toast and Roast - Credit: Archant

Few things spell winter warmth quite like a nice roast in cosy surroundings and a good Sunday dinner is hard to beat – but if there’s one thing that can make it better, it’s having it expertly matched with a collection of ever-more delicious wines.

And that, happily, is the formula adopted by pop-up wine club purveyors A Grape Night In for their latest venture – Toast and Roast.

For a series of wintery Sundays leading up to Christmas, the two girls with a startling knowledge of all things vino have taken over Studio Gi, in the heart of Hackney, and have been hosting congenial and tasty Sunday soirees.

A common criticism of pop-ups is that they are often absolutely freezing but Toast and Roast swerved this admirably with blow heater and blankets aplenty.

The meat rotates from week to week, and on our visit all the classic ingredients of a beef dinner were broken down into different courses.

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So after salt and pepper popcorn with a mildly carbonated red Lambrusco (making a big comeback from Lambrini’s shadow apparently) we had a spiced parsnip soup, full of vim and vigour, alongside an excellent Austrian Zweigelt.

The beef itself was phenomenal – thin strips of tender, rare rump with just the right layer of flavour-bestowing fat, well-seasoned Hasselback spuds and rich spinach puree, perfectly accompanied by a (rare) French Malbec.

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And for dessert – chocolate tart with a sprinkling of caramelised horseradish, a surprisingly fulfilling pairing of flavours that both followed the current trend for sweet and savoury dessert and squeezed in another element of your archetypal beef roast.

A sweet, mellow Ganache washed this down very agreeably. There are only a few dates left – try and get down to one.

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