Marc Waddington’s quest for the perfect Sunday roast dinner to remember goes on
THE rain aside, you’ve got to love this time of year, with the perpetual smell of woodsmoke in the air and the crackle of burning wood (even when there doesn’t seem to be any burning wood anywhere near.)
And while food is one of those things that you tend to do well out of indulging in all year round, I’m sure winter brings more food to the mind of most of us than the summer does.
So this Sunday just gone, after a particularly wintry morning, the prospect of hot food and a roaring fire was at the top of my Christmas list – albeit I wasn’t prepared to wait that long for it.
After attending the Remembrance Parade at St George’s Hall, my girlfriend and I (not so acquainted with Sunday mornings) were at a bit of a loose end once the service had ended.
When the ringing in our ears caused by the artillery gun had finally ended, we turned our attentions to where we would find a decent Sunday lunch.
And there we stumbled upon the first problem – fewer and fewer pubs in the city centre are still doing food, and while the restaurant offering is great and varied, the idea of spending a Sunday lunchtime fiddling about with tapas doesn’t really inspire.
We decided on the James Monro on Tithebarn Street. Barely on the knell of twelve, the pub/restaurant was blissfully quiet. But while there were many tables to choose from, only one caught the eye – two comfortable chairs and a round table right in front of the fire, and although it wasn’t dressed, the staff were happy to let us take it.
The Sunday lunch menu, at £13.50 for two courses, was the only show in town. A choice of beef, lamb or chicken for the carnivores, and a substantial and imaginative vegetarian option for the non-meateaters.
The choice of starters was pretty varied, and with the soup being carrot, it meant my girlfriend had two options for the opener, which is a rarity. And one of them didn’t involve goats cheese, which was practically a first.
I opted for salmon and halibut fishcakes with baby herbs and homemade sweet chilli and garlic jam. The cakes were of a good size and light and fluffy inside, but the jam could have done with a bit more zing.