There are always days where I long for a taste of home – it’s not that I don’t like Dutch food, but it’s just not the same as eating traditional British food, especially since not one Dutch person I have ever come across has ever heard of a roast dinner! Every now and then I have a real craving for a really good roast beef (or lamb) and I got to a point at the weekend where I couldn’t switch it off. I had been whingeing at Michiel for a few weeks as I can’t cook it myself – think terrible combi oven that takes twice as long to do anything, with only two shelves. I kept seeing pictures from Jason Hartley’s Lovefood HQ of his beautiful roast dinners and I was sold.
I had made a reservation for Sunday night and when we got there I wasn’t disappointed. There were quite a few people there already so it felt quite cosy when we sat down. We both ordered a glass of wine each – Michiel went for red and I went for white, but for me the real star was the home-made lemonade. I had originally asked for a Sprite or 7up, and the waitress told me that they didn’t do those, but that they had a home-made lemonade. At first it was quite sour and the lemon flavour really kicked, and then suddenly the sugar hit my mouth and it was beautiful. (The wine was also really good too!)
We were told that the roast was going to be beef, which I was pleased about since I don’t eat chicken, but Michiel wasn’t sure about getting a roast so he asked about the other options which were all vegetarian so he very swiftly backtracked and chose the roast (I think I have only ever seen Michiel eat vegetarian pasta, so it was quite funny). Then we waited, and by God it was worth the wait. I wasn’t sure how big the portion size was going to be, but there was lots of it.
There were seasonal roasted vegetables, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and a generous portion of beef, which was pink. The gravy was all in with the yorkshire pud so it absorbed all of the lovely flavour, and I was in seventh heaven. Very rarely can I eat a big portion, but since this was a roast, I was determined to finish the lot and as I was struggling with my last roast potato, Jason came around to ask if everything was ok. My mind was so focussed on finishing that last potato the best I could muster was a quick `yes thanks’ before nearly bursting in my chair.
Afterwards I went up and spoke to Jason about my dinner and how much I enjoyed it, and I told him that he should give people more gravy to throw over their veg as well (although I do think that’s really a personal preference – I love gravy everywhere!) It is testament to a good chef when he is completely approachable and immediately actions something. As I was chatting to him about my blog, he was busy putting gravy into small cups so that the people who arrived after us could also have gravy on their veg as well as in their yorkshire pud.
This kind of food doesn’t come that cheap – it was €25 each just for the roast, BUT the thing about Lovefood is that the ingredients are very good quality and it tastes fantastic. In all I think we paid around €82 for four glasses of wine, two home-made lemonades, and two roast dinners which I don’t mind paying when I know where my food is coming from. Like I said to Jason, if it comes even remotely close to my dad’s roast beef, then it’s pretty blimmin’good! (I think the only thing missing was the rest of the family!)