Review 11: Blacklock, Covent Garden
Think it was JRR Tolkien who said it best when he wrote "One roast to rule them all, one place to find them"...
We’re delicate when we arrive at Blacklock’s Covent Garden Chop House branch. Yet, somehow, one sip of their beef jus-spiked Beefy Mary and we’re bitchslapped right back into actual human existence.
It’s gunning for “ultimate version” plaudits, to be honest. A BM wouldn’t be our first choice of cocktail to take the edge off, as so often it feels like drinking tomato passata the thickness of a McDonalds milkshake with a layer of neat booze sitting on top, but here we are and we’re quite converted to this one. The Beefy Mary features a hefty slug of vodka, dashes of Worcestershire sauce, tomato juice, sugar, celery salt, black pepper and lemon juice. Yeah yeah yeah, but here’s where it evolves and levels-up like a Pokémon: there’s a touch of smoke and some beef jus whacked in, not to mention a hefty flaky sea salt rim and Tabasco on the table to taste. It’s not stodgy but pleasingly mid-weight. It’s piquant, precise, sharp and spicy, like a boxer pacing the ring.
This is a meal we looked forward to for months because, well, we booked it months in advance. We sort-of planned a trip to London around it, actually. Blacklock’s Sunday roast is legendary, and - like legend divulges - this single weekly service (served across their branches) can be hard to get a table for. We heard someone anecdotally tell us recently that their partner makes a rolling Sunday booking at Blacklock just so it’s in the diary (and hopefully cancels if they don’t show up!) We admire the commitment to the cause, as it’s one of the best, most unique roasts ever, because it’s built on nostalgia. Let’s distill it…
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