Are you desperately seeking a top-level weekend feast at a decent price? Yup, us too. And we reckon we might just have found one: specialist meat-joint Beef & Brew has finally put a roast on the menu, thereby competing with the competitive scene on Kentish Town Road that includes longterm faves The Oxford, Assembly House and Bull & Gate.
The low-key, pared-back concept is the brainchild of chef Jessica Simmons and partner Daniel Nathan, who opened it back in autumn 2015. Simmons had worked for Angela Hartnett at both Murano and the Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room. “Jess and I share a love of unpretentious food,” says Dan, “and that’s reflected with a classically trained chef, dedicating herself to the simple and indulgent.”
Jess also set up the kitchen at London Fields Brewery, so craft brews provide the drinks focus, with beery cocktails – like a punning ‘Taperol spritz’ – too.To start we shared some golf ball-sized queen olives and a neat stack of charred vegetables laced in romesco, the sauce made of roasted red peppers, olive oil and garlic.
But you don’t need a starter, really. There are three roasts to choose from – a Yorkshire rump, onglet and chicken – and they’re huge. We opted for the former, pillowy soft and medium-rare. Props should go to the crisp roast potatoes, joyously fluffy inside, and the huge boat-like Yorkshire pudding, so inflated it was dangling off the side of the plate.
And the veg isn’t overshadowed, either: a griddled quarter of hispi cabbage and carrots with horseradish were both delectable, while sides of broccoli and parsnips edged with parmesan meant that our only trouble was that we couldn’t finish the plate. Still, a gluggable Primitivo helped wash it all down.
If you’ve never set foot in the place, it’s worth adding that the steaks and burgers are a must on any evening: the hanger in particular is unbeatable at the price – a mere tenner.