As the weather is getting cooler and we are about to move from autumn to winter, I am starting to crave a good old Sunday Roast Lunch. Nothing beats a Sunday Roast Lunch, especially when you don’t have to spend hours cooking it yourself! Although you do get the beautiful aromas when you cook a roast at home.
After trying out the Sunday Roast at the Woolwich Pier Hotel a few weeks ago, we decided to try out the Sunday Roast at The Riverview Hotel in Balmain to compare which roast is best. We have been to The Riverview Hotel twice before, but have never eaten Sunday Lunch so it was about time to try it out, especially as we had a 25% off voucher through the Entertainment Card.
I had booked a table a few days beforehand online for 12.15pm and I would recommend booking a table as The Riverview Hotel is a very popular venue throughout the week. Situated along Birchgrove Road, it is easy to get to and there is free parking on the streets surrounding the pub, but it’s best to get there early to find a parking spot as it can get busy if you don’t want to pay for a ticket.
The pub section downstairs was already starting to fill up by the time we arrived, and we were located upstairs in the dining room section with waiter service. We were greeted by Michael, and he showed us to our table which was located in a smaller separate room with approximately four other tables. We were the first patrons to arrive in this room and I was sat by the window so had a bit of a view over the rooftops.
The Riverview Hotel is an award winning hotel that has been open since 1880. You can read all about the history within the menu. We had some tap water to start and chose a glass of red wine (2014 Radio Boka Tempranillo, Valencia, Spain for $10) and started to peruse the menu. As I am normally such a bad decision maker when it comes to food, or anything really, I was glad to see that there was only a few options on the menu, making my choice all the more easier and faster. I knew immediately that I would be having the Sunday Roast for $30 which was roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings. We also decided to share the House Baked Beer Bread with Pepe’s Butter for $5 as well as the Crispy Pork Belly with Romesco for $12.
It wasn’t long until our two shared entrees were brought out and they were both just the right amount of food to whet our appetite. We started with the House Baked Beer Bread which was beautifully warm and served with Pepe’s Butter which was also served at room temperature making it easy to spread. We cut up the small loaf to eat between us and you could slightly taste the beer through the bread, but this was not too overpowering. The butter was delicious, and nothing is more satisfying than warm bread and butter to work up an appetite. Luckily I had skipped breakfast to make room for Sunday Lunch!
Next up was the Crispy Pork Belly with Romesco. Pork is one of my guilty pleasures, I absolutely love pork, and crackling! Pork belly is another love and there were four large pieces served on top of the Romesco – a nut and red pepper based sauce, originally from Tarragona, Catalonia in North-eastern Spain. This was served warm and you could really taste the red peppers in the orange coloured sauce working its way through. The pork was delightful to eat with the fat well rendered and crispy. I could eat this dish again and again!
The room we were sat in soon started to fill up and when our mains came, I must have had a huge smile on my face. The plate of food set in front of me by Michael was extremely pleasing to the eye and a very generous portion. The roast beef was served with gigantic Yorkshire Puddings, seasonal vegetables which included peas, carrots, courgettes (or zucchini!) and my favourite, red cabbage. We also had roast potatoes, a gravy and horseradish sauce.
We had three slices of roast beef which was still pink and the Yorkshire Puddings were extremely moreish and well-risen. The horseradish was slightly different and lighter, but for me it was not strong enough. Personally, I love a hot horseradish sauce, but I did hear the table next to me say they liked this horseradish, due to it not being too overpowering. Each to their own. The roast potatoes were super crispy outside and fluffy inside, just what a roast potato should be like, whilst the red cabbage was super delicious and kept me thoroughly happy. Needless to say I didn’t speak much during this main course as I was enjoying my plate of food too much!
Michael soon cleared our plates and tempted us with the dessert menu. Now I’m not sure if we have ever had dessert at The Riverview Hotel before, so we thought we might as well have one and ended up sharing the Sticky Date Pudding with mascarpone ice cream. This was served warm and Michael brought out two separate plates with cutlery allowing us to share this yummy looking dessert without stabbing each other to death in our plea to fight for the last bit of the pudding.
Overall, our Sunday Lunch at The Riverview Hotel was absolutely delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed each of my courses from start to finish. Michael was absolutely brilliant throughout the meal, always topping up our water, asking if we needed anything else and making friendly banter. Our lunch came to a grand total of $84 after discount which we thought was very reasonable. Even without our discount we will be back and have always had great service at The Riverview Hotel Balmain on each of the three occasions we have eaten here in the Dining Room upstairs.
A fantastic Sunday Roast Lunch which might be slightly better than Woolwich Pier Hotel. However, the Woolwich Pier Hotel does do pretty good pork crackling! We will certainly be back and maybe get to try that Suckling Pig one day!