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Roasty warmth

By Heather 6 Jul 2016 • 1 Comments

Since winter is showing its unwelcome face, I decided to check out a few of the Sunday roasts around the city – one upmarket, and one cheap and cheerful to start. In fact there’s such a selection, I’m eyeing up a few more already.

The more upmarket

Boulcott Street Bistro seemed like a good one for this category (not at all connected to being a wet cold Sunday and living just a few doors up!). Here you get roast, pud and a glass of red (or beer) for $45 - their 'Roast and Red' deal.


BSB roast

The fare on this night was free range pork loin with roasted potatoes, glazed carrots, green beans and grilled Granny Smith apple, followed by warm banana bread with chantilly cream, chocolate sauce and nut crumbs. Phew! 

The pork cut like butter, was flavourful, and had delicious crispy lean crackling (I hate cracking with an inch of fat underneath it). The potatoes were also nicely crispy, the beans al dente and the carrots roasted and sweet. The jus tied the slightly sweet Mitolo ‘The Nessus’ Australian shiraz into the dish (I’d been a bit wary about a big red with pork), and the house bread mopped and dipped nicely. 

The pud was moorish, not gooey or heavy, and elevated by the crystalised topping and crunchy crumb scatter. And wasn’t half bad with the Kumeu River chardonnay lying around the table (what’s his is mine, and mine is mine, right?). 

Overall a very pleasant experience in lovely surroundings.



The others in this space:

  • Matterhorn – even though only $25, there’s a level of class to the food and surroundings that put it into upmarket for me. There’s a plethora of befores, afters and drinks to accompany, and excellent service. Sunday evenings, first in first served until supplies run out.
  • Zibibbo - $40 rotisserie special and dessert. I haven’t tried this yet, but expect it to be good based on Glen Taylor’s flair now added to the Zibibbo kitchen.  

The cheap and cheerful 

There’s a bunch in this category, and having never been for The Grand’s Great British Sunday roast, I channeled my inner York girl and headed along.

Grand roast

You definitely won’t go hungry here. There was both ham and beef, as promised, and a load of it. The ham was tender and complemented well by the cranberry relish (although the chip fiend cynically observed that the British probably don’t have ham with their roast beef), the beef flavourful (although could have been a smidge tenderer), and the roasties pleasingly crispy and soft in the right places. The Yorkshire pud and gravy were strong attracted to each other, and after a tango or two were never seen again, the only clue - a suspiciously clean plate. 

I like being around Wellington’s history, so found it easy to imagine being at the Grand Hotel in the early 20th century (it’s original purpose) with all the old black and whites on the wall and a plateful of Brit in front of me, as long as I ignored the sport on the big screen down the end. 

Good value at $17.50 in relaxing surroundings.

The others in this category:

  • The Featherston – A recent change sees a $49 roast for two of hot pork or chicken, with veg and gravy’n’mash. Sundays and Mondays.
  • The Hop Garden – $19 for pork roast for adults and $12 for children, with plenty of tasty beers and wines to accompany (and non-alcs for the nippers). Sunday evenings.
  • Southern Cross Bar and Restaurant – $20.50 here includes a chocolate brownie dessert and the Cross’s unique ambience. Sunday and Wednesday evenings, bookings recommended.
  • Murphys Bar – $23 gets you the roast of the day and a house beer, wine or fruit juice, among the clovers and Cuba vibe. Sunday evenings from 5.30pm.
  • The Welsh Dragon Bar – Theirs is the first Sunday of each month from 5-7pm before the quiz night. From $16 to $25 for 1, 2 or 3 courses, with a changing roast of the day. Bookings recommended.  
  • Four Kings – These guys have a ‘famous’ Five Stags chicken roast on their main menu every night for $22.50. Served with confit of salted stuffed chicken leg, duck fat potatoes and salad.

The unusual

Since I like out-of-the-box, here’s a few more to consider: 

  • Lambanjo in Seatoun – Lambanjo do pretty much just the one thing every night (closed Mondays) – slow roasted lamb shoulder with spuds, followed by sticky date pud. The minimum is a whole shoulder for $49, which apparently feeds three and your dog (methinks the dog's got no show!). With salad, gravy and dirty peas as sharing extras. Also available as take-out.
  • The Bresolin Beast – The last Sunday of every month. Great in a group and excellent value at $30 for roast, beer and live entertainment. Bookings essential in the week prior (keep an eye on their Facebook page).
  • At the moment you can enjoy roast goat at Coco at the Roxy as part of their fifth birthday celebrations – slow braised and oven caramelised, with tomato, kale and giant cous-cous for $25. What better birthday dinner?
  • The Moore Wilson Chook Wagon – traditionally free-range rotisserie chickens for $19.95 (Tuesday to Sunday) and peking duck for $39 (Fridays), there’s now also lamb shoulders for $39 (Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays). Note you need to pre-order for the duck and lamb. And there’s a new table and seats in front of the wagon in case you need an immediate picnic.


A final footnote – many of these places do ‘surprise’ roasts i.e. they only announce on the day what meat they're roasting (and what pud if there is one), so if you don’t like surprises, keep an eye on their social media channels during the day. 

Let us know of any others around, and your favourites.

Add your comment

  • Heather on 18 Jul 2016

    That roast goat at Coco is apparently deboned and lathered with mustard and spiced sea salt, braised for five hours, shaped into cylinders, cut into discs and caramelised in the oven. On giant couscous with curly kale, apple and ale mustard and olive oil. Mmmmmm....

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