Mariah Carey may have said it first, but I’m going to pass the idea off as my own: brunch is so last year. I’m done with being hammered by 2pm with nothing but eggs benedict to soak up the bubbles sloshing about in my stomach. And it might be the cold weather, my terrible winter temper, or the fact that it’s the final hurrah of the weekend, but I’m calling Sunday roast the next big thing. Sure, the meal is hardly the latest discovery in gastronomic science but there’s been an influx of twists on the old tatties and meat combo, with bottomless wine, endless desserts and gameshow accompaniments just the start. I went along to Madison in the City to check out their Soul Sunday offering.
A restaurant synonymous with City boys and girls, Madison may be all suits and company credit cards Monday - Friday, but by Sunday the crowd is altogether more mellow. Out-of-towners and families are dressed up and ready to gawp at THAT view of St Paul’s, which starts in the glass lift on the way up and continues to the always-busy terrace of the restaurant. When you’re not ogling out of the window at the skyline, the interiors are straight lines and grey tones, with a concrete slab of a ceiling from which exposed lightbulbs hang.
Forget comfort and snuggling up by the fire, Madison has made a roast to match their City cool aesthetic. It’s also not as expensive as you might expect from a place in such close proximity to the commercial district, with three courses and half a bottle of wine coming in at £38. Smoked ham hock and pigs trotter fritter set the tone for a meat-centric afternoon, with carrot puree providing a sweet and clean flavour to the rich meat.
It was more pork for main, with a slab of heavenly belly, the layers of fat melting against a crispy, crunchy skin. But all that meat needed something to detract from the dense protein hit, and while the potatoes and fluffy Yorkshire were great, it was very meat and two veg - my calorie consumption guilt could have been alleviated with a bowl of greens. Service was also a little slow, it taking us three attempts at ordering an espresso before it arrived at our table, but this turned out to be a bonus. Our delayed leaving coincided with the soulful trio tuning up and beginning to croon gentle Sunday classics, the sun setting against St Paul’s in the background and the Monday fear delayed a little bit longer.
Madison's Soul Sundays are available on Sunday, costing £38pp for three courses and half a bottle of wine each. Find Madison at One New Change, London, EC4M 9AF.