During one of those rare weeks of sunshine in London, we headed down to Forest Hill to take in the sights of the Horniman Museum, schmooze the local markets and try out a Sunday roast, of which The Signal (a quaint little number from Hippo Inns) is known for.
The Venue and Atmosphere
As we walked into The Signal, I immediately noticed its light and airy setting. Enormous windows allowed the natural light to flood in, which flatters the primarily blue and sunshine-yellow interior. Scattered statement paintings complete the look of a homely space, and the huge armchairs at nearly every second table make for the perfect beer and a book location.
On a Sunday afternoon, the main clientele were young families and groups of friends. Further chuffed with the setting, a few dogs graced us with their presence and were happily basking in the sun of a little outdoor garden which is located to the back of the pub. Out of the groups of friends, it looked as though the drink of choice was a Bloody Mary, as they drank through their hangover and lit up over roast dinners.
The Food and Drink
Deliberating on what we wanted for mains, we started off with a couple of small plates, namely the Pork and Chorizo Scotch Eggs (£4) and Breaded Halloumi with Chilli Jam (£4). The halloumi in particular was a dream; after the initial bite, the warm and gooey cheese bursts in your mouth and works exceptionally well with the heat of the chilli jam. Not a huge lover of Scotch Eggs, these little bites of heaven definitely won me over with the spiciness of the chorizo, adding an interesting contrast to an already well known dish.
For mains, we of course went for a roast, specifically the signature Spit Roast Chicken with Bread Sauce (£14) and the Pork Belly with Apple Sauce (£14). All roasts are accompanied with red cabbage, honey roasted carrots, cauliflower cheese, roast potatoes and a jaw dropping yorkshire pudding. Spit Roast Chicken is the utmost favourite dish at The Signal and I could definitely see why - the meat is lovingly marinated overnight and then steamed to lock in the juices before being roasted over charcoal. A sizeable portion, it doesn’t disappoint and the best bit is mopping up the sheer amount of vegetables with the juices afterwards. Not in anyway inferior, the Pork Belly was an beautifully equal balance of succulent fat and melt in the mouth meat, which was topped with the most beautiful piece of crackling I have ever tasted. All washed down with a glass of Malbec (£6.25), we were ready for a nap afterwards.
If you’re looking for a Sunday lunch in South East London, this is your jam. While the atmosphere is both warm and inviting (you could clearly lose a whole day in here), it’s the emphasis on classic British dining and one hell of a roast that keeps The Signal a locals favourite.