Tommy Banks, sounds a bit like cockney rhyming slang doesn’t it?
“I’m just popping to the allotment for a Tommy Banks.”
“I’m off to the shed for a wank.”
There was, fortunately, no masturbating during my visit to Roots, mainly because Tommy wasn’t there.
Full disclosure: I actually booked this meal because I’d been reliably informed it was owned by England cricket captain, Joe Root. My source confided that the waiters hurl the food at you at 90mph and then scream “HOWZAT?!” “Fine thanks,” you’re expected to sheepishly reply.
Anyway, approaching the restaurant, it became clear this wasn’t the case. The lack of an apostrophe before the ‘s’ on the sign outside indicated this wasn’t owned by a Root at all.
Awarded a Michelin star last year, I had high hopes for this meal, and if you continue to read it’ll become clear whether my hopes were dashed or not dashed.
I’d just spent £25 taking two of us on a fifteen-minute trip around a cathedral, so I was in need of a stiff drink and some snacks. A blackcurrant leaf Martini and amuse-bouche of a trout tart hit the spot.
Sourdough and chive butter was delightful. Crackers and cheddar were also very tasty, even if the cheddar was basically fancy Primula.
Then a steak tartare, and as per usual it was underwhelming. I think I can count on one finger the number of times I’ve had a steak tartare that was actually interesting, I never want one ever again, they’re shite.
I really enjoyed the Oldstead salad, don’t recall ever having a plate of salad as part of a tasting menu before. The chewy bits of beetroot were particularly enjoyable.
Monkfish in a smoked butter sauce was very tasty, but not particularly exciting.
The same could be said for the lamb dish.
The strawberry dessert was brought to life by the woodruff crumble, and then something actually enticing happened – the black trumpet madeleines. I loved these. Treacly, with a bit of a mushroomy umami aftertaste – could have eaten a bucket load of them.
I think it’d be fair to say I was a bit underwhelmed, my love of big, bold flavours probably the downfall, but don’t fear, I got them for my lunch the next day. I’ll probably write that up at some point soon for those of you who don’t mind me ‘Tommy Banking’ on about where I’ve eaten.