I live by a few simple rules in life: one – Never meet your heroes. Two – it’s better to be late than arrive ugly. Three – never visit a restaurant in its first week of opening. Almost every new restaurant has teething problems during their first week – whether it to be with ironing out issues on the menu, initial problems with staff, or liquor licenses not coming through before opening day. Like an absolute fool, I didn’t follow my own advice when it came to the opening of Roast & Co on Bree Street. I love chicken too much so ignoring my better judgement, I booked a table with a few friends for opening weekend… spoiler alert – I wasn’t that impressed with Roast & Co after my first visit.
Of course, I’m a firm believer in second chances and luckily for me, this story has a happy ending. Drawn in by the promise of bottomless rosé and an all-around good time, I decided to give the upmarket rotisserie-style chicken joint another try and accepted an invitation to Roast & Co’s Rosé All Day event. It had been a few months since my first visit and I was eager to see if some of the initial shortcomings were now sorted.
As luck would have it, I was super impressed the second time around, and it wasn’t just because I had a lovely gentleman topping up my class with Warwick First Lady Rosé all afternoon. If you’re yet to visit Roast & Co, their semi-regular Rosé All Day events are a great excuse to try it out and get familiar.
The next event is on Saturday 2 June 2018 and promises to be a stylish affair of note. Taking place in the pretty-as-a-button Roast & Co courtyard, diners and drinkers can expect a day filled with bottomless Warwick First Lady Rosé magnums accompanied by the hip and happening sounds of DJ Leyton Lee from 12:00 – 17:00. To attend, you simply book a table for lunch and spend the afternoon enjoying glass after glass of delicious rosé at just R145 per person, when you order a main meal.
The menu at Roast & Co offers free-range roast chicken with all the traditional trimmings and then some, so you pretty much get free reign to build your own meal. Start off by deciding between a quarter (R68), half (R118), or full chicken (R222), and then add sides like roast potatoes, charred corn, truffle pap, pickled slaw, and salads. There are also a few other sharing or ‘small plate’ style dishes to choose from on the menu including Mzanzi Fried Mac n Cheese (R58), Elgin Farmhouse Liver Pate (R62), Onion Bhaji (R52), and Chicken Caesar Croquettes (R62).
I tried the quarter chicken with five sides to share with my lunch buddy (who ordered a half chicken) and it proved to be more than enough for the two of us. We paired our chicken with the Roast & Co Brioche (R28), Roasted Potatoes (R36), Pumpkin Fritters (R38), Truffle Pap (R36), and Roast & Co Salad (R48). The first time I visited Roast & Co, I wasn’t blown away by the chicken. I found it to be a little dry and lacking flavour but this second time around it was juicy, oh-so-succulent, and packed with flavour. Served with a side of thick traditional gravy, the chicken was definitely the star of the show.
I also loved the roast potatoes and truffle pup. Served farmhouse style, the crispy on the outside, soft in the inside roast potatoes take you back to fond memories of Sunday roasts with the family, while the beautifully fluffy truffle pup, drizzled with truffle oil, takes the much-loved South African side to new heights. The oh-so-yummy pumpkin fritters, served with lemon sherbet and cinnamon, are another winner of note if you’re missing your Ouma’s cooking!
If you’re a fan of uncomplicated, good food then you’ll love Roast & Co. While the eatery keeps its ingredients and offering relatively simple, the melt-in-your-mouth chicken and array of interesting sides at Roast & Co help to elevate your usual ‘family lunch’ of chicken and potatoes to top notch, foodie level.