This week, ELL recommends festive menus worthy of even the most hard to please food lovers, for Christmas Day lunch itself, your work Christmas party or just a good old Sunday roast.
The Star by Hackney Downs has a super wintery Sunday Christmas menu, with meat choices of pork belly with mixed spice nuts, pheasant breast with confit leg, or mulled lamb leg. Vegetarians can enjoy wild mushroom, shallot and goat’s cheese pie – all served with ginger and caraway glazed carrots, parsnips with cumin and honey, prune compote and chestnut and sage stuffing.
The Marksman doesn’t look like much from out the outside, but don’t judge a book by its cover. Inside is a proper pub style menu with a well-loved Sunday roast providing roast beef, rare breed pork, chicken and lamb with all the usual trimmings. To make it even more appealing, it’s wallet-friendly at £13.50.
Walk down the famous Colombia Road flower market on a Sunday and delve behind the Christmas trees into the Royal Oak pub, which is filled with the wafting smell of mulled wine. Parties of eight can pre-order and share boards of slow-cooked duck, 12 hour roasted lamb shoulder, oven-baked salmon or chestnut mushroom and spinach pie, along with a selection of hearty wintery starters and traditional deserts.
Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant within a former pub boasts not only the celebrity chef’s name but also panoramic views over the Thames. There is a festive menu to keep you going throughout winter, with three courses costing £40 or a five course Christmas Day lunch which is a real treat for £80. Not forgetting a wintery drinks selection of eggnog, Innis & Gunn mulled beer and Grey Goose Le Fizz cocktails.
Apatura offers great food and value for money roasts, with three courses for just under £17. Starters include lightly dusted calamari and lambs liver and onions, while traditional mains are served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, honey roast carrots and green beans. Choose from roast beef, braised lamb shank or chicken breast wrapped in pancetta and stuffed with Applewood smoked cheese. Of course, there is a vegetarian option too.
For a slightly more alternative menu, the Tree House offers the likes of Egyptian red lentil soup to start, eight oz. venison steak for the main attraction and raspberry, mango and frisson sorbet to finish. Traditionalists can still enjoy the menu, with the likes of turkey and a winterberry crumble. Moreover, there’s a good selection of cocktails to wash it all down with.
For a real luxury three course affair, the Gantry has it covered, but probably not one for those conscious of animal rights. There is plenty for fish-lovers with grilled scallops or a smoked salmon with bilinis starters. Foie gras mi-cuit with ginger bread and fig chutney starter and veal fillets with a vegetable terrine and chocolate sauce are the more controversial dishes. There’s also room for the traditionalists here with roast stuffed turkey with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding with brandy butter and sauce anglaise.
One of New Cross’s gems, The Royal Albert mixes Victorian décor and exterior with modern and honest food. The Christmas menu highlights are game terrine to start and the traditional roast black turkey or braised shin of beef for mains, with fish and vegetarian options too. If you’re just after drinks and snacks, munch on pigs in blankets, cranberry sausage rolls, devils on horseback, sage and onion rissoles and honey glazed ham.