I tend to avoid going to pubs for a Sunday roast these days – years of overcooked meat, soggy vegetables, overly salty gravy, and flabby potatoes have left me wishing I’d gone to my mums instead! I suppose not many people actually make a Sunday roast these days, so despite the crap food, I guess these pubs are providing a historo-cultural service at least!
So I must admit that on arriving for my much awaited first meal at the Soul Food Project in Kings Heath’s Hare and Hounds pub, there was a tinge of disappointment to learn that the normal menu had been set aside in favour of Sunday roasts. The disappointment didn’t last long though, as I met Alex from the Soul Food crew at the bar, who recommended the cajun beef roast and gave me a nod and wink concerning desserts!
So the beef was what I had, and I was mightily pleased with my choice. The cajun rub on the joint, which was served deliciously pink as promised, really came through on the outer edges of the beef, and permeated the gravy – it wasn’t overly spicy, but just enough to let you know it wasn’t a run-of-the-mill joint. Accompanying the beef were cooked-to-a-crunch broccoli and carrots, sweeter-than-sweet slow-roasted sweet potatoes, and a generous portion of home cooked yorkshires enveloping a spicy pork stuffing. I said at the time it was one of the best roasts I’ve had in Birmingham, and I still remember it fondly a week later. The guys behind Soul Food Project Carl, Alex and Matt, kindly brought us down a sharing plate of their fine desserts, showing off an unctuous carrot cake with thick cream cheese frosting, and my favourite, their tray bake chocolate brownie with vanilla bean ice cream. All round a great sunday roast, a gentle introduction to the Soul Food Project’s southern flavours, and a desire to return mid-week to sample their daily menu – nice one fella’s!