God, I missed Britain. Sure, the perpetual clouds, greyness and drizzle will end up annoying me by the time Spring comes, but getting a Sunday roast at a pub in Australia just felt kinda wrong. All I wanted was smoothie bowls and poké. So what better way to embrace London’s perennial state of Autumn than with a proper Sunday roast? OSLO Hackney was my venue of choice and, despite the Scandi name, its roast couldn’t have been any better.
Hidden in unassuming yet spacious premises right next to Hackney Central Overground, OSLO blends Hackney hipness with Scandi understatement and becomes incredibly pretty once the sun goes down, mostly thanks to its simple but pretty lighting provided by lamps covered by pink sheets. We sat by a cute table by the window which had pink flowers and views of the entire room.
Every bite at OSLO can feed two people and fill them up too. Even the starters we chose – baby calamari and sweet potato fries – could have been a meal as and of themselves. Still, my friend Catalina (who took most of the pictures of me – thanks!) and I were there for the roast, so we picked the beef and chicken roast respectively, both served with roasted parsnip, potatoes cooked in goose fat, Yorkies, carrots, gravy and kale.
While we weren’t exactly sold on the kale, everything else was fantastic: the meat was tasty and flavoursome, the veggies roasted up to perfection, the gravy delicate and the Yorkshire pudding massive, soft in the centre and crunchy on the side. Washed down with pints of OSLO Lager, this roast was nothing short of bliss and it left us completely defeated – so defeated we had to walk all the way down to Old Street to avoid having an unproductive, laptop-staring night.
With pints going for £4.30 and roasts for £16 tops, OSLO’s generous portions really sound like a bargain. The venue serves its roast every Sunday from 11AM to 9PM, although it’s just one of the myriad of options this chameleon of a venue offers. At night, the venue doubles up as a live music bar and as a club, while during the day it boasts a British/Scandinavian fusion menu. Think Norwegian sausage, plenty of beetroot options, steak sandwiches and fish and chips, accompanied by wines from all over the world, craft pints, bottled beers and an array of cocktails you can try during happy hour, where two only cost £9.
I suggest going to OSLO to start your drinking session early, possibly without having eaten too much during the day, so you can stock up on Yorkies and roast meat without spending 45 minutes on each plate like we did. But then again, the more you spend on it, the more you can drink in the OSLO vibes…
Pictures: Catalina Albeanu & Carolina Are