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Sample a Sunday roast with a twist at new neighbourhood bar John Salt in Islington, London.

For her 30th, my friend Rhoda decided that she wanted to meet for a Sunday lunch rather than go out drinking on a Saturday night. Pretty controversial some would say but it turned out to be a very good call. I had to make a concerted effort not to overdo it on the preceding evening, but it was well worth it. The establishment she chose was John Salt, 131 Upper Street, N1. It was a great choice all round and everyone who came enjoyed a super relaxed afternoon in North London eating damn fine Sunday roasts and drinking superbly made cocktails.

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Lunch menu, Sunday 2nd June

The best hangover cure ever becomes even better at John Salt as someone has come up with the genius idea of serving the beautifully spicy tomato juice and vodka based cocktail with a cracker and big wedge of cheese. The perfect pairing and an ultra special USP which I would definitely go back for…

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Bloody Mary served with cracker and cheese

On the food front the roasts were equally delicious, not cheap at £16+ but in my opinion worth the extra money as they are far more superior than your average Sunday lunch; head chef Neil Rankin knows what he’s doing. I opted for beef (£17) which was served with two different cuts: a slice of well cooked sirloin, cooked rare nudging medium and short rib, beautifully tender and falling off the bone. The accompanying gravy was tasty and the Yorkshire pudding and vegetables all perfectly cooked. The presentation was slightly minimalist but with all the beef the portions were in no way stingy. Other friends in our group had pork which, like the beef, was served with two cuts, belly and shoulder. No one in our group opted for the chicken but it too looked delicious, served as a whole poussin (something I may go for next time).

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Beef roast including two cuts of beef, sirloin and short rib

I followed my main course with half a pint (or two!) of Gentleman’s Wit, a pale wheat beer which was light and fresh and the type of beer that goes down far too well on a summer’s afternoon. I may have had a couple more halves but moved onto the hard stuff instead… As an added bonus we discovered that cocktails were priced as 2-4-1 after 5pm on Sunday so we finished off with a Hey Oh!, a vodka based cocktail mixed with creme de cassis, lime, strawberry, mint, pepper and a dash of prosecco. It was mixed perfectly, the type of cocktail that would never taste quite right if you made it yourself at home. The rest of the cocktail menu looked pretty good and I would recommend going there for the drinks alone! If the Hey Oh! itself wasn’t good enough it was served in a cute little jam jar to boot, a lovely touch!

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Bar: Stout and Porter Sale

The interior has an industrial vibe with exposed brick walls, concrete flooring, globe lighting pendants, reclaimed wood and iron frame communal tables and stools. It’s a look I like; it made for a more relaxed afternoon / Sunday lunch session, miles away from the traditional country pub dining rooms with starched napkins and table cloths. After we ate we eventually congregated in the mini courtyard at the back to enjoy the last of the afternoon sunshine which although small is perfectly formed.

All in all a very successful outing. It beats an afternoon in Wetherspoon’s, that’s for sure.

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Cocktail menu

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Hey Oh! cocktail

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Globe light fittings

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