Food review: Sunday roast at Epicures by Cail Bruich

As I floundered on the couch on Sunday evening, bloated belly poking over tracksuit bottoms, I questioned if I had, perhaps, eaten too much?

One of the challenging questions in life is: what makes a good Sunday roast? Is it the tenderness of the meat, the crispiness of the roast potatoes, the number of Yorkshire puddings?

For me, the success of the Sunday roast is as much down to the experience as it is the quality. Sundays are meant for relaxing, and that should be reflected in the food. I want to feel podged, but also lazy, looking like a tranquillised seal on a rock.

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The roast potatoes were crisp on the outside, soft on the inside.

Using those scientifically-sound measurements, the experience at Epicures by Cail Bruich was a success.

Sunday roast

There was one moment of horror at the beginning of the meal. The plates were brought out - beef, gravy, bone marrow sauce, and nothing more. My fiance and I looked at each other across the table, alarmed. Was this it?

Of course, it wasn’t. The potatoes and Yorkshire puddings were brought out on separate side plates. The panic was my fault - I’m more of a ‘create a mountain of grub on one plate rather than use two plates’ type of guy. I didn’t even realise two plates could be used. It’s a whole new world.

But what of the food? The beef was tender and well-seasoned. The roast potatoes were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, lightly salted. The bone marrow sauce was rich and flavoursome.

I left the most important part of the meal until last. As a Yorkshireman who grew up working in the pudding mines, who has crafted his own puddings with love and affection, and who has looked on with disgust at so called ‘Christmas dinners’ with no puddings in sight - the quality of the Yorkshire pudding would ultimately decide on the success of the meal.

The all important Yorkshire pudding.

The chefs at Epicures by Cail Bruich have taken a risk. The pudding was thick - a decision which will split pudding reviewers throughout Scotland. However, despite my initial reservations, it got my seal of approval.

Dessert

I still had enough room to squeeze in a dessert, despite the sizeable roast. And, because I’m a child, I instantly chose the sundae, with hazelnut ice cream, chocolate cremeux and honeycomb.

While a roast and an indulgent sundae might not be a match on paper, it worked in practice. I relaxed and took it slow, bite by bite.

The sundae, before the devouring began.

My fiance opted for the bread and butter pudding, which she adored. How could I tell? Because she wouldn’t stop talking about it. Every bite came attached with praise. She’s not normally one for conversation while eating, but this dessert forced her to break her rules.

As we slouched back, post food, we also noticed how much the atmosphere contributed to the experience. I’m not usually one to talk about ambience and mood, but, as I mentioned earlier, Sunday roasts are meant to be relaxing.

The lights were dimmed, a candle flickered across the table, the music was quiet, voices were low. My fiance was reclined on a comfortable back bench with plump cushions, and she was in danger of sinking into them.

It was time to head home.