I don’t miss many things about England, but Sunday Roast is definitely one thing I do!
Whether our small microwave/oven has the capacity to cook a proper joint of meat in anything less than 24 hours, never mind fitting in all the trimmings, remains to be seen – and that’s before we’ve covered trekking to City Super or Oliver’s to get a good quality cut of beef, paying through the nose for it and trying to polish off the whole meal on my own as I’m the only one in my house that eats beef. Basically, that’s a whole lot of issues for a humble roast and too many for me to worry my little head about. Especially since I’ve discovered that The Globe does a top-notch, home quality Sunday Roast all of its own.
Remember my bemoaning the lack of good gastropubs in HK in my post on 798 Unit & Co? Well, The Globe might not be a gastropub per se – it serves good honest British pub fare without a jus or foam in sight – but it has the gastropub atmosphere down pat. So that’s bright and airy rather than dark and dinghy, clean bleached wood rather than sticky surfaces and beer-mats, modern and slick rather than populated with hoary locals swilling pints while shooting daggers at any non-regulars. As you can tell, I’ve been to some great pubs in my time!
I went on a Sunday specifically to get my Sunday Carvery fill. For just $198, you not only get a choice of roasts (beef or lamb when I was there) but a starter as well – and as I discovered, The Globe don’t do things by halves! I opted for the soup and to say it was a generous portion would be an understatement. Enough for two people with leftovers to spare, this was a homely hearty delight, chock-a-block with broth-y goodness – the kind of thing mums across the world specialise in whipping up whenever you feel down in the dumps. The chicken was tender, richly-flavoured and plentiful, there was a veritable country garden full of vegetables chucked in too and the whole thing was appetising and wholesome enough to be a meal in itself.
If you thought the soup was something, just wait until you get a load of the roast – a huge slab of prime rib of beef plus all the trimmings… and then some! So that’s (take a deep breath) Yorkshire Pudding, roast tatties, roast parsnips, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower cheese, peas and lashings of gravy. I’m amazed they found a plate big enough.
This was great on so many levels. The gravy was proper gravy, a term that steakhouses here apparently struggle to understand – not garlic or black pepper sauce, not some insipid weird beef jus, just proper gravy. The Yorkshire Pudding was a proper Yorkshire Pudding, not the weird bread/cake/pudding hybrid that many hotels here dish up. The roast potatoes were proper roast potatoes, golden-brown crispy on the outside, fluffy and yummy on the inside, not the poncy, given-a-going-over-with-a-blowtorch piddling things that most restaurants serve; they’d had prolonged contact with the inside of an oven, prolonged contact with the fat that’s necessary to give them that beautiful roastie flavour and prolonged contact with being part of a bigger spud in the first place.
The beef was beautiful. Nothing can compare to that rich deep taste of good roast beef and this was thick juicy tender stuff. When I was little, I was given the nickname ‘Red Beef Girl’ by hotel staff freaked out at my propensity to put away slabs of rare beef downed with a boat of gravy at the grand old age of five and as you can see, I still like my beef pink enough to prove blood only recently stopped pumping through its veins. (Don’t worry if you’re not a complete vampire carnivore like me, you can specify how you’d like it cooked.) This beef brought out all my caveman tendencies and I practically got drunk on it. Bloody gorgeous, if sliced a little too thick for my taste.
I also loved the sweet and nutty roast parsnips and the ridiculously addictive cauliflower cheese – both of which I haven’t had since my last pub Sunday Carvery back in Blighty. The Yorkshire Pudding was a little dry and I could have done with more gravy, yet I prefer gravy served by the jug rather than the spoonful. However the thing that was really wonderful about this was that it tasted just like home. No, it’s not a prettied-up, masterfully-sliced fancy roast that you can get from one of the many luxury hotels out here and it’s all the better because of it.
I bullied my boyfriend into getting the fish and chips ($125), basically because I wanted to try some. The fish was cod, smaller than I’m used to from the UK but without a doubt, the best battered cod I’ve had thus far in Hong Kong. It was creamy, moist and flaked away beautifully. The batter was a golden crispy delight with a faint heady hit of beer to it – once your knife plunges in and it’s met with a satisfying crunch, you know you’re onto a good thing. The mushy peas were sweet, minty and delicious (aren’t the best mushy peas the ones that fail to remind you they came from normal boring peas in the first place?!) but it was the chips that get the most gold stars on the report card. Defiantly home-made, they were well-seasoned, crunchy, soft, melt-in-mouth, thick, fluffy, golden gorgeousness. My boyfriend’s only complaint – not enough of them!
Desperate for a pudding but with no space left, my boyfriend and I instead just relaxed and digested for a good 20 minutes; The Globe is the perfect environment to do so. The smiling staff are friendly and don’t harry you on your way despite the lack of service charge, the whole place feels laidback and leisurely and for a pub that shows sports, it wasn’t too noisy either. In short, perfect Sunday afternoon stuff.
Given that it looks, smells and tastes just like home, you won’t be surprised to learn that it’s gweilo central around here – drop a bomb and that probably half of HK’s expat population wiped out! Bigger and loftier than most restaurants around Central, there’s an extensive beer list (another reason for all those gweilos then!) and I thought that the contemporary artwork by a local artist displayed for sale on the walls was another of The Globe’s many nice touches.
Without wanting to sound like a Masterchef contestant with ideas above their station, The Globe does good honest pub food at good honest prices but without scrimping on quality or quantity. So not like most UK pubs after all! Better than Mum’s? I couldn’t possibly comment!
The Globe, Garley Building, 45-53 Graham Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2543 1941
Interior photo from The Globe’s website.
A version of this review also appears on Sassy Hong Kong.