These days I rarely go back to the same restaurant twice. Not because I’m a hard-to-please princess (well, not drastically), but because I already have about 87 places that I want to try first before I begin making repeat visits.
With that said, OXBO Bankside was blessed with my presence once more after my first visit for our Bloggers’ Christmas Dinner last year. After being rather impressed with our festive sharing feast, I was keen to return and cross their Sunday roast off my bucket list.
Now there are a lot of spots in London that boast the best roast, but nothing quite beat OXBO’s offering when it came to picking a place for my annual Christmas overload weekend with my girls. As well as a shit ton of carbs, OXBO promised an unlimited buffet of starters, desserts AND bottomless prosecco. I mean, HELLO. And all for just £42.
Tucked under Southwark’s Hilton Hotel, OXBO Bankside could easily be missed, but judging from the continuous filling of tables between 12-4pm, the irresistible roast is a not so secretive gem south of the river. The restaurant is expansive, decked out in warm woods and spaced out tables to give room for the multiple trips to the buffet that you’ll inevitably take.
With two hours to stuff our faces and fill ourselves with bubbles, we quickly raced to the first station; a 360 degree pile of elegantly plated starters. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ‘elegant’ buffet before – it normally conjures images of sticky pasta and dry chicken escalopes in my head, but perhaps that’s just scarring from all-inclusive European holidays as a child.
Swapping carrot batons for tiger prawns and soggy fries for swordfish ceviche, I piled up a sophisticated plate you’d think had come from the kitchen of Sushi Samba. Speaking of, I made sure a hearty helping of sashimi and smoked salmon joined my selection; with potato salad and chestnut beef also making an appearance.As well as my seafood favourites, the table also offered Mediterranean tapas, beetroot salad, pickles and pastrami.
As we cleared our plates and considered going back for more, a gigantic tray of meat, potatoes, Yorkshire puds and veg whizzed past us… nope, we were ready for the main event. Each of us picked the roast beef from the day’s choice, a wise decision when we were quickly presented with the largest slices of pink meat we’d seen.
The soft beef was placed next to a colossal crispy Yorkshire, but replacing the usual handful of roasties was instead what looked like half a baked jacket. At first I was confused and slightly disheartened, but then as I tucked in to the mammoth spud, I realised that this was a revelation. It was a crunchy coating containing soft fluffy potato and the entire plate was packed with flavour.
Naturally we asked for another jug of gravy and helping of horseradish, barely touching the small pot of veg that was placed in the middle. For once in my life I scrapped up every morsel without as much as feeling full.
I was relieved to have a spare gap left to fill with dessert, for the second table of help-yourself treats was piled to the brim with miniature cakes of all flavours. Chocolate torte, cherry Bakewell, sherry trifle and pistachio profiteroles dotted the side whilst cheeses and classic sweets covered the corners.
I was a little less enamoured than the starters, left disappointed by a crème brûlée without a crunch, however a coconut tart and pecan pie more than made up for it. And the goats cheese, oh that goats cheese. It was dreamy. *Insert drool face emoji*.
Four courses later and feeling slightly merry, we received our 15 minute warning which entailed a last flute of Prosecco filled to the brim. Like most bottomless meals, I was pleased with the continuous topping up of fizz making it incredible value for money.
Its meals like these that have turned eating into what was once a quick bite out into a relaxed daytime activity, lounging for hours with continuous plates and filled glasses. Long may it continue.