Every Sunday afternoon, many British families sit down together to indulge on a veritable feast of roasted meat served with an accompaniment of roast potato, mashed potato together with Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, vegetables and gravy etc. It is a tradition with a long pedigree.
This tradition is also popular in some countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. Other names for this meal are Sunday dinner, Sunday lunch, Sunday tea, Roast dinner, and Sunday joint, joint being a word that specifically refers to the joint of meat.
How it all began...
So, what is the big deal with the British and their roast on Sundays? Why only wait until Sunday? Why can't they be like Malaysians and feast on roasted chicken and crackling roasted pork all they want, whenever they want to.
Well here's a little history behind the meal. It seems the tradition started a long, long, long time ago. In medieval times the village serfs served their masters for six days a week. Sundays however were rest days, and after the morning church service, serfs would assemble in a field and practice their battle techniques. They are then rewarded with mugs of ale and a feast of oxen roasted on a spit.
It is also believed, according to the ever reliable wikipedia, that this tradition survived because bakers could not bake bread on a Sunday (anyone knows why?), so their ovens would be used to roast meat. The meal is often comparable to a less grand version of a traditional Christmas dinner in these cultures.
The tradition has continued on as technology allows the meat to be put in an oven to roast on a timer before the family goes off to church and be ready to eat when they return.
AND, at the Ritz...
No other brand of hotel says luxury quite like the Ritz-Carlton. And when they decide to feature the timeless tradition as the star of their weekend, you can be sure that they pull out all the stops. Every Sunday, between 11:30am to 3:00pm, the intimate and cozy Lobby Lounge with its warm rosewood walls is turned into a feasting salon. Unlike most hotel's weekend buffet, this session was surprisingly very relaxed. I say this because at most buffets there would be a throng of families running and screaming around, and ugly people with their maids fighting for food. It's completely the opposite here. Everyone is well-dressed, good looking and a splendid model of high society. There wasn't a single child in sight. And seats were well-spaced out giving patrons more room to breath and talk in their own private space.
The spread here, despite being smaller by most conventional hotel standards, is extensively made out of fine quality food. We were enthralled by the appetizer bar that was gloriously decked with oysters, springy prawns, lobsters, an assortment of cold cuts, gazpacho, grilled vegetables with balsamico dressing, stuffed loaves, an artistic display of terrines and unlimited amount of pan-seared foie gras with portobello mushroom. In the salad corner, you can freshly tossed your own Caesar Salad in a giant hollowed out parmesan mould and add as much anchovies, sundried tomatoes, parmesan shavings, garlic crisps and grated truffle as you want.
Sounds a lot like Fatboybake's heaven doesn't it? And I've not even mentioned the wonderful array of cheese from around the world, fresh sushi and sashimi, and freshly baked bread loafs to be eaten with none other than Echire butter of course.
We had to keep reminding ourselves to make room for the mains, we are after all here for the roast. You have a choice to choose any one dish of either beef, lamb, fish or turkey (since it's the holidays season). The superstar would have to be the aged Black Angus prime ribs. Select your choice cut - rare, medium or well-done and watch the chef skillfully carve it by the side of your table and serves it with delicious Yorkshire pudding, stewed cabbage, and roasted kipler potatoes. And like any self-respecting Sunday roast, the beef is drizzled with a gravy made from the meat and marrow jus.
If you choose the fish, you'll get an assembly of salmon flakes, savoury rice, egg and creamy sauce baked inside a light and fluffy puff pastry. We were told that this is a traditional Scandinavian dish. It is served with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and beetroot. Unfortunately, the lamb and turkey wasn't as interesting for me as the others though.
It is funny how whenever we say that we cannot possibly eat any more, we find ourselves stuffing our faces with desserts like we have an extra stomach. Actually, I'd highly recommend that you to bring an extra stomach for the sinful offering of cakes and pastries, macarons, toffee apples and other sweet offerings. There's even a dedicated chocolate table with a chocolate fountain! Willy Wonka has nothing on the people at Ritz-Carlton.
Speaking of them, here's HUGE thank you to one Mr. Oliver Ellerton, the Public Relations Executive at the Ritz Carlton for spoiling us with such a big feast.
The Lobby Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur
168, Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur, 55100 Malaysia.
The Sunday Roast is served between 11.30am and 3.00pm every Sunday and is priced at MYR 130++ per person.
For enquiries/bookings, please call +603-2142 8000.