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Did you know? …There are (at least) two opinions on the origins of the Sunday Roast.
One holds that, during the industrial revolution, Yorkshire families left a cut of meat in the oven before going to church on a Sunday morning, which was then ready to eat by the time they arrived home at lunchtime.
The second opinion holds that the Sunday Roast dates back to medieval times, when the village serfs served the squire for six days a week. Then on the Sunday, after the morning church service, serfs would assemble in a field and practice their battle techniques and were rewarded with a feast of oxen roasted on a spit.
Now I love a good Sunday roast in a cozy pub back in the UK and in the old day’s food was a giveaway to encourage people to come in and spend money on drink. Now it’s the other way around. This has resulted in cheap small portions or large expensive portions and sometimes small expensive portions. Aaaargh! Here on Samui I was very happy with all my Sunday’s offerings. The food was substantial, with massive Yorkshire puddings and tons of gravy all at reasonable prices. On each occasion I went home full and in a good mood.
Expectations were high for the Pure Shores extravaganza having been turned away previously. They only do Sunday lunch I was told. A fairly obvious point I thought as I was sitting there on a Sunday at lunchtime with imaginary knife and fork in my hands…starving. Nope. You have to book in advance so hungrily I booked for the next Sunday.
It was worth the wait. Paul was the main man and extremely polite and attentive. My highlight was his homemade mint sauce which was absolutely delicious when mixed with the gravy. The portions were large and tasty and complemented each other well. The vegetables were fresh and the lamb well cooked which was fine but I like mine pink, still this was a minor point. The meat was succulent, with a nice texture.
I enjoyed the Yorkshire pudding and got more, unprompted, later which was a nice touch. The guests next door were very happy too. The Chicken was also very tasty but pre cut into slices. Now I have a thing about crispy skins on a half chicken and love to unexpectedly discover more meat when in the throws of despair that the meal is over. Anyway it was yummy.
The Premier Bar is a minor institution and well respected. Again I expected much. I sat down on a very comfy chair and was attended to immediately. I was really hungry and was pleasantly surprised by my meals prompt arrival. Looking eagerly up at the plate before it was put down I could see its contents peering back at me over the edge. It was indeed a large meal and just what I felt like. The Yorkshire pudding dominated. There was a good selection of vegetables and ample roast potatoes. They were crispy with very crunchy deep brown edges which I like. The gravy was good and the meat chunky and tender. Still not pink but there you go. Of all the places visited this was the way I like my meat cut. The couple sitting in front of me stared at my plate so the food visually was very impressionable. The roast chicken was not fantastic but good. It was a sizeable half chicken with the same accompaniments as the lamb.
The Shakespeare I knew very little about. It was quiet at two o clock so if the food was to be good the word hadn’t got around yet. I waited a short time and then it came. A large plate with thin pieces of lamb, mash and fantastic roast potatoes was placed in front of me. It was just enough to keep hunger from the door and I raised my knife and fork to tuck in. Then the waitress returned with…another plate stacked high with all kinds of veggies and goodies. Then a gravy boat appeared. My oh my this was going to be good, and it was. It really was. I loved it and was spoiled for choice in the food combinations I could put together on my fork. The arty cube of stuffing was delightful. Tons of delicious food, what a winner. It was close though. The thin slices of lamb were just a little too fine and not substantial enough but this really was a minor point.
The roast chicken was fabulous and there was an edge of a woody smokiness to it. How did they do that? No fire engines were about so it’s still a mystery to me. A large crispy half chicken is what most people want providing the meat isn’t cremated inside which it wasn’t. Far from it, it was perfect.
a very close second to Pureshores 8.5 /10
and third The Premier Bar 7/10