The point of arrival was the precise moment my head went from sceptic to believer for the Sunday roast at 1000 Trades. I’ve become bored of the gentrification of the roast, with the smears and the clean lines; the plate with too many empty voids between the two slices of meat, the lonely potato and its inflated Yorkshire pal, backed up the endless stream of side dishes and part-players, rolled-out like a Pierre Gagnierre course. Right in front of our eyes the roast has done a Paul Potts: we fell in love with its wobbly silhouette and imperfections only to be given a new slender version that hums the same tune through pearly white veneers. But not here. This is a roast that your mother and her mother would be proud of, layered up like a winter outfit and crammed in tight like a replacement bus service. This is how a roast should be done.
The fundamentals are here. A billowy Yorkshire pudding, chunks of potato that have been boiled, then allowed to steam, dry out, tussled, and then roasted until the edges sharpen. There are thick batons of parsnip and carrot, a coiffured scoop of mash potato, tenderstem broccoli, a celeriac puree, red cabbage, and a puddle of gravy that demands donning wellington boots and jumping into. Those ordering protein are rewarded with generosity and pretty much perfect cooking, whether that be the chicken supreme with delicate flesh, or the cannon of sirloin cooked to a spot-on medium rare. The latter might look strong at £17 on paper, but there are restaurants in this city (I’m looking at you, Gaucho) charging almost double that for a lone cut of cow nowhere near this good. Toss a coin between this and a place in Digbeth for bragging rights as to the title of Best Sunday Roast in Brum.
With this we get cauliflower cheese, that turns out to be an entire cauliflower bathing in molten cheddar whilst wearing a shower cap of breadcrumbs and thus completely defeats us. Bloody tasty though. And prior we have a sharing board to start; with smoked chicken, smoked salmon, smoked duck breast and was the mackerel smoked? It must have been. It’s the nicotine replacement service for the gentile; a plume of delicate proteins each with their own acidic accompaniment. Eating this will dent your chances of finishing the roast, but don’t let that stop you from ordering it. Like everything else we ate it was pretty much faultless.
They had a tarte tatin which had my name on it (not literally, though this is a wonderful idea that I would gladly endorse), but I was too replete and margainly too hungover to entertain it. Instead I pay the bill and head back home for a deserved snooze. I should probably take this moment to point out that 1000 Trades recently won big in The Guardian’s annual OFM awards. It’s a testament that every detail is looked at, analysed, and then perfected, from the rotating kitchen to the ever-changing beers, the natural wines, the upstairs cocktail bar, and this, Birmingham’s most wholesome Sunday lunch.
If there were an award for best taxi, A2B would have it in the bag