The traditional Sunday roast has its origins in Britain and Ireland, with one theory suggesting that it dates back to medieval times when the town serfs were rewarded with an oxen roasted on the spit after six days of tireless work. The modern day Sunday roast is often associated with family get-togethers on a winter's day, cosying up by the fire (or heater), with a nice drop of red. But the time and cost that goes into preparing such a feast can be astronomical, so why not let a local pub or restaurant do the hard work for you? Here's where to find the most succulent Sunday roasts in Melbourne. Problem solved!
The Wolf and I | Windsor
Windsor's The Wolf and I is certainly a quirky addition to Chapel Street with its Scandinavian-inspired interior, including life-sized mannequins with deer and wolf heads and an exposed brick wall adorned with vintage Singer sewing machines. Its perhaps also got one of the most affordable Sunday roasts in Melbourne, where for just $18 you'll get a roasted strip loin of beef with crispy roast potatoes, brocollini, carrot, pumpkin puree and red wine sauce. The satisfaction from this Sunday special will leave you howling for more.
The Grace Darling Hotel | Collingwood
If there was an award for the best presented Sunday roast then The Grace Darling Hotel in Collingwood would win hands down, with each roast dinner cooked and served in an individual cast iron pot. While the meat selection varies from week to week, one thing is for sure – you won't be short of a vegie. And speaking of vegies, if you are a vegetarian, a meat-free option is available. There's also a selection of 12 locally crafted draft brews to wash your Sunday roast down with.
Estelle | Northcote
Some of Melbourne's best degustation dining is what you'll find at Scott Pickett's Estelle in Northcote, which received a coveted Chefs Hat in The Age Good Food Guide in its first year of opening. Every Sunday in July (bar the 6th when Philippe Mouchel will be in the house), Estelle will be dishing up a fancy Sunday roast, where for $50 you get three courses and a glass of wine. On 13th July it's venison, beef on the 20th and chicken on the 27th, so take your pick and book now! With any luck it will continue into August too.
The Commoner | Fitzroy
The Commoner in Fitzroy dishes up modern British cuisine and has been widely lauded for its take on the Sunday roast since it opened in 2009. Head Chef, Jake Kellie, has worked under the tuition of Heston Blumenthal at the Three Michelin Star Fat Duck in Bray and as a Chef de Partie at the Two Michelin Star Ledbury in Notting Hill, both in the UK, which has ensured he has this British fave down to a fine art. While the Sunday roast changes on a weekly basis, roast goat, duck and pork frequent the menu.
Richmond Club Hotel | Richmond
Sundays are for not thinking about Mondays, according to the Richmond Club Hotel and, quite frankly, we couldn't agree more! Every Sunday, the Swan Street pub celebrates the Sabbath with an RCH Sunday Sesh complete with two live acoustic sets and a traditional English all day Sunday roast. The cut of meat on the menu will depend on what's the best on the market that week and is teamed with seasonal roast vegetables.
The Penny Black | Brunswick
For the best value Sunday roast in Melbourne, you can't go past The Penny Black, Brunswick's former GPO. For $12, yes $12, you'll get marinated roast beef with all the trimmings – roasted garlic and rosemary potatoes, pumpkin, peas, spinach, carrot and a generous helping of gravy. While it might be tempting to tuck into your roast by the open fire, our tip is to brave the outdoors in Penny's rock star beer garden.
Middle Park Hotel | Middle Park
The Middle Park Hotel is your quintessential sports pub, playing a constant stream of AFL, rugby and just about every other sport under the sun. Under the direction of Group Executive Chef Stephen Burke and Head Chef Andrew Beddoes, there's no doubt the menu has been crafted with the lads in mind.
Every Saturday and Sunday throughout winter, hungry punters can get their footy fix while feasting on what they've termed 'Piggy in the Middle'; roast Wessex Saddleback Porchetta with cauliflower macaroni gratin, honey caramelised parsnips and heritage apples. Team it with an entrée for $45 or entrée and dessert for $55 and you'll be as happy as a pig in…
The Roast Kitchen | Kew
If you don't want to limit your Sunday roast intake to just Sundays, then head to The Roast Kitchen in Kew. Their entire menu is devoted to the British tradition and if it's not the best roast in Melbourne, then you get it free! That's The Roast Kitchen's guarantee. You can dine in or take away and choose from beef, lamb, pork or chicken all served with roasted or steamed vegies, peas and signature Roast Kitchen gravy. Yum!
Main image credit: In Sock Monkey Slippers