Crown And Anchor, Brixton

I seem to have little runs of form with roast dinners. I was on a good run of form, with many good or very good roast dinners – which followed a bad run.

Seemingly I am back on a bad run at the moment, with 3 disappointing roast dinners in a row, even Hawksmoor disappointed. So when I ran the random number generator, and it picked the Crown & Anchor in Brixton, and I looked at the pictures on their website, my heart sank.

It looked like turd. It was going to be a 4th disappointing roast dinner in a row. No FOMO.

After punishing myself with an hour or so of emergency shopping down Oxford Street, trying to dodge the exceptionally slow walkers and overweight woman in just their underwear, I made my way to Stockwell tube station.

Do you remember how you used to find places prior to having Google Maps on your phone? Me neither. Upon arrival in this unexplored district of London, I had no navigation tools. I took a punt on the direction, sticking to main roads, and hoped my telephone would once again resemble the modern piece of equipment it was in the good old days when Nick Clegg was still vaguely important.

15 minutes walk later, I was still exactly the same distance away from my destination. Maybe I should have done more than throw wet toilet roll onto the ceiling of the church when I was at cubs. Yes, I got thrown out.

The pub itself seemed like a little golden charm in a less than salubrious neighbourhood. It had a main room which was open, bright and airy, exposed brickwork on one wall, old-fashioned wallpaper on another, with lashings of pub-grey paint around the bar – you know the colour – there are two colours that modern, funky pubs use – either pub-grey or pub-blue. Think about it.

The Crown & Anchor also had a sizeable outdoor seating area.

Three roast dinner options were available, beef, pork and chicken. I chose the chicken as it was the one that sounded most interesting, it being paprika-spiced, at the almost bargain of a price at £11.95. The most expensive option was beef at £12.95. Have I ever had a cheaper roast dinner in a pub in London? I don’t think so.

Price is only one aspect though, and after paying £20.00 for a disappointing roast dinner at Hawksmoor last weekend (I’m still banging on about Brexit so don’t expect me to stop complaining about Hawksmoor any time soon), it is all about the food quality, the taste and can they actually make a roast potato which looks like it has been roasted?

I had around 15-20 minutes to wait to find out.

It certainly looked better than what was on their website.

Four vegetables were supplied – one of which was one tiny head of broccoli so you’ll understand that I’m not really able to pass comment. Like most of the vegetables, it seemed to have been steamed, or similar.

There was a fair handful of green beans, cooked pretty much perfectly in terms of time – just a hint of crunch and just past that squeaky stage.

3 pieces of carrot were supplied – cut vertically into quarters. Again I assume steamed, they were a tad more crunchy than for my personal preferences, but perfectly acceptable.

All decent so far, although entirely unspectacular.

Then there was a fair-sized portion of red cabbage. I don’t really like red cabbage so always difficult for me to judge it too much (unless it is really, really good), this was quite tangy and had a pretty strong, fruity taste to it – perhaps also due to how it combined with the gravy.

As usual, 3 roast potatoes came, and as usual they were not crispy on the outside. They were acceptable, I have had far worse recently but definitely nothing to write home about. Also a little touch of thyme.

Mixing things up and going onto the paprika-spiced chicken. It wasn’t strongly spiced as such (though I use paprika every day so I’m probably immune to it), it gave it a pleasant glaze and more of a hint of paprika. Despite it being half a chicken, I wasn’t overloaded with meat – it wasn’t an especially large or plump chicken. Like most of the dinner, just respectably average.

I say most, as the Yorkshire pudding (or yorkie as our Stockport-born waitress deightfully advised), was dreadful, brittle and hollow – reminding me of Diane Abbott. Oh wait a minute, sorry, I just remembered that we aren’t allowed to criticise her any more because some Twitter troll called her a “ni…”…actually let’s not go there. I’m not black and this isn’t daytime TV.

Or maybe I am black. Maybe I am Beyonce’s long-lost British sister. Or maybe I am Linford Christie – think about it, do you ever hear about Linford Christie any more? How do you know that isn’t me? Do you even know who Linford Christie is?

Shit, I’ve just realised that I made you think of the n-word. I am so racist. Get me a column on Breitbart quick sharp.

 

 

 

Hitler.

 

 

 

 

Rectum.

 

 

 

Gravy. Oh yes, gravy. It was a red wine gravy, again not my personal favourite but it was a pretty good gravy. Quite a good consistency, it was an actual gravy, the red wine taste wasn’t overly strong, and it worked. And for possibly the first time ever in London, I didn’t need to ask for more.

Overall it was very average. I would say I couldn’t complain considering the low price of £11.95, but I can complain – the Yorkshire pudding was an abomination (unlike Diane Abbott who is great). It was a reasonable roast dinner, in a very nice pub, full of Australians, young people and people that voted to remain in the EU (yes still banging on about it).

My accomplice was more impressed than me but he thinks Iceland does good quality food.

I’m going to give it a 6.98 out of 10. Better than Hawksmoor (yes still banging on about it).

Wait. Hold your horses. Keep that line of ketamine on the toilet seat. I just remembered that I had a stuffing ball. It was unremarkable, just a small sage and onion stuffing ball, but a delightful treat nonetheless. That bumps it up to a 7.02 out of 10. Neigh.

That’s me. I am finished. Until next week. The random number generator has picked somewhere in a posh area (probably full of tossers), but it is fully booked according to their website so I’m going to call them and pretend to be a Tory. That should free up a table.

Oh to be famous enough for some Twitter abuse.

 

 

 

 

 

Hawksmoor, Spitalfields

Ladies and gentlemen. We have reached review number 25. This is big, beautiful news. So big, and so beautiful that the fake news media of CNN won’t report it. What is their problem? Why are they denying the democratic rights of your favourite roast dinner reviewer? You are following me on Facebook and especially my favourite, Twitter aren’t you? And sharing every post?

Because I am the best. The best roast dinner reviewer this town has ever seen. Believe me.

I like numbers. Numbers are beautiful, and I like big, beautiful round numbers like 100. But, folks, hear me now blud, 25 is a quarter of 100, which is pretty special too.

Some people didn’t think I’d make it to 25 roasts. Some people didn’t even think I’d make it to London. They are losers. All of them.

You are a winner. You read my blog. You share my blog. This makes you a winner. The others are losers. Sad.

So after two disappointing roast dinners at Florentine, and The Junction Tavern, it was time to raise the standards. There are one or two places on my list that I am dearly wanting to eat at. Hawksmoor is one of those. For years I have wanted to go and have a steak there, but I have never got around it to – mainly due to being a tight-fisted northern twatt.

A beef roast dinner at Hawksmoor is £20, though I believe they also have some kind of sharing platters for roasts. There was one tricky course to navigate, and that was that we had booked for 5pm yet the roasts were not guaranteed from that time.

As I am, however, the greatest negotiator that the world has known (you can buy my book), I managed to persuade them to guarantee our roast dinners for 5pm. Though I didn’t have so much luck and understanding when responding to their offer of unlimited gravy when I asked for parking availability for my empty oil tanker. I even pointed out that I was northern. Sad.

I didn’t have the most exciting weekend. I cleaned my bedroom. I cleaned my bathroom. I cleaned my kitchen. I fixed a website for someone. I didn’t even drink one beer. No drugs. Honest – not even a sneaky crack pipe. Then finally the moment arrived. A very special day. A day of anticipation and excitement. For I was going to Hawksmoor.

There are about 6 or so different Hawksmoor restaurants. For no particular reason, I picked the Spitalfields one. Upon arrival I was shown to my seat and awaited my accomplices. The place itself seemed quite dark yet classy due to the black-painted walls. It was very busy – every table seemed to be taken, and we’d occasionally glimpse food porn walking past.

Drinks were pricey, the cheapest bottle of red was £32, if I recall correctly. Guess how much the most expensive one was? I’ll tell you at the end. I was quite thankful that it was a rare no-drinking weekend for me. Hmmmm beer. Hmmmm steak. Hmmmm boobies.

Dinner took around 40 minutes to arrive. My accomplices were particularly hungry, I not quite as much, but I was certainly greatly anticipating my meal. This was going to be even more beautiful than a big, beautiful wall around Shoreditch.

Although on arrival, it didn’t look quite the dream I hoped for.

The carrots, were however quite dreamsome. Horizontally sliced, perhaps on a slight diagonal, they were buttery to taste – and seemed to have been steamed from texture. In terms of crunch/squish ratio, they were spot on for my tastes, with just a little bite to them.

Then there was a shallot, possibly only half in my case. It was a touch on the bitter side, though I didn’t have enough to formulate an opinion – I’m not bothered though.

Accompanying this, or perhaps I should say, the rest of the dinner accompanied half a plate of greens. They went on forever like a good friend of mine that never shuts up. I’m struggling to pinpoint their roots, they looked more like spinach but certainly didn’t taste as such. They were too small for normal spring greens – but tasted similar, though slightly more bland than previous spring green offerings. Did I tell you there was a lot of them? They kept on coming. Never-ending spring greens, with the odd strand of cabbage sprinkled in. Maybe young spring greens are a thing?

There was also half a bulb of roasted garlic. What a waste of garlic. Does anyone actually sit there are eat 15 half-bulbs of garlic? I love garlic but this just seemed an utter waste – I did have a couple of the half-bulbs but just found them annoying to dig out. Maybe I was supposed to put in on my head or something.

Onto the roast potatoes. Or the potatoes, as they would be better known as. I thought that the reason that we’d be waiting 40 minutes for dinner was that there would be freshly roasted, crispy potatoes for us. No. Just 3 small potatoes, quite tough and unappealing in texture – though on the bright side they had been roasted in duck fat. Just nowhere near long enough. And why bother with duck fat on disappointing spuds?

£20 I paid for this.

It does get better but not during Yorkshire Pudding O’Clock. Moderately large but not even vaguely beautiful. Crispy at the top, the walls themselves were dried out sponges. They bottom was vaguely better, if still a tad rubbery, but only better due to the gravy soaking. Sad. And bad.

Let’s go onto gravy. I know, I normally leave it until the end. Unlimited gravy came in the world’s smallest gravy thimble. Extra gravy was requested before I even saw it. Thankfully the gravy rescued the meal somewhat, as it was a very good onion and bone-marrow gravy. It seemed that quite some effort had gone into it, and the flavourings were in perfect quantities. Being a northerner, I’d prefer it not so runny, but I am aware that gravy isn’t like cement down ‘ere.

And finally, arguably most importantly, especially in a place famed for its steaks – the meat. The waitress advised us that the usual beef joint was not available, so we were getting rump steak instead. There were a modest 5 slices of steak, all wonderfully pink in the middle (this is their medium), seemingly quite heavy on the sea salt. It was excellent, some of the best rump steak that I have ever had.

Over.

Folks, that was quite a mixed bag. Parts were poor, parts were pointless, parts were truly excellent. It was definitely expensive for what it was.

The service was intermittent but friendly. The ‘voluntary’ tip added to the bill wasn’t earned in my opinion, it was the bare minimum that you’d expect but not what I would normally tip for. You know how some restaurants know just when to approach – well, they didn’t at Hawksmoor. They didn’t approach at the wrong times either – it was just OK service.

I have to say that I was disappointed. I was expecting excellence throughout the meal – not just for parts of it. I truly thought that it could be one of the best that I’ve had so far. It ranks nearer the bottom than the top, with a 6.93 out of 10. This is not fake news.

If you want to go to a steak place for a Sunday roast, then get yourselves to the excellent Bar & Block in King’s Cross, or the very good Hanger in Fulham.

I’m sad to say this, but I cannot recommend Hawksmoor for Sunday roasts. Oh Hawksmoor, why did you not live up to my high expectations? I still want to go back and have a proper steak, but I won’t be rushing back.

Next week I’m going sarf. Brixton MASSIVE. It could potentially be the cheapest pub roast dinner so far that I’ve reviewed. Alas their website photography of roast dinners suggests to me it will be a 4th disappointing roast in a row.

I am big and I am beautiful. I love you all – don’t forget to share. We are going to be so great together.

Oh yeah, the answer to the quiz question was £1,700.

The Junction Tavern, Kentish Town

Normally my high level of genius and ingenuity mean that words flow from mind to page, but today I am stuck. How do I start this roast dinner review of The Junction Tavern in Kentish Town?

Gravy? Politics? Boobs? At least I have got my key search term in the first paragraph – my SEO plugin will be happy.

Sadly my world-renowned genius did not stretch to saving the file I was working on today. This could therefore be quite a very fucking sweary review – good job I don’t rely on the communists at Google AdSense who don’t like you fucking swearing in your posts, to finance my blog. Nobody reads it anyway, nobody shares it, nobody would click on advertising. So I can be as fucky fuck shit bumhole rectum as I like.

Bracknell.

I’ve been to Kentish Town before. Just the once. It kind of looks like it should be next to Shoreditch, but just doesn’t have any edge to it at all – just a bit uncared for and totally non-cool (cooler than Shoreditch though which is nowadays just full of vomiting tossbags). I kind of like the area, it has some form of potential – though my previous roast dinner at The Oxford was respectably decent, it didn’t shake the world up.

The pressure was on this week as it was my sister’s birthday, and I had to find a good roast dinner in North London.

This introduction just isn’t flowing is it? It has to be one of the shittest starts to a review in the history of reviewing roast dinners. Maybe I might get lucky and over-write it at the end and have to repeat my whole work again tomorrow because I seem to be well fucking qualified at that today.

I’m not going to make it as a famous roast dinner reviewer am I? Maybe I should give up and become a cheese model. I could sit on a bench all day eating blocks of cheese.

There were three options available for the roast dinner. Sirloin of beef at £16.50, lamb shank at £16.00, and chicken with stuffing at £15.00. I wanted the chicken but I had it last week, so chose the lamb shank instead. My sister had the beef, and our other accomplice chose the…fishcake.

Yes. Fishcake. Fishcake on a Sunday. Fishcake at roast club. Fishcake instead of a roast dinner. Fishcake instead of a roast dinner, on a Sunday, at roast club.

At least she asked permission to do so. And she is the only other regular reader I have. So I granted permission. Unlike today, I was not up for an argument. Yes, I just meekly accepted. I might be a traitor for daring to still argue against Brexit but at least I don’t have fishcake on a Sunday.

Fucking Brexit.

Dinner took around 15 minutes to arrive, and my first impression was “that is a fine looking fishcake”. Oh and a burnt Yorkshire pudding – well, somewhat.

Starting with a few florets of centred broccoli. These were nicely-cooked – a good balance between soft but with some bite.

Then there was some pureed swede – or something similar. It was quite bland, either that or my tastebuds were on holiday – quite possible, but I don’t like swede puree/mash at the best of times.

A few strands of cabbage accompanied this but too few to be able to judge.

Then we had crispy roast potatoes. Very crispy roast potatoes. So tough and crispy that my steak knife (yes, steak knife for lamb) really struggled to cut them. 4 roast potatoes, all barely edible, even more hard work than trying to explain economics to a Corbynista, and generally miserably shit. Offensively so.

They really made my lack of achievements today pale into comparison. Pretty much the only achievement of my day was a truly excellent fart – almost volcanic in force.

Onto the Yorkshire pudding which was both hit and miss. The outer rim was quite burnt. The bottom was soft and plump, with a good texture and eggy taste.

RECTUM.

The lamb shank was quite ordinary. It tasted fine, and pulled away from the bone as you’d expect but there was just something not quite there about it. It was like a wasted effort – lamb shank should be at least a tad extraordinary – not just ordinary. It almost seemed as if it was a mass-produced lamb shank sold at a cash & carry. I could be wrong – it isn’t exactly as if I haven’t been wrong today.

Finally, the gravy was virtually invisible. The menu promised mint gravy, but there was no mint – and as our replenishment gravy for both the beef and lamb came in the same gravy boat, I think it is safe to say that I definitely did not have mint gravy. The gravy itself was effectively water, with the barest amount of gravy granules.

So I failed. I failed to find a good roast dinner for my sister’s birthday. I fucking quit.

Still, at least I didn’t fail as much as the guy in Australia that left his name and phone number on a bag of MDMA. And is now due in court on 29th September.

And sadly, The Junction failed in their roast dinner efforts. A shame, as I wanted to like the place – I had a good feeling from the staff (not that kind of feeling), the beer was reasonably priced for London – £4.90 for a Heineken is good, the pub itself was a decent place – a restaurant area, a bar area, a conservatory and an outdoor area. It’ll never win best pub of the year award, but it felt homely enough, and was busy enough to suggest that it is a successful venue.

Did I just say £4.90 was a good price for a pint of lager? I have lived down here too long.

Anyway, it gets a 5.11 out of 10. There are many better roast dinners in London.

Next week is review number 25. So it has to be special. It really does need to be a special one. Though there is a chance given my current foul mood that I may be in prison by then for stabbing someone for standing on the left side of an escalator. Last weekend – I had a whole escalator of left-side standers. A whole escalator. Really fucked up my feng shui.

Oh, and fishcake lady said her dinner was great. Bye.

Florentine, Lambeth

Ahhh dining solo again.

It’s actually only the second time in 23 roast dinners that I’ve had to go by myself. Sure, I could have stayed in bed and ordered a Nando’s takeaway – but I don’t have any chicken gravy granules in the cupboard, so that one was out. Plus I’m doing a service for you all – like jury service but for roast dinners. Yes that does mean you should share and invite your friends to follow me on Facebook.

I do have two very excellent and reliable roast dinner devotees in my life, but they are not always around. I reckon that I just need one more close, reliable person in my life. NOT A GIRLFRIEND. Well, unless she is Spanish, either a C or D cup, doesn’t want children and enjoys ironing.

Actually, what am I on about? I work in a start-up, doing web development – I won’t ever need to iron anything ever again. Bar weddings and funerals. Maybe job interviews.

So do you remember when you first went into a pub by yourself? It was Trepidation Central. Eventually I matured (vaguely), and made it to the point where I could go in a pub, by myself, have a beer and read the Daily Sport (covered by the front page of the Daily Mail – both bought with my 5p in the quick-buy thing at WH Smith).

Eating by yourself is a whole different ball game. It helps if the venue is in the middle of nowhere. It helps if there is a corner in that you can inconspicuously place yourself (though there is little about me that is inconspicuous). It helps if it is reasonably busy. It helps if you feel comfortable in your surroundings.

It also helps if the waitress doesn’t bring too much attention to it. You know, let me feel that eating a roast dinner on a Sunday afternoon by myself is normal. Ideally, just don’t fucking ask if I am eating by myself – don’t rub it in. Yes, I’m alone. Yes, I’m a miserable bastard that nobody likes to spend time with. Yes, I’m ugly and completely undateable. Yes I am an old, obese, miserable bastard who cannot get his cock up. Maybe I should have pretended that I’ve been stood up. Though that would never happen in real life.

Florentine has a sophisticated feel to it. All clean, modern, smart and perpendicular inside – on the ground floor of the Park Plaza Hotel, and rather conspicuous in its elegance for Lambeth. Ooooh nearly put an apostrophe in ‘its’ then.

I am about as sophisticated as alphabet spaghetti. The venue was quiet, I was shown to a whole row of tables in the middle of the restaurant so it was nice and obvious that I was eating on my fucking tod. And yes, the waitress was only too happy to oblige in reminding me that I was eating on my fucking own. In a nice way, but in an obvious way. I didn’t feel good about it – I tried to tell her that I had no friends but she didn’t respond.

On the Florentine website, there is an offer of a free drink if you sign up to their newsletter. I signed up but did not receive any confirmation. I then brought this up with the waitress who advised that there was no such offer on their website. I tried to check on my anti-smartphone, but it takes forever to do anything. The waitress came back and advised that she had just checked the website and there was definitely no offer.

There was. Their website clearly states that you get a free drink if you sign up to their newsletter. This was half the reason I went – being a tight arse northern tosser.

Being a tight arse, I decided to order the cheapest meal on their menu, which was chicken, at a reasonable £14.00. Rib of beef was on offer at £17.00, and leg of lamb at £15.00. But I distinctly now wanted to spend as little money as possible, seeing that I was not getting the free drink that I was entitled to.

Less than 10 minutes passed and my dinner arrived. You cannot cook a roast dinner in less than 10 minutes. You can reheat one in a microwave, though.

You can probably tell where I am going with this.

Starting with the collection of fine green beans. They were numerous and rather squeeky – for me just a shade undercooked, though not everyone would agree.

The parsnips were much softer. There were a few batons – with quite a distinctive honey-roast taste, and a touch of oil. I’m not keen on honey – horses for courses.

Then there were 3 roast potatoes. The larger one was tougher than ideal, the other two were fine in terms of fluffiness. They did taste and look like they had been deep fried rather than roasted, even with the minor sprinkling of rosemary, as I could greatly taste oil, but the menu suggests they were roasted so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt (though their website also suggests I was due a free beer). I’ll come back to the oil issue in a bit. And probably the free beer bit.

The Yorkshire pudding was fairly large. But that is as far as the compliments get. Now, I’m not that good at Yorkshire puddings, but at least mine are smooth and look like Yorkshire puddings. I am still to work out how this kind of speckled, tough Yorkie is made. I know I don’t like it – it was, tough and around the rim it tasted burnt. And oily.

Allegedly the chicken was corn-fed according to the website – though allegedly I was due a free beer. I’ve had plumper corn-fed chicken, but still it was a very good piece of chicken. Pleasingly generous on the lemon flavouring, with a hint of chargrill to the outside. The best part of the meal by some way.

The worst part was the gravy. Or should I say – jus. At least they state it is jus instead of pretending it is gravy. What kind of places do jus? Smart, sophisticated places – places that neanderthal northerners who just want a titwank and a bowl of thick gravy don’t tend to frequent. It was overbearingly oily, and it detracted from the whole meal. More men in corsets than horses for courses.

I am perhaps not being as subjective as I could be. It wasn’t their fault that I was on my own. I definitely had a minor downer and was feeling a tad awkward. It certainly isn’t a solo-dining place. Though neither is it a recommended roast dinner venue.

It wasn’t awful. But I didn’t enjoy my experience – 5.98 out of 10, is the highest that I feel I can justify.

And I definitely begrudged paying the £2.37 service charge. But like the free beer that I was entitled to according to their website, I was in no mood to argue about.

Then it was time to go inhale some graffiti fumes, bizarrely watched by a woman in a wedding dress showing her crotch to everyone by holding the skirt bit of her dress in her hand – possibly accidentally. I do love London. Is now a good time to tell you about the amazing sideboob view I had the other evening? Maybe I’ll leave it for when I am short of material…as she was.

Next week it’s my sister’s birthday and we are going north London. The pressure is on. It needs to be good.

The Dove, Hammersmith

Did you miss me?

You had to go two weeks without being able to read my beautiful, witty, enlightening roast dinner reviews. More importantly, I went two Sundays in a row without gravy. I love gravy. I love beer. I am in love with gravy. I am in love with beer. And I love roast dinners. And I love London. But I especially love gravy.

Two whole weeks without. All was not lost, as I was able to enact one of my fantasies last weekend, which was to prance around a major European city in bright green stilettos.

Ahhhh feel the love. Feel the tolerance. Feel the peace.

Which leads me nicely (craply?) onto this week’s establishment, chosen by the random number generator, The Dove, in Hammersmith.

Walking into this cute riverside pub reminded me of when human beings used to be smaller. A cosy, old feel to the inside, with a small two-level terrace out back – a busy pub with very few free tables on a Sunday. My hopes were high for a good roasting.

Given that quite a few Sunday roasts have ended up with rather far too much fun occurring recently, I decided that I would order soft drinks. This was the most difficult part of my day – I had to order a beer for my friend, and then investigate the soft drink options whilst staring at the pump for one of my favourite craft lagers, Frontier, all the while the demons in my head were hammering away, the beer pump kept staring me – occasionally dancing around in the most stylist manner. Come to me. Drink me. All the soft drinks sounded boring, whilst all of these beautiful alcoholic drinks sounded so interesting, looked so shiny, were singing to me and offering me peace, love and an end to my virginity.

I bought an apple juice.

Another challenge was what to choose from the menu. The main four of beef, chicken, lamb and pork were on offer, priced between £16.00 and £18.50. I’d had beef last time – I do love pork belly but I decided to go for lamb. It isn’t often lamb is available, it was a shoulder shank, and I was confident of a good roast dinner.

Oh there was also a nut roast for £13.50, if you are that way inclined. Diversity, and all.

I sat with my accomplice and discussed discussions over some foccacia and oil, whilst awaiting our roast dinners.

Shortly after, a pot of tea arrived. We didn’t order a pot of tea.

Then two roast dinners arrived, “vegetarian?”. Yeah, as if – I was tempted to roll around the floor in some kind of crazy laughing fit and once everyone was looking at me, I’d announce that the waitress thought I had ordered vegetarian.

[Deleted due to being an insensitive fuckwit].

Another serving of foccacia bread arrived. Which we also hadn’t ordered.

And finally, our correct roast dinners arrived – beef for the bender and lamb for the lesbian. Our waitress asked if I wanted anything extra. I stated that I did, and asked her if she could guess what it was. I gave her a clue, that I was northern. Can you guess what I asked for?

It took her 5-10 seconds, but she worked it out – surely it cannot have been that hard with virtually no gravy on the plate (it did of course take a while to arrive too).

I fell in love. With the waitress. She understood my most important needs. What more can you want in a woman? Very cute too, but most importantly she understood.

But would I love the roast?

It looked good, even with the invisible gravy.

Unusually for me, I actually liked the swede mash. It was rather buttery in taste, melding slightly with the cauliflower cheese. And not too much of it.

All the vegetables were in fairly limited quantities (though the 5 types together were easily a good amount), bar the carrot which was one long carrot cut in half.

There were nibblings of butternut squash – a rare treat on a roast and in soft format here.

The cabbage was truly excellent. Stringy strands of salacious…stuff. It worked perfectly with the very limited gravy.

Finally in the world of vegetables, the cauliflower cheese. Again not a huge amount in itself, quite soft with limited cream. Tasty though.

Then we entered the world of legumes, kind of vaguely, perhaps roasted potatoes. My only disappointment of the day, they were acceptable but kind of under-cooked and anaemic. Not badly so, but a world away from crispy roast potatoes.

The Yorkshire pudding was absolutely perfect. Crispy on the outside, soft and a little soggy on the bum. A large-sized yorkie are the king of things we dream about up north. It would take some endeavour to improve upon this.

Awwww baby lambs. Hmmmm baby lambs. I wonder how many vegans read this? The lamb shoulder shank was exceptional. Loads of super-succulent lamb, it fell off the bone without hesitation. Some juicy fat in places which just added to the extravagance. This was so, so, so, so, so, so good. Eezer goode, eezer goode, whoa, Eberneezer Goode. I wonder if this pub was named after the famous ecstacy pills in the late 1980’s of the same name?

This was one seriously excellent lamb shoulder shank, replete with hints of fennel too. Close to orgasmic.

The gravy complimented the roast well. A decent meat stock gravy – not thick enough for my northern preferences or references but that’s life, I’m down here stealing your money, I’ve just got to accept thin gravy. Though I’ve had much thinner.

So, I was well impressed. Perfect yorkie, sensational lamb, mostly excellent vegetables. The only thing that really let it down was the unroasted potatoes. Perhaps I’m blinkered by being temporarily in love (she understood my needs), but this is oh so close to being the best roast dinner that I have reviewed so far in London. I’m giving it an 8.51 out of 10.

2nd out of 22 reviews so far.

Next weekend I’m heading somewhere a bit too expensive for my liking – well, about £2 more than the £18 I paid here. North too. A kind of posh area. I look forward to urinating in the street and getting my arse out.

Peace out man.

Hanger, Fulham

Simplicity and sobriety. Two things I desire. Two things I greatly admire. Two things that I am pretty shit at.

Friday I didn’t drink – I even turned down free beer. Saturday I didn’t drink. Now I’m sat at work, eating my lunchtime salad whilst starting to pen my thoughts. And whilst hungover. This is unnecessary complexity that I really do not require on a Monday.

One of the main perils of life is the abundance of choice. Am I the only one that goes into my local shop for a chocolate bar and spends 10 minutes evaluating the options available, only to wonder upon consumption as to whether I made the optimal decision? Am I the only one that flicks through all 900 channels on Sky TV before deciding to watch nothing due to indecision? Am I the only one that searches for “Saudi Arabian lesbian slave sex” on Pornhub, clicking through screen after screen, watching about 5 seconds of each video trying to find which video is most suitable?

It isn’t just me is it?

That is why I use the random number generator in as many aspects of my life as possible. Often including picking where to have a roast dinner on a Sunday.

This week it picked Hanger, in Fulham. A steak restaurant. A very, very quiet steak restaurant on a Sunday. Ominously so? Do the allegedly beautiful people of Fulham know something we didn’t? This added unnecessary complexity – which table to sit on? We had a choice of…every single table.

Simplicity was restored with the menu choice. In terms of roast dinners, there was an option of steak or steak. A 200g steak for £15.00, or a more complex 800g Côte de Boeuf for 4 people at £75. We chose simplicity on the basis of saving £3.75 each. The first and last time I chose the cost-effective option that day.

Dinner took a while to arrive, a good 30-40 minutes at a guess, though I wasn’t counting. The longer I wait for a roast dinner, the more likely that I am to get proper roast potatoes. Take as long as you like, baby.

Beer was forthcoming and the choice was simple with just one choice of lager on tap – a very nice, simple, crisp beer that went down too nicely. Is it bedtime yet? #FM’#FOMO’L. I am so down with the kids that I am practically inventing my own #hashtags.

Dinner (still don’t understand why people call it Sunday lunch down here – it isn’t fucking banana and salt & vinegar crisp sandwiches – yeah that is a thing…City Of Culture, I know where I’m from), where was I? Oh yeah, it arrived on one of those wooden boards to share between two people, and we each had a tiny plate – no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no, to place our dinner upon.

What is wrong with having a large plate? #FFS. #FOMOOAPPHCT.

I decided against the complex challenge of creating a vertical food tower on my tiny little saucer, keeping things simple with my share of vegetables.

Starting with the chicory. What is the meaning of chicory? I appreciate something new, but I didn’t enjoy it. It seemed to have quite a bitter taste to it, almost like coffee-flavoured onion. Weird.

I had one green bean. I am not really in a position to review one solitary green bean.

Moving onto the carrots. 3 vertically-sliced half-carrots were provided, all roasted and all succulent. Juicy with a hint of herbs, these were top notch.

Then the cauliflower cheese was also excellent. What I really liked about it was that it had seemingly been grilled (or similar) on top, to give it a crispy coating. The cauliflower itself was the perfect midway between soft and crunchy, and the cheese flavouring was evident, though not overbearing.

And then we had some magic. Crispy roast potatoes. Seriously crispy on the outside. Soft and fluffy on the inside. Apparently making proper roast potatoes is a skill far too complex for most places. Easily the best roast potatoes in London so far – 21 reviews and counting.

Sadly the Yorkshire pudding was a bit, umm. A bit overcooked and stale, not at all matching the quality of the rest of the roast.

Unsurprisingly for somewhere that specialises in steak, the steak was top-notch. We ordered medium-rare, it was definitely medium-rare – perhaps verging on the rare, though perhaps I’ve had too many medium-rare steaks that are not medium-rare. A nice grilled texture on the outside – very enjoyable moments.

Gravy. For me, it was too complex. I like a simple gravy. This was a red wine gravy (I think), with definitely added complexity. It didn’t taste burnt but it almost had a hint of it. Yet my 3 companions thought it was excellent. Horses for courses. Perhaps I should have asked for peppercorn sauce instead.

It’s another difficult one to score. The best roast potatoes so far in London. Excellent carrots and cauliflower cheese. Very good steak. Disappointing yorkie. Gravy that I didn’t appreciate.

The natural comparison is with Bar & Block, another steak place in King’s Cross (also very quiet on a Sunday). Personally, I preferred Bar & Block – but one of my accomplices went to both and preferred here. All of us rated this place, though I am giving it a lower score than my accomplices, at 7.86.

Service at first was a little baffling, it didn’t seem to flow – took quite a while to be able to order a beer, then when he did take our drinks order it was when one of us was in the loo (which could have done with some toilet roll). But after that it was spot on – humouring my attempted jokes about putting MDMA in ice cream (I don’t like ice cream), being attentive and trying to advise on the impossible.

Once we paid, we each received a 25% off voucher. For the next time we come. There won’t be a next time. Not because this isn’t a very good restaurant, but because life is short, I have another 119 places on my roast dinner to-do list and there are so many other places in London to experience. So if anyone wants my 25% off voucher, then drop me a line and I’ll stick it in the post to you. First come, first served. I don’t have that many readers so I’ll probably still have it come November.

All that was left was to enjoy the pharmaceutical stimulants and find some not-so-beautiful people in Fulham.

Next Sunday I should be back, and I am going anywhere but south-west London.

Prince Of Wales, Putney

Did you notice last week that scientists have finally managed to teleport a photon?

Imagine the possibilities. You’ve had a very heavy weekend and the idea of 10 minutes on the Central Line is seemingly more torturous than listening to Nigel Mansell whilst waxing your legs, but you need a roast dinner – nothing else will suffice.

Yes, you will be able to teleport yourself to the pub. Either that or if you are concerned about the potential of recreating 1970’s shit movie, The Fly, you could have the roast dinner teleported to your table. On a plate.

Fuck Uber. Teleportation is the future.

And yes, I have checked Deliveroo and no I cannot get a roast dinner delivered to me. I even risked checking Uber Eats – is it just me or does everything on there look like plastic?

This being review number 20, I was intending on doing something special for it. Alas, I have vastly overspent so I decided to do something cheap and local. Then I got drunk, couldn’t find anywhere to book when drunk at 1am that was near enough my home that I could book so decided to plump for Putney, Prince Of Wales, to be exact. Refreshingly without the the. I cannot say I was amused about my decision when I awoke.

We sat outside upon arrival, with the view of this classic probably soon-to-be-listed office block, and accompanying traffic. Well, it was nearly sunny. The beer selection was very unimaginative, so much so that I briefly considered non-alcoholic options. I guess I could have had wine.

The pub itself was done with a touch of quality, some quite grand-looking chairs and a splashguard in the urinals – there was more thought put into the decoration than the limp-wristed beer selection.

Speaking of bo selections, beef, lamb and chicken were the offerings. I went for the cheapest option which was chicken at £15. I don’t recall the exact price of the lamb or beef, but they were around the £17 – £18 mark.

I then had quite the dilemma. Chorizo scotch eggs were on the starter menu. I don’t believe in starters before a roast dinner – a proper roast dinner should fill you up. Only for gluttony should there be a requirement for dessert, and there is no sensible reason to eat something prior to a roast dinner.

But I have even more of an obsession with chorizo than Spanish women. A sensible one was ordered for two very sensible people, which we shared. It was a worthwhile pursuit for sure. Anything with chorizo in gets me salivating – I would even consider eating peas if they had chorizo inside. Pea and chorizo sticks, anyone? Heaven and hell.

It took another 15 minutes or so for the roast dinners to arrive, with typically next to zero gravy. Surprise, surprise.

Starting, as is traditional, with the vegetables. A mixture of carrot, swede and parsnip batons. All quite soft, one assumes steamed – perhaps boiled. They were fine but utterly uninspiring.

The cabbage was a definite highlight. It sounds weird for cabbage to be a highlight, and it may just have been how the gravy interacted with it, but I really did enjoy the cabbage.

Three roast potatoes were supplied. They had been roasted, possibly even in goose fat – they had a nice, hearty taste to them. However they had been roasted as in past tense, and were more hard than crispy on the outside, and a little al dente in the middle. Not especially bad, but I didn’t feel like I had to go out and buy a postcard. Speaking of postcards, I told my parents when they went to Spain to hook me up with a hot Spanish woman if they ever had any intention of grandchildren (I’m busy – not ugly).

I’ve named her Pedrobelle Martinez-Fernández-González-Rodríguez-López-Sánchez-Pérez.

The top of the Yorkshire pudding was burnt. Not just dark, but actually tasting burnt. Once I had removed that, the rest was fine, but suffering from the general overcooking. Pretty yuck.

Thankfully the chicken was top-notch. It was a good-quality half a chicken, with plenty of succulent meat to stuff into my gob. A hint of garlic and a lesser hint of thyme gave it that added touch of elegance.

By the end, I was stuffed, barely able to move and screaming internally in desperation for a teleportation device.

So another mixed bag but overall a positive affair. Certainly more positive than Arthur Fowler’s affair. The Yorkshire pudding was distinctly crap by way of burntness, but the cabbage and chicken were top-notch. One of those roast dinners where I gave it a lower score the more I thought about it – it has balanced out now at a 7.04 out of 10.

Worth a try if you are in the area, and if you get a better Yorkie than I did and are a bit more southern than me, you’d probably rate it higher. The only other place in Putney on my list is The Jolly Gardener’s – let me know if I should be adding any others.

So I trudged off back to spend the next half a day or so in bed, and watch South Africa continue to pummel us in rather England-of-old-style cricket. But not before I had a completely un-teleporty 13 minutes to wait for a Piccalilli line train. 13 minutes for a tube?

This coming Sunday looks like another south-west affair, again I’ll be hampered by TFL and a general lack of teleportation devices. Fulham could be the location.

See, I managed a whole roast dinner review without mentioning politics, drugs, sex, lesbians or gravy.

Oh shit the gravy. It was particularly tasty, seemingly with a hint of red wine in it. It was good but thin, and bordering on the jus-like, though it did get a little tiring towards the end. Maybe that’s why southerners always provide such small amounts of gravy? It did particularly compliment the cabbage.

Fellatio.

The Princess of Shoreditch, Shoreditch

Gays. Originally they just wanted not to be put in jail. Kind of understandable.

But look at it now. They have a whole month to themselves.

I mean, whatever next? A gay prime minister?

Let’s face it, I’m just jealous. Black people have their own parade. Gay people have their own parade. Chinese people have their own parade. Toffs and desperate chavvy women have their own boaty parade. Racists have their own marches. But what about boring, obese, white, male virgins with large collections of string vests? What do we have? I’m not saying that I want anything up my bum but I don’t even have society’s permission to wear sequins.

Speaking of which, and I will get around to talking about lesbians at some point, oh and roast dinners, we warmed up our respective bellies yesterday with a quick trip to the wonderful Dalston Superstore, my favourite LGBTJDGENTOVHRTYGQ+ bar to watch a drag queen in a green sequin dress.

It was wonderfully dreadful, I was scared every time she walked past me, the music was the direst of dire – so bad that Spice Girls was the highlight, and we waited forever for table service for our beers – apparently service was amazing before your royal straightness turned up. Being straight is no fun any more.

It was, of course, ironically dreadful and jolly good fun.  I’ll definitely go back, and their brunch menu just looked homotastic. Maybe I should become a drag queen?

So then we went towards our roast dinner venue, The Princess Of Shoreditch, in…Shoreditch. East London, baby! Now I remember when Shoreditch was all shabby buildings, dodgy bars where anything goes, full of artists, musicians and kids rolling around the street off their head on ketamine. If you didn’t have a beard, 100 piercings and at least two drug habits, then you weren’t getting in anywhere.

Now, it’s, well…”nice”. In some parts anyway. That dreaded g-word – gentrified. And The Princess Of Shoreditch is the epitome of nice. It’s a nice pub, clean with working toilets, quite upmarket with an upmarket menu. It’s not designed for your average 2002-edition Shoreditch wreckhead. It’s for post drug-habit types, with regular 9-6 jobs, much-improved hygiene levels and for some crazy fools, steady relationships. You could even take your mum here.

The menu offered pork belly, lamb, beef or whole chicken (to be shared between two), at prices between £18 and £20. Slightly on the pricey side. I chose the cheapest option as I have vastly overspent on transsexual prostitutes this month, which was the pork belly at £18.00.

The Princess Of Shoreditch was a very welcoming venue, the modern, airy two-floor venue, clearly aimed at those wishing to eat. The welcome was replicated by the staff, who greeted us almost as if we were long-lost relatives, they genuinely seemed very pleased to see us, although my shit attempts at humour were lost on one of our servants.

Less than 10 minutes after our order was taken, our roast dinners arrived.

This blog rarely features anything weird, but I’m breaking a habit here with the parsnip, date & aged beef fat puree that was supplied. I don’t get the point of puree if you are over the age of 2 – but that’s just me being a bit simple (and too straight). At first, this was a curiosity to the taste buds, a pleasant challenge. But it quickly became very tiring and a little awkward. It tasted pretty close to toffee – a really weird start, but kudos for attempting something unusual.

I tried to sweep up the rest of the puree with my cabbage so nothing else on the plate would be affected but it didn’t help. The cabbage was a little softer than average and a little more nondescript than cabbage can be.

I won’t make a good lesbian either, will I? I was mulling the idea over the other week with one of my regular dining companions, but when I realised the genitalia amendments required, I decided against it. Of course, I could…shall I just get back to the roast dinner review?

There was one long carrot too, split vertically in half and roasted. Perfectly roasted too, with generous helpings of chives.   If you wanna be my lover.

Guess what else was roasted? Roast potatoes. They were actually crispy on the outside. They weren’t freshly cooked but seemed to have been cooked pretty recently, roasted in beef fat, really tasty, crunchily crispy on the outside and pretty fluffy on the inside. The best I have had for a while, perhaps the best I have had in London so far.

The Yorkshire pudding was sizeable, though a little more crispy than my personal tastes prefer. One of my accomplices, however, said it was perfect. Make of that what you will.

On the way to the establishment, we walked through Ravey Street. Which rhymes with gravy. So my hopes of good gravy were high, at least until I realised that it was a more upmarket joint. Yes, we received jus. And just a tiny bit. We asked for more, and received one tiny jug to share. We asked for more again.

I prefer vegetable Bisto to jus. I simply don’t get it. But I’m northern. And not homosexual enough. As far as jus goes, it was good – a deep-throated red wine jus. But I’d have much preferred a bog-standard gravy.  You can take the boy out of Hull…City Of Culture.

Maybe I could become a mermaid? Imagine living in a sea of gravy.  Zig a zig ahhh.

Apparently it’s a thing nowadays, people get dressed up as mermaids and enter mermaid competitions. Even men.

I hope you appreciate the educational aspects of my roast dinner reviews.

Last but definitely not least, the pork belly. Yes there is still food to talk about. Three slices around 7mm thick each, absolutely sumptuous. Perfectly crispy on top, with the pork itself a picture of succulence. This was pretty damn divine. I did also try a bite of the lamb, and the beef – both were good but not a patch on the belly. This was wow territory.

This is a tricky roast dinner to score. There were aspects that I was not keen on – namely the puree and the jus, but in other areas it was outstanding, particularly the roasties and the belly. I suspect that if you prefer your rugby without tries and think Pimm’s is an acceptable alcoholic beverage then you would enjoy this very good roast dinner even more than I did.

But I have to score it on my level of satisfaction, not on what I think someone else might feel, and so I am going to give it a very healthy 7.94 out of 10.

Next weekend will be a much cheaper affair as I have badly overspent. Unless anyone wants to sponsor my page? Maybe Asda do roast dinners?  Or maybe I should become a drag queen – anyone know if it pays well?

Actually, fuck becoming a drag queen – £48 a green sequin dress costs.  Maybe I could become a flamingo?

The Old Red Cow, Farringdon

Apparently, Pakistan is becoming a true centre of sex toy manufacturing. Oh crap, my search engine optimisation plugin doesn’t like me starting with that. Roast dinner review of The Old Red Cow in Farringdon. Yes, I know it isn’t in east London. Shut it.

So anyway, apparently there is a growing export market for anal beads, gimp masks and padlockable penis cages in Pakistan. Quite why you would padlock your penis in a cage is another matter. Kind of like Brexit sex I guess.

I should really give up on search engine optimisation.

Thanks again to the Economist for enlightening me. It was also in the Economist where I found out that there were two separate cocaine markets – one for common Colombian stuff (if my beautiful Colombian friend is reading, I hope you appreciate that I can now spell your country correctly), and a more expensive market for Peruvian cocaine – stuff cut 5 times instead of 50 times.

I remember being at a nightclub once and this Portuguese guy was trying to persuade me to buy his cocaine. I insisted that I was not interested. “But it’s 60% pure” he kept saying, kind of like Theresa May ahead of her time. Strong and stable. 60% pure. Not got much chance of the pub retweeting the shit out of this, have I?

So I went to The Old Red Cow in Farringdon this Sunday. Picked by random number generator and allegedly one of Time Out’s top 5 roast dinners. Pah, what do they know about roast dinners? Or anal beads.

The pub is a cosy two-floor venue, cosy as in the opposite to bubbly on a dating app. Fresh, modern and clean with a great choice of craft beers. Only around 12 or so tables so booking is definitely advised if you want to go. Roast dinners are only served between the hours of 12 and 5pm, with the four main meats on offer – chicken, beef, lamb (shoulder) and pork (belly). Chicken and pork were priced at £16.00 each, beef and lamb at £17.00. I chose the 6-hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder – mainly because lamb is rarely on offer – the pork belly was very, very tempting too.

Our charming hostess, Karla, recommended ordering ahead – two of us did – two didn’t – those that didn’t had just pork and chicken to choose from. And in a galaxy-rearrangingly crazy turn of events, all 4 of us chose different roast dinners.

Dinner took a good 20 or so minutes to arrive (the longer the better, especially with regards to roast potatoes) which gave us plenty of time to enjoy our beers – of which there were a really good quality selection of IPAs, craft lagers and pale ales to choose from. Can you tell I am liking this place? Nearly as much as your boyfriend will enjoy anal beads. Look – if the Economist can talk about anal beads…

Now look at that presentation. Translated as, look at the size of that Yorkshire pudding. Bigger than my belly – and possibly sexier too.

Starting with the carrots, these were roasted batons, on the soft side of average, also seemingly with some kind of slight glaze – my assumption was some kind of honey glaze.

Then there was a fair-sized portion of kale. My dining associates claimed that kale is the least flavoursome item of food around. They clearly haven’t eaten Quorn, actually it doesn’t deserve a capital letter – quorn. This was supreme kale, with small pieces of chopped garlic lovingly within.

Oh roast potatoes. This seemed a bit more pot luck. We each had 4 roast potatoes, but some were from a fairly good batch – others from a fairly bad batch. Just one of mine was in the good category – quite crispy, somewhat fluffy in the middle. The other three were large, but none were crispy on the outside and all a little under-cooked in the middle. It seems a long time since I’ve had good roast potatoes (apart from my own…I am quite tempted just to make myself a bowl of roast potatoes tonight for dinner – with gravy, of course).

The Yorkshire pudding was the largest I’ve been served in London, and was a good yorkie too. I’m probably being a tad harsh, but it was a tad too crispy on the outside – but we really are talking margins here, it was a substantially enjoyable Yorkshire pudding.

And the slow-cooked lamb shoulder? This was the definition of succulence. Every mouthful was pretty damn close to a veritable taste sensation – perfectly cooked. I also tried a mouthful of the beef, which was very good though not exceptional, and the pork belly which was pretty damn sensational too.

Topping off a top roast, was excellent gravy. A meat-stock gravy, nicely thick – exactly how a good northern chef would make their gravy. Gravy can destroy a roast dinner but this was just divine, proper, thick gravy. I wanted to drink the rest of the gravy from the boat, but perhaps I’ve lived in polite society for too fucking long. I’m one of them. One of you. A ha ha ha ha ha ha I am just like you. I no longer drink gravy from the gravy boats in a restaurant setting. I don’t even lick plates in public – well, rarely. Only if my mother is there as it really annoys her.

Sadly there is no photo of the gravy – I took one but it seems to have disappeared. I do however have a photograph of the bathroom tiles to compensate, a standard colour but a bevelled tile, with the odd stray dead insect and quite a bit of dust.  No, I cannot be bothered to rotate the photograph.

Overall this was an impressive roast dinner. Kale with garlic, one very large yorkie, sumptuous meat and top notch gravy – only really let down by roast potatoes. This is now the standard-bearer. When people ask me where the best roast dinner is, my answer will now be The Old Red Cow in Farringdon. An excellent 8.62 out of 10. Get booking.

Also worth mentioning as part of the experience was the imaginative ice cream selection – cornflakes being the main interest. I had a brownie, which was small and no better than quite good.

For some reason we gave our hostess a hug on the way out as if she was a long-lost friend – well she had to cope with serving me, and did an excellent job of doing so – service as proper as the gravy. I am feeling slight pangs of guilt as thinking with sobriety the bill seemed somewhat low – well, a round of drinks low.

So please, please, please go here for a roast dinner. You won’t regret it. It is now officially the best roast dinner in London. Get a table booked, get my review shared and make sure everyone knows how good this place is.

Next Sunday I desire a gay roast. Even better, a lesbian roast. But I cannot find anywhere in London offering a gay roast. Even a Google search for “gay roast in London” didn’t help. If anyone knows anywhere I can get my desperately required gay roast, I would be most proud to hear from you.

Or maybe I’ll just head to Soho and hang with some drag queens.

The Elgin, Maida Vale

Oh Jeremy Corbyn

Oh Jeremy Corbyn

Oh Jeremy Corbyn

Oh big pile of vomit

Oh big pile of vomit

Oh big pile of vomit

So – roast dinners. I wasn’t really in the mood for much of an adventure on Sunday. It did originally look like that I might have been solo-dining but a companion was found in time. He was even less in the mood for an adventure, so we plumped for his local pub, The Elgin in Maida Vale.

The Elgin in Maida Vale is very much a middle-class pub in a middle-class area for middle-class people. Fuck knows what they think of me when I go. It is a very welcoming pub, with friendly staff – always pleasantly busy but never overly so.

I guess I should register a slight conflict of interests – I do go here roughly every month, I like the pub, I occasionally speak to the staff, who I like. I would be unhappy to give a bad review as it would not be representative of the enjoyable moments that I have spent here. That said, if a roast dinner is shit, a roast dinner is shit. I speak the truth unlike any website with the word “truth” in the name. Or Breitbart. Or Canary.

The roast dinner menu at The Elgin had three options – beef, chicken and lamb, between £13.50 and £15.50 – reasonable for London. I plumped for the chicken at £13.50. The menu on the website isn’t up to date.

Dinner took around a pint to arrive. Stupidly I had had breakfast not too long beforehand so it took me a good few pints of beer to be hungry enough. Aforementioned beer probably goes some way to explaining why I feel sick right now (writing this part at Monday lunchtime), or is that the photograph of Jesus Christ, above?

Upon arrival, I was disappointed to note that no Yorkshire pudding was supplied. Which is, of course, technically correct as Yorkshire puddings traditionally only were served with beef. If you are a tradition-subverting prole like myself, you can order a Yorkshire pudding for just 80p.

Easy now, Rob. Easy now, Hugo. Easy now, Anton. Big up to yourself, Martin. Easy now, JD, easy Net, shout out to Shed. Big up to all the cute ladies reading. Keep it locked – Roast Dinners In London, in da house.

The dinner itself was well-presented with lots of hidden carrots. The carrots themselves were fairly numerous, in the shape of pound coins – and approximately as easy to chew as pound coins. When I was at college, I had a mate who would eat money. Normally just 20p coins. Anyway, if you like very hard vegetables – these would have been to your tastes. I just like a little crunch, not a lot, like Jenny on t’ block.

Then came something called ‘hispi’. Yep, me neither. Though I never ate anything greener than sausage rolls until I was 25 years old. So hispi is apparently a form of cabbage, and a very sizable leaf – practically a whole ship keeping the rest of the dinner afloat. It was a touch sweeter than usual cabbage, and combined with the slight burnt, meaty taste from the grilling, made it very enjoyable – if perhaps the leaf was a tad too large. Top marks for introducing me to a new vegetable.

Inventiveness on a roast dinner? Whatever next? Crispy roast potatoes?

Alas, no. They probably were crispy at some point. But they were credible spuds, soft inside – previously crispy on the outside – they certainly had the look to them. My fault I guess – if I hadn’t had required several pints to be even vaguely hungry then I might have enjoyed freshly crispy spuds. Plus marks for some rosemary too.

The Yorkshire pudding was actually so dreadful that I actually want my actual 80p back. Which reminds me, I didn’t actually pay the bill. This was one seriously abominable yorkie – the texture of an egg-shell and drier than my tongue after a gram of MDMA. ACTUALLY.

I also had a side-order of cauliflower cheese at an additional £3.50 (if I recall correctly), something too hard to resist, especially when I saw how amazing some of those coming out from the kitchen looked. It didn’t disappoint, quite soft cauliflower, with a gorgeous creamy coating – the perfect texture too.

The half a chicken was pretty top-notch too. Plump and juicy, with plenty of it to tuck into. The skin slightly grilled and crispy. I don’t have much else to say about it – just pretend I made a couple of chicken noises. Hang on, why did the chicken cross the road? To get away from the Jeremy Corbyn speech. When my modelling career is over, I am going to set my sights on becoming a comedian.

I wasn’t so enamoured by the gravy. It was one of those controversial gravies – very rich and flavoursome, yet also quite tiring. Kind of a horses for courses thing – absolutely nothing bad about it – some would love it, others not. I’m in the latter category.

A slightly difficult one to score, as different people would enjoy this quite a lot more than others. Some love their carrots solid, others don’t. Some love their gravy exceptionally rich, others don’t. Plus points for inventiveness on the hispi – massive negative on the yorkie.

I keep changing my mind but I’m settling on a…hang on. 7.28 out of 10. There. It’s in writing. I should sort out my league table so I have an easier comparison, now I am not far off 20 reviews.

Guess what I’m doing this coming Sunday? Actually going to east London to be with the hipsters. Time to go find my unicycle and grow my ironic Hitler moustache.

See you next week, comrades.

Mao, Lenin and Stalin

Mao, Lenin and Stalin

Mao, Lenin and Stalin.