The Hereford Arms, Gloucester Road

This. Week’s. Re. View. Was. Go. Ing. To. Be. Writt. En. In. A. Ro. Bot .Ic. Form.

Alas, I did not get to go to the robot exhibition as planned. My accomplice messaged me at 5am advising that he would not make the exhibition but would make the roast. And then messaged me at 8am to advise that he would not make the roast. I was pretty pleased that I had more time to deal with my own hangover. And. That. I. Did. Not. Have. To. Write. A. Whole. Blog. In. Ro. Bot. Ic. Form. Though as a web developer, that would have been easy to make a little function to do it for me.

I also had the time to clean my bedroom, with the help of a “robot” – my Henry hoover. Well, a very good friend of mine called it a robot – though she clearly has as much knowledge of robots as she does football, having called Sunderland a good team.  Prior to surprisingly beating my football team. My Henry is barely a vacuum cleaner, let along a robot. Oh for a Dyson.

So, plan exterminated, all I needed to do was concentrate on getting a good roastbotic dinner.

The Hereford Arms on Gloucester Road was the roast dinner choice. In one of the more upper class areas of London – Kensington I think, but it could be Chelsea for all I know. And obviously full of northern twats like myself that are well out of place.

They had 4 options for meat-lovers such as myself: sirloin beef, corn-fed chicken, pork shoulder or lamb shoulder. Ranging between £14.50 and £18.50. It was a really tough choice between the chicken and beef, but as I had eaten out 3 times in the previous 2 days, I plumped for the plump cheaper cheep chicken. Just in case you are wondering, there were no vegetarian roasts (not that I remembered, I just double-checked The Hereford Arms’ menu).

Three of us sat there, nursing ours beers like we were nursing our respective hangovers. Our exceptionally fantastic waiter/bar person was a bit nonplussed as to why our estimated 4th hungover roastee was a non-attendee (let’s call her Madelaine for the sake of anonymity – it is the 10th anniversary – 10 reviews that is), until I blurted out as loudly as I could that she had been doing lots of ecstacy. I always like to make a scene in upper class places – like when I walk around Waitrose in a shirt, I like to ensure that only the bottom couple of buttons are done up, especially if I haven’t shaved my chest in recent months.

A reasonable 15-20 minutes passed before our rectangular plates turned up. I’m still yet to have a roast dinner served to me on a slate, deckchair, lego set or any of the “well cool” methods of east London, though I guess as I still haven’t had a roast east of King’s Cross, that will be the reason. Rectangular plates are as funky as Kensington gets.

Good quality plates though. Would the roast dinner match?

Well it was nicely presented. My initial reaction was that it looked a bit poncey – I had some doubt as to whether the quality would match.

Let’s start, as normal, with the carrots. Wait – no carrots. Oh my word, some invention and vegetable creativity. Instead we had roasted beetroot, which was fun. Beetroot on a salad annoys me, but on a roast, roasted, works rather nicely. I wouldn’t want it every week, but the mild tang and curious taste is welcoming.

Then there were spring greens. Not much can be said for them, though the simplicity of what looks much suited for rabbits than humans, engenders a delicate yet earthy kind of mood. Definitely appreciated.

The cauliflower cheese was good, but no more. Creamy more than cheesey, quite low on the quantity.

Finally in terms of green stuff, there was a braised leek. Soft and almost a touch buttery – intelligently positioned under the chicken.

I was impressed with the choices of vegetables – they stayed away from the common ones as one might expect in posh Kensington.

There were three roast potatoes, although one was much larger than the others. They were a little tougher inside than I preferred and certainly could have been crispier on the outside. On the bright side, they were roasted in duck fat so were supremely tasty. Oh to be a duck.

Which does not segue at all into my next cutaway, but it’s as close as I can get. And this is the possibly not safe for work bit – but don’t worry – it isn’t human porn.

It can be quite interesting to wake up the next morning and see what I’ve posted on Facebook, or what my internet history includes, after I have had a few drinks.

On Friday night, I apparently tried to argue on Facebook that the Conservative Party had been disbanded, and also wrote to Tinder.

On Saturday night I went one better and searched for Peppa Pig porn when I got home.

And yes, it being the internet, I can confirm that it exists.

I don’t even remember being drunk. I checked with Diane Abbott and she confirmed that I had only had two beers each night.

May I also take a moment to congratulate Leeds United on not getting into the play-offs – on truly fucking up their promotion chances at the end of the season. I am most amused.

Speaking of Yorkshire (much better segue), the Yorkshire pudding was excellent. Homemade, and of a decent size – crispy on the outside, soft on it’s bum. Exactly what one would expect.

And still speaking of Yorkshire, our bar person/waiter/advisor was truly excellent. This is, of course, because he is from Yorkshire, but he displayed all the characteristics of excellent service – warm, helpful, welcoming, funny – the most impressed I have been in terms of service in any review so far.

You may be recalling that I had a difficult choice in working out which meat to choose, so much so that Tom (he looked like a Tom anyway), sat down in amused exasperation as I dillied and dallied and generally was as decisive as transvestite remainer with a bag of mixed nuts on polling day.  I chose chicken.

It was the wrong choice. But it was still a very good choice. It being corn-fed, it was particularly plump and juicy – just the meaty part of the half of the chicken with bone minimised. Skin on, which almost seemed to have some kind of hint of paprika or similar to it.

Thankfully one of my accomplices was so hungover that she couldn’t finish her beef (her: “that bit is the fat”, me: “yeah and…?”). It was close to phenomenal. It was a sirloin steak, cooked to preference, with a smoky flavour to it. If you go and you like beef – you must have the beef.

Sadly the gravy was a bit of a let-down. I do stress the word ‘bit’. Rather gloopy and overtly salty – it did detract from the whole experience just a tad.

I’m going to give it an 8.03 out of 10. Which means that it is the second best roast that I have reviewed so far in London. Had I had the beef, and were the gravy and roasties to the standard of the rest of the dinner, it would have scored close to a 9 – and I have never in my life had a roast dinner served to me that deserved a 9.

A rather excellent effort from a cracking, friendly pub.

Next Sunday I’m going to be in south London, at a venue more well known for it’s band than it’s food. And I might be very upset.  And possibly

The Harrison, King’s Cross

Dining partners. It is good to have them. I thought I had a dining partner/nutcase for this Sunday but alas, he couldn’t make it (and for the first time ever had a forgivable excuse). I could not find a replacement either. Not that I tried any harder than a tweet and a Facebook post.

So then I had to decide, does one go by oneself, or does one cancel and let down my 17 readers? Yes, 17 readers – my readership is growing exponentially. Ish. Go on, tell all your friends.

I don’t mind eating by myself and I quite like the mission, especially if it involves a bit of an adventure. And I definitely had an adventure, thanks to Google Maps.

I got the tube to St John’s Wood – it saves me £1.60 by not going into evil zone 1 and I am a tight bastard. From there I walked through Regent’s Park. Wonderful, just like goose fat roast potatoes in gorgeous, thick gravy, over and over and over.

And then, past some absolutely gorgeous housing, just like the most magnificent rare rib of beef.

And then, someone gave me peas – Wetherspoon’s peas at that. Google took me through this council estate. Thanks, Google. Picture courtesy of Google as I was…too scared…actually no I’m a hard Northerner…I was…hmmm, aware of my surroundings.

Thankfully, I then made it into London’s most polluted street and all was good. Or is that the UK’s most polluted street? Europe’s? All by myself.

I arrived into my destination – The Harrison at King’s Cross, again on the edge of an interesting estate – part pub – part hotel. Also a live music venue – my fears were raised when some kind of musicians plonked themselves and some equipment on the table next to me.

And it claims to have the “Best Sunday roast in town”. Quite a claim. Was this going to be my best roast dinner so far in London? Though being the 9th roast dinner I have reviewed, it wouldn’t be so difficult.

The options were beef, chicken and lamb – with two vegetarian options for short-haired lesbians (which actually sounded really appealing, in a “if they didn’t have any meat left” kind of way). The meat priced at a reasonable (for London) £13.95, vegetarian at £13.00. Menus can be viewed here. I ordered the lamb, a beer and went for a piss.

As soon as I came back from urinating, my dinner arrived. Now, I do not have the largest bladder in the world, but that was quick. Which could only mean one thing…

HELLO MICROWAVE.

Well, I was not expecting that to come up on a Google search. Maybe Corbyn is onto something after all – down with capitalism.  Down with choice.  Down with being well-off.  Down with having to work.  Down with having a strong and stable economy.  Let’s make every day a fucking bank holiday if that really is the solution.

I digress.

Despite the microwaving, the roast dinner looked…strong and stable.  So I tucked into the carrots first.  Only a few of them but really, really good, soft carrots – plenty of herbs and garlic, possibly a hint of honey too though I’m no taste-magnet.

There were two little bits of broccoli – rather strong and stable – spot on in terms of texture.

Hidden away under the meat was one tiny piece of roasted parsnip, though so small that…

Whoa…peas.  Peas on my fucking dinner.  But there is no need to worry – these were peas locked inside a strong and stable safety case so they couldn’t go wandering like I did as a 5 year old on holiday, worrying my parents sick.  I really was not a well-behaved child.  I still am not.  My mother wants to be a grandmother.  I do not want children, or even a girlfriend.  I find it difficult enough to have a relationship with a cardboard cutout.

Though having a girlfriend would mean no more solo-dining.  So there are advantages of having your freedom to fart in public curtailed, but I’m not sure I have a particularly good offer.  “Hi, I’m, fat, ugly with a very small penis, I like farting in public and I am obsessed with lesbians.  I offer you my love in exchange for occasional blow jobs – oh and very importantly, you must join me for a roast dinner every single Sunday”.

Any takers?  Despite being happily single, I would quite like a European immigrant wife as my way of saying FUCK YOU to everyone that voted for Brexit.

Any European takers?

Shall I just get back on with talking about peas?  Oh, I haven’t even put a photo of the roast in, here goes.

So, peas.  Sugarsnap peas -strong, stable and crunchy with that alien-splicing pea taste.

So far good, the opposite of my sex life.

And then I had the roast potatoes.  The microwaved roast potatoes.  No matter what you do, roast potatoes will always be fairly crap at best once microwaved, and these were no exception.  A shame, as they were arguably the best microwaved roast potatoes ever – delicately crispy on the outside, but cold and quite hard on the inside.

I accept that if you are a small pub, doing roast dinners for 9 hours, you are not always going to have freshly cooked roast potatoes.  It is what it is.

Thankfully the Yorkshire pudding was back on standard, a fluffy, slightly sponge-like creature.  Not perfect, but very good, strong and…you’ve got it…stable.

And the lamb was excellent.  Leg of lamb, nonetheless – probably my favourite cut – either that or a good ol’ shank, this was tender, plump and a touch juicy.  But, and this is a fair-sized but – not quite Beyonce size but reasonable.

There was just one slice of lamb.  Now I know I have “only” paid £13.95 for my strong and stable roast dinner.  I know, I know, zone 1 yadda yadda.  I get it.  But it just felt a bit 0.7 gram dealer stingy.  It was really good coke, I mean, lamb, but a little more really would have made me happy.

Finally, the gravy.  Predictably top-notch, a mint-infused thick gravy – better than most I have ever had, I was really, really impressed.  Very strong.  Very stable.  Long term gravy plan.

Overall I am very disappointed.  Because this could have been the best roast dinner in town.  Well, the best I have reviewed so far.  If there was more meat and the roast potatoes had not been microwaved (or I had booked a table for shortly after they had come out of the oven) then this would have been in the mid to high 8’s.

I’m going to give it a 7.99 out of 10.  Just to show how it has missed out on greatness – just how close this came to being a great roast dinner.  Which I guess means I have to mark all roast dinners to 2 decimal places now.

Ahhhhhh.  Such is life.  So I do very highly recommend The Harrison for a roast dinner, if you are in or around King’s Cross.  Speaking of which, there is a little Italian place called Casa Tua just around the corner (they have one in Camden too) which you must, must visit.  Not for a roast dinner, sadly.

Next weekend is review number 10.  My two most reliable accomplices are in place and I might just go somewhere special.  Though I might not.

Oh – bathroom tiles.  Pretty ordinary.  Yet strong and stable.  I’ll get my coat.

 

Bunch Of Grapes, London Bridge

You know when you start a new job and you try your hardest to show that you are sensible and you blurt out in a meeting something like “I have a big cock and I love coloured birds”? Well, I may have told one or two of my new work colleagues about this blog.

So I’m afraid from now on there will be no drug references, no bad fake-racist jokes about jus, no swearing, no lesbians, no slagging off Brexit voters, no transsexual references, no sexy women and no breasts. I shall just be talking about carrots in a very serious and predictable manner.

There were 11 carrots.

The first carrot was quite soft, approximately 12mm wide and 46mm long.

The second carrot was soft, approximately 9mm wide and 33mm long.

The third carrot was soft, approximately 8mm wide and32mm long.

The fourth carrot was soft, approximately 7mm wide and 20mm long.

The fifth carrot was soft, approximately 8mm wide and 25mm long.

The sixth carrot was soft, approximately 6mm wide and 28mm long.

The seventh carrot was soft, approximately 10mm wide and 40mm long.

The eigth carrot was quite soft, approximately 11mm wide and 38mm long.

The ninth carrot was soft, approximately 6mm wide and 16mm long.

The tenth carrot was a touch too crunchy, approximately 14mm wide and 46mm long.

The eleventh carrot was farirly soft, approximately 12mm wide and 41mm long.

Sunday was St George’s Day so I woke up, did lots of studying for my new job, went to church, cleaned my already immaculate kitchen, finished a DIY project for my neighbour, worked in a charity shop, gave lots of money to charity causes, helped old ladies cross the road, smoked a crack pipe and then did a bit more studying for my new job.

Oh shit.

As it was St George’s Day, we tried our best, in a kind of Jeremy Corbyn trying ‘best’, to find some Morris dancers. We failed. However we found some kind of weird dancing in Borough Market, which was having some kind of joint English-Catalonian celebration of some bloke who slayed dozens of dragons in the 1970’s that we revere so highly. Well, it’s better than a fucking daffodil.

One assumes that the Catalonian tourist information centre was there as part of Michael Howard’s war with Spain over the fact that Spain have not even vaguely threatened military action over Gibraltar so we must do whatever the Daily Mail say. I might marry a Spanish woman just to piss off the government.

I was exceptionally disappointed about the lack of free chorizo in the market and just wandered round marveling at the exceptionally high prices of everything – £4.00 for a scone. £3.50 for a slice of cake. £2.00 for a gingerbread man. £5.50 for a small lump of cheese – albeit apparently the second oldest cheese recipe in England. But still bloody £5.50. I am so northern sometimes. At least I had a free piss by crawling under the barriers. So classy. Like that time where I got on stage on all fours and pulled my dress up so everyone could see my cute ass.

Only joking – as cute as my ass is, that isn’t me. I’m actually the exceptionally tall blonde woman to the left. I am a woman. Honest. Any lesbians out there want to come and shave my chest?

I am sooooooooooo getting sacked on Tuesday. Although maybe I could put it down as discrimination against…hmmm…any lawyers out there? I hope you are sharing this with all of your friends so I can increase my total advertising revenue. I could double it. Though last month I earnt negative commission.

Anyway, my desperation to find something relevant to do took us to Borough Market for a very half-arsed celebration of St George’s Day (apparently the official London celebration was held the day before), and then onto the Bunch Of Grapes.

It wasn’t especially busy though there were some rather loud and screechy young ladies near our table. Quite a few tables were booked for later. The pub itself wasn’t the largest, a tiny bit scruffy (though that tends to be a good thing in London) with a small downstairs and a smaller upstairs where we were seated – annoyingly with the TV on showing those running people (I later tried to join the marathon stragglers but nobody would applaud me for some reason).

Disappointingly there were just two options for a roast – beef or chicken. As I had chicken last time, I could only choose beef. Sometimes a lack of options is a good thing – last weekend I was in a pub in the UK’s city of culture, Hull – a truly great city that you should all experience (still quite easy to get glue to sniff too), and there were so many good options on the menu. I decided to be different to all of my family who ordered the fish sandwich, and had pork belly. It was crap. And their fish sandwiches looked, and apparently, tasted amazing. Last year Brexit happened, this year I had crap pork belly. Next year – circumcision? Oh wait a minute…

Anyway, I digress. Badly. This is becoming one of my longest reductions (I meant introductions but reductions kind of works in an I’ve had 5 beers and 6 minutes of sunshine kind of way) and I haven’t even started talking about the carrots yet. But please, please, please can any pubs and chefs reading this, just be a tiny little bit more imaginative. Think of all those hipsters desperate for pigeon, haddock, kudu or kangaroo on their roast. You’d be the talk of London’s roast dinner scene. It is a scene. Especially when I get my nipples out.

So £15.00 and 15-20 minutes later our dinners arrived. Although one was missing a Yorkshire pudding – and one very sad, lonely, upset, floppy Yorkshire pudding, a bit like my penis when I’m drunk, arrived all by itself shortly later.

It wasn’t the largest ever meal and the vegetables were particularly lacking in quantity.

Let’s start with the carrots.

The first carrot was cut horizontally, around 70mm long, 18mm wide, quite tough though.

The second carrot was also cut horizontally, probably the other half, around 70mm long, 17mm wide and again quite tough.

The third carrot was smaller, around 40mm long, 12mm wide, also cut horizontally and again on the tough side.

Thankfully there were only three carrots.

Moving on. I probably could do a line for each piece of kale (HELLO HIPSTERS!), there was that small an amount. It was rather soggy too, but a nice touch.

Then we had bobby beans. Now I have no idea what the difference is between bobby beans and green beans (anyone?). As far as I am aware, these were green beans. Maybe marginally wider. The few that were on my plate were perfectly cooked and tasty.

However the parsnips were anything but. There were closer to uncooked than cooked – very tough and a touch cool on the inside (some may say al dente). One of my accomplices even left one. The lowlight of the dinner. They did have an interesting taste though – my simple northern palette would suggest tarragon but I could be wrong.

Two large and one small roast potatoes were supplied. Cooked in goose fat, and you could tell, though they could have done with roasting a bit longer. Only a hint of being crispy on the outside, and the inner core was a touch, hmmm, al dente (yeah it’s a new saying, all the cool kids are saying it, booyakasha innit). The outer core was super fluffy though. They were good roasties, but quite a way away from perfection.  10 minutes away.

The Yorkshire pudding was probably the best that I’ve had in London so far. Well constructed (mine was anyway), fluffy – that could have been the double egg, and just really spot on.

Then the beef, which I don’t normally order unless I know it is going to be good. It was a decent cut of beef, cooked on the medium side, perhaps verging on slightly well done. Sufficient quantity, a little fat and a tiny bit of gristle, but all good in my book – thinly cut too. I prefer my beef rare, and I wouldn’t write home about it (my mother is not allowed to read this). But like most of the roast, it was good.

Good gravy too. Quite thick, a meat stock based affair. Not enough on the plate and arguably not enough in the extra gravy pots that were forthcoming.

Overall , it was pretty damn good. I’m going to give it a healthy 7.5 out of 10.

Next time I might actually get to east London for a change. Or even south London. Technically this was south of the river, but as there were tourists and nobody looked like they wanted my wallet, I’m still classing it as central London.

I’m actually getting pretty fed up of reviewing places that are pretty good. Where are the pretty terrible roast dinners? Where are the pretty awesome roast dinners? Answers on tweet, or something, pretty please.

Love life. Vote Gravy. See you next week homosapiens.

Buckingham Arms, Westminster

Why on earth would you advertise Sunday roasts and not be open on a Sunday?

I do not expect my life to be easy. I certainly do not make it easy for myself. But when you turn up to a pub that advertises Sunday roasts, talks about Easter Sunday plans and has nothing on the website saying that it is not open on a Sunday, you kind of expect that it will be open – looking at you Adam & Eve in Westminster.  I normally call ahead and book too.

Thankfully, it being the centre of London – nay, the centre of the Universe (Paris?  Yeah right), there was a different pub a few doors down.

So totally unplanned, we found ourselves at the Buckingham Arms instead. No expectations, no preconceptions – just a pub with a Chinese family of 3 next to us sharing one roast dinner between them – I admired their frugality. Though I’m sure Nigel Farage promised that Brexit would increase sales from tourism.

You will be delighted to know that I will also be spending more money in public houses, and therefore also providing you with more regular roast reviews. Yes I have a job. At least until they discover this blog and the enclosed various excuses to sack me.

So onto the main course. The options were chicken for £13.00 and beef for £16.00. The Buckingham Arms itself was just an ordinary pub pub. Nothing at all stood out about it – one imagines that it is a popular place to have a beer on a weekday.

Though it did have some funky bronze shiny effect on the bathroom tiles. Bathroom tiles could become a regular feature.

The roast dinner took around 15 minutes to arrive and was well-presented.  Service was at the bar, and was perfunctory.

Firstly I tackled the red cabbage. Quite dark, and decently cooked. I still am not keen on red cabbage but it wasn’t off-putting.

Then came a gaggle of small carrots, very small in fact. Perfectly edible, with a little bit of a crunch, especially on the larger ones.

Spring greens were also provided, and were excellent. A vegetable that I have only recently discovered, and a rare one on a roast dinner plate, this was very enjoyable.

Not very funny this review is it? I seem to have lost my sense of humour. I blame Brexit.

Three roast potatoes were provided and were very, very good. Soft in the inside, quite crispy on the outside – one certainly approved.

The Yorkshire pudding wasn’t quite so good. Over-cooked and a touch rubbery. At least it was homemade.

Half a chicken was provided, and it was plump, nicely cooked – still on the juicy side, and flavoursome too. Definitely a good piece of chicken.  One of my accomplices had the beef and was very happy with hers – 3, maybe 4 slices, only a hint of pink, but I am told very tasty.

Oh, did you hear about the magic tractor? It went down the road and turned into a field.

The gravy was slightly more miss than hit. Thin, watery – yet complimentary to the dinner. But I’m northern. And I like it thick. There was virtually nothing on the plate but more was eventually coming upon request, albeit I had finished over half of my dinner by then.  And the cute Venezuelan refugee was very confused by our request for horse radish.  I can just imagine her thinking “horse what?”.

Still not very funny this review is it?

This was a solidly decent roast dinner. Some good parts, some average parts. A bit like my review, albeit I don’t really have any good parts. Unless you like my photography – but lets be honest, I am more likely to become a model than a photographer.  Edit – forgot to give it a score.  This is my worst review ever.  I am hating every minute of writing this.  7.4 out of 10.

We resisted the temptation of a sausage platter for dessert (listed as a starter – it was very much an ordinary pub – like this is a very ordinary review).

I’m just going to give up and post this turd of a review. Next time I’ll smoke some crystal meth to get me into the mood – one of the many sacrifices of the first week in a new job. Or maybe I will just post photographs of various tiles.

No review next weekend due to Easter travels, but I reckon I’ll be back on duty the Sunday after.  And maybe I will finally dare to venture east…or gosh…even south. Any suggestions welcomed.

The Enterprise Public House, Camden

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. So there had to be some thought put into where to go, given most decent places would have been fully-booked.

The area couldn’t be anywhere nice like Clapham or Richmond. The pub couldn’t be any kind of gastro-pub shite. It certainly couldn’t be next to a canal. But yet I didn’t want a crap roast either.

Some bright spark in our group (yes I actually have friends in London to go out for a roast with, unlike in Reading where I was often on my lonesome bar the occasional socialist/homosexual/socialist homosexual) came upon the idea of this newly-refurbished ex-dive in Camden called The Enterprise – and nobody in their right mind would either bring up children in Camden or take their mother to Camden (unless she smokes weed) so it seemed like the perfect spot.

I had no expectations, which is often useful. The choice of roasts was chicken, beef or pork shoulder, all priced at £12.50. I have few rules when it comes to roast dinners, but one is never to order beef if I feel that there is a chance that they might not know what they are doing. As I had no idea whatsoever about the kitchen’s roast dinner abilities, beef was out of the question.

That said, I had seen some rather awesome-looking fish and chips being delivered to a nearby table (fish and chips on a Sunday – what would Jesus say?), so I felt the omens were positive. I didn’t fancy chicken, so I plumped for pork.

There was a problem though. The dinner was advertised as coming with peas. The barmaid (who was rather damn cute) wasn’t sure if the peas could be taken off the dinner. I tried to explain my phobia of peas, and that it could result in some kind of violent reaction, she empathised in a kind of “do I really have to serve such morons” kind of way (actually she was very nice about it), checked with the kitchen – and yes, peas could be avoided. Phew. I was also rather envious of her multiple hair grips, with my floppy over-grown fringe that keeps getting in my eyes.

It took around 15 minutes for our respective dinners to arrive. Well, mine took 15 minutes, the other’s had another 5 or so minutes to wait.

The cauliflower was acceptable yet utterly forgettable. I may have forgotten to write about it had I not photographed, but it was decent, blanched normal cheese-less cauliflower.

There was one roasted carrot on the plate. Whole, nicely done – roasted carrots are the best.

Red cabbage is something I tolerate. I can handle a small portion once in a while. A bit like listening to Nick Clegg – I can tolerate him for 5 minutes once a year. This was quite heavy stuff, the darkest red cabbage that I’ve ever had. I do always worry that the taste infects the gravy and then infects the rest of the dinner – but this was pretty nicely cooked – red cabbage fans would have approved.

The parsnips were pretty excellent. Roasted, perfectly soft in the middle, there seemed just a hint of thyme though that could be my imagination.

And the roast potatoes were pretty damn fine efforts too. Two large potatoes, as fluffy as a Teletubby inside, though could have been a little crispier on the outside. But I’m not complaining. Not like I did to HMRC the other week. I sent them a rather long letter in response to their P800 form telling me that I had underpaid tax.

Being an “unemployed Tory cunt” (not my words but fairly accurate), I was not amused.

I advised them of my current financial predicament and how hard it was to afford a roast dinner on a Sunday. I proposed to them that they waited until I had a job so I could then afford to pay it back out of PAYE, which is how they would usually collect it. I did also advise that if I did not become a rich and famous Youtube star (or get a job) by the end of the next tax year, that I would apply for a sex change, move to Thailand and become a ladyboy, and repay them that way.

I have not yet had a response.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the toilets were pretty good. How stylish are these?

Oh shit. You know I’m a man now. Or at least I currently identify as a man. Or maybe I’m a whore and just sucked off someone?  Or maybe they are unisex toilets, because gender is just a societally enforced construct, man, don’t you know?

Yorkshire pudding.  Fairly large, homemade – a fraction overdone but not as much as the picture suggests.  Like all of the dinner so far, predictably good.

Then there was the pork shoulder.  Tastier than your average pork loin, it just had that added succulence.  It was a good piece of pork, 3 fairly thick slices of shoulder, very easy to cut.  I was reasonably impressed.

I was also blessed with a long strip of crackling – a touch on the dry side but that was soon softened up with copious gravy, whilst remaining crunchily yumtastic.  It was pretty cracking crackling.

 

And it was the right decision.  Three of my accomplices (check me out – more than one friend) had the beef, and it was fairly tough and overdone by all accounts – two of them seemed to have more gristle and fat than actual beef.  Had I chosen beef then I certainly would not have been amused.

Finally, the gravy.  This let the side down a tad – it seemed to be a red wine gravy (an odd choice for pork, in my book) – though it had a very appealing colour to it, the taste just wasn’t quite right for me – maybe it was infected with the red cabbage.  Possibly a bit horses for courses, as others on the table seemed happy with it.  Though I did want to lick the plate, so maybe it was pretty good.

Overall it was a very good roast dinner.  There was never a point where it was singing to me like Barry White, but likewise there was no Ed from Steps either.  A thoroughly enjoyable roast, in a decent pub with slightly old-school wallpaper.  I’m going to give it a healthy 7.6 out of 10.

I think there will be a roast dinner next Sunday but I’ve no idea where yet.  Praise the Lord.  Inshallah.  Gravy.

London Business School, Baker Street

You wait ages for a review then two come along at once.  A bit like buses, eh?  Well, a bit like waiting at a bus stop for ages then two buses come along going on a totally different route than the one you require.  But, hey, maybe pop on board anyway?  It’s late, it’s dark and there might be an old tranny flashing his stockings and suspenders for you to perv at.

By the way, that is not a metaphor.  I’m not that old.  And I’m wearing tights, not stockings.

Shit I really need to rescue this now.

So for reasons that I cannot allude to…let’s call it a rehearsal for my mi5 practical application (by the way, I am most certainly not applying to work for mi5), I was inside London Business School last week.  And I was forced to use their canteen.  The choice was salad, make your own pizza, lasagna or a roast dinner – presciently advertised as a Sunday Rollover.

There was only one real choice.  Yes the God’s have conspired to allow you to have yet another roast dinner review.

Now unfortunately, unless you study there, visit someone there or just simply confidently walk past security pretending to be a student to get a cheap dinner (ahem), then this will not be the most useful review to you.  On the off-chance that you do visit there, you can check today’s menu here.

Once I paid my £5.85, I sat down at one of the school canteen style tables and took one for the team.

The first thing to note is that at the top, hidden away, is a portion of salad.  Yes, salad.  On a roast dinner.  There is nothing wrong with salad in the same way that there is (probably) nothing wrong with Timmy Mallet, but neither belong anywhere near the table when there is a roast dinner involved.

Surely tantamount to blasphemy?

The Chantenay carrots were a mixed bunch.  The smaller ones had been cooked enough to class as edible, the larger ones were crunchier than your average apple.

Then there were a few florets of broccoli.  A little yellow in places and somewhat over-blanched (doesn’t show up too well).  They looked like they had a touch of manflu but they were edible enough.

Edibility then took a turn downhill with the roast potatoes.  Given that many full-price dining establishments struggle to get roast potatoes to a vaguely acceptable standard, my expectations were low.  My expectations, however, were not even met as these were truly some of the worst roast potatoes I have had in a long time.  Cold, hard in the middle, rather greasy – I’m not even sure they were actually roasted.  Not even one redeemable feature.  But it gets worse.

Now I’ve made Yorkshire puddings before that were flat. I’ve burnt Yorkshire puddings. I’ve made them too soggy and also too crispy. But I’ve never made them taste like someone has poured a bucket of the North Sea down my throat before.  This was quite the most rancid Yorkshire pudding possible, the saltiest accompaniment to any roast dinner I have ever attempted.  I finished it but I have no idea why.  It was even served upside down.

The beef was OK.  I have had worse – at least it was pink in the middle.  But it wasn’t as nice as it looked prior to carving, perhaps the gravy was part to blame, perhaps my attempts at diluting the disgustingness of the Yorkshire pudding by mixing them was partly to blame.  But also was the occasional gristle and general lower quality product I was served.

Yes I know I paid just £5.85.

And then the gravy.  Basically water, with a few drops of oil and something to make it brown.  Oh yeah, don’t forget the salt.  Definitely do not forget the salt and maybe put a bit more in for a laugh?  The antithesis of good gravy…maybe it actually was the North Sea?  Same kind of colour.

I have not had too many worse roast dinners in my life, and boy I have had quite a few roast dinners in my time.  I’m going to give it a 2.3 out of 10.

But at least it did only cost me £5.85.

Which I guess is the moral that London Business School were trying to teach – keep your prices low and your quality lower.  Well, it works for McDonald’s.

If you are lucky (ie I have someone to go to dinner with) then I might be back next week.

The Prince’s Head, Richmond

I’m back. After an enforced month off because my local council won’t pay enough housing benefit to cover my rent unless I was living in a more expensive 1 bedroom flat/because I am selfish enough to insist on doing a job that I have trained for and for which there is lots of demand instead of working in MacDonalds – delete as appropriate.

And before you think I’m being all snobbish, I used to work in MacDonalds AND – this is very important, I have all 5 stars.  I still have the badge somewhere.  I would share a picture but it has my name on and you know, anonymity and all that.  Not that anyone other than a handful of friends/people I met in a nightclub off my tits years ago, is reading.  Though if you are, share it!

So this week’s edition is proudly sponsored by the beautiful Spanish “country” of Galicia.  Yeah nobody else has actually heard of it either – think of it as a cross between Scotland and proper Spain, minus the shit bits like Magaluf, Costa Del Sol, Malaga, Marbella, Gibraltar…

Galicia has hills and lots of rain – well, more than London anyway.  And very nice people, most of whom own some kind of farm animals and have less armpit hair than the average Spaniard.  Oh yeah and bagpipes.  Yes – they actually have bagpipes in Galicia.

If you or your organisation would like to sponsor Roast Dinners in London, please do drop me a line.  I have some very competitive deals available.

Anyway, Sunday just gone, I donned my Kappa tracksuit and headed south of the river, replete with body armour and knife (and fork), into the gangster badlands of Richmond.

The Prince’s Head is the name and a popular little bugger it is too. I originally tried to book two weeks ago but it was fully booked. Which is normally a good sign.

Just 5 or so minute’s walk from Richmond station, within gorgeous surroundings, some wonderful housing and what appears to be a cricket pitch in the grass outside.

There’s actually a shopping centre in Hull, called Princes Quay. No apostrophe. And no second s, despite most of the locals called it Princess Quay. City of Culture 2017.

Myself and the most wonderful princes from the whole of beautiful, inspirational, historic, world-leading Galicia (don’t forget to book your holiday) had a table reserved around the back, hidden and slightly dark – atmospheric you may call it.

The options on the menu were the standard 4 – beef, lamb, chicken and pork. Plus I’m pretty sure they had a vegetarian option (nut roast) but I suffer from dubious eyesight when I see the word ‘vegetarian’. Prices varied from £14.00 to £18.00, depending on your selection.

I chose the chicken, replete with apricot and chestnut stuffing, which came to £15.00.

Have you booked your holiday to Galicia yet?

It took around 15 minutes to arrive. My initial judgement was positive – there seemed to be quite a healthy portion of chicken.

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There was a mercifully small portion of red cabbage – enough to appreciate without getting tired. A little on the gloopy side, but I mean that in a good way.

Also a small gathering of Spring Greens. Unremarkable but pleasantly so.

There are only so many ways that you can describe carrots – these came as a handful, well a small child’s handful…hmm maybe a toddler’s handful.

A small portion of cauliflower cheese was also provided. Like the rest of their vegetables, it was pleasant but unremarkable.

What now? The roast potatoes. Sadly only 3 of them and all rather small. But what they lacked in quantity they made up for in quality, perfectly crispy on the outside, a hint of thyme and soft in the middle. You could call them perfect, though I won’t because they can always be better.

The Yorkshire pudding was good. Homemade and medium-sized, perhaps a tad too crispy around the edges.

Speaking of Yorkshire, you are going to Hull this year for the City of Culture celebrations, aren’t you? After you have been to visit Galicia, thanks once again to my wonderful sponsor.

Stuff me? Stuff you. Stuffing. It was an unusual flavour, apricot and chestnut. I personally didn’t diggity dig it, as it just didn’t work for me with the chicken. More of a personal taste thing – I admire the attempt at something off-centre and I’m sure other visitors of which there will be many once they have been to both Galicia and Hull, will appreciate it even more than the Dead Bod graffiti.

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Near the end now, don’t worry, not too much culinary speak before I ramble on about nothing to close it.

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The chicken was the second best part. You’d kind of expect that but not always with chicken as it can be rather plain. This was plump – proper chicken like my friend would grow in her bedroom in Galicia, not these shabby Portuguese crack-addict types in Nando’s.

Supremely tasty.

And the best part? Well, the part that makes the whole dinner. The gravy. So tasty, with a decent consistency that even your royal highness, Lord Gravy, here appreciated. None of this Berkshire jus crap. Just proper tasty, meat-stock gravy.

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This was a very good roast dinner. Room for improvement, nothing really hit the wow-factor but I doubt I will review too many better this year. I’m scoring it an 8.0 out of 10.

Service was adequately perfunctory. Nothing for me to cheer, but nothing for me to moan about and boy do I enjoy a moan. Maybe I’ve spent too long dealing with recruitment consultants recently and I’m all moaned out about their general utter incompetence and lies. Some are good. OK. I get that. But the amount of times that they ring me up, blatantly fishing for information about companies hiring and they don’t actually have a job for me is ridiculous. I actually ended up in a fairly heated argument with one the other day when I refused to tell him who I had interviewed with. Prick.

Well, you’ve waited so long for a review that I already have another for you.  And it is going to be a linguistic treat.  Which, those of you that know me will understand how good that means the roast dinner was.

Shall we finish off with a game? It’s called Scotland/Galicia/Hull.   Basically you have to guess which photographs are from which places.  Answers on a roast potato.  Oh and apologies for the shit photograph quality – blame WordPress as they automatically reduce the quality of uploaded photographs (I’ll get around to over-riding their code at some point).

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Hull Carnival and Lord Mayors Parade, June 1, 2013. Hull, East Yorkshire, UK
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Ready for the answers?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top 3 were Scotland, next 3 were Hull, the final 3 were Galicia.

Booked your holiday yet?

The Oxford, Kentish Town

Sunday was a special day.  A roast dinner day.  I had a few accomplices in tow and I wanted a good roast dinner.

The problem being is that nobody has yet done a truly informative blog about the best roast dinners in London.  Sure there are those lists of “20 best roast dinners in London” but I highly doubt whoever has written them has ever visited more than one or two of them.  So how do I know where to go to impress my Sugravy Hill Gang?

Thankfully for you, I am here now to solve all your roast dinner woes.  Except I don’t have a job and cannot afford to go for a roast dinner every week at the moment (hint hint if you know of any junior web developer roles or you need a website building, give me a nudge).  Until then you will be stuck with occasional reviews when I somehow have enough money.

Also thankfully for you, I managed to sell some paracetamol in a hardcore gabba rave the other night to be able to fund this roast dinner (he paid £10 a pill too – must have been some stonking headache) so with £30 in my sky rocket I set off to The Oxford in Kentish Town.  It had good reviews on Trip Advisor, ok?  Not that that means much.  You need a roast dinner expert like myself to know whether a place really does good roast dinners.

The pub itself is a smart boozer/dining room – immaculately laid-out and styled, a mixture of exposed brickwork and typical modern pub colours, with high quality seats and tables adorning their rest area.  It had warm, homely feel to it and we liked the place so much that we even came back in the evening.

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The photograph is stolen from the pub’s website, hopefully they won’t mind as I have been nice.  So far.  By the way, if you are reading and from the establishment (I mean the pub, not the 1% that control all the sheeple…yeah stop smoking weed and get a fucking job), you might want to take a look at the page that your newsletter sign-up sends you to as it takes you to page not found.  Should be a very simple fix.  The sign-up works, just the redirect page is not valid.

Beef, chicken, pork belly and nut roast were on the menu, priced at 17, 15, 15 and 14 – if you run the pub then you might want to update the increased prices on your website.  If you are a customer you might want to take advantage of this discretion and save yourself a quid or two.  Fucking Brexit.  Yeah I’m a remoaner, get over it.

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I chose the pork belly.  A risky choice as it can easily go very, very wrong indeed.  It can be amazing, it can be very good or it can be awful.  There is no average with pork belly.

It took a good 15 minutes or so to arrive, I cannot say I counted.  However one plate didn’t arrive as the cute waitress, really cute in fact, forgot to order it.  For the minor indiscretion we received a free meal – I wouldn’t have expected this , an apology would have sufficed, but credit where credit is due.

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Unfortunately credit was not due everywhere.  There was one strip of carrot on the plate – it looked like it had been roasted however not long enough for my preference, it hadn’t been cooked long enough to bring out the flavour.

And the two parsnips didn’t cut the imaginary mustard either, both a bit under-cooked, both a touch lacking in flavour.

Meanwhile the kale was a controversial addition on the table – even my vegetarian amigo wasn’t too amused.  I, however, being trendy enough to not only eat kale but avocado (when will avocado be on a roast dinner?) truly appreciated it.  Perfectly cooked with enough crunch and vitality to it.  Horses for courses but no k-holes.  Just kale-holes.  Shall I give up with the jokes?  It wasn’t even my joke.

Why are mountains so funny?  Because they are hill areas.

Get it?  Hill areas?  Hilarious?  I actually managed to get a date last week from using that joke.  She told me she loved gravy – I fell in temporary online dating love.  Though I think that was probably the only thing we had in common.

Where was I?  Potatoes.  Roast potatoes.  Or slightly roasted potatoes.  I guess the chef was expecting the bullshit announced yesterday from the FSA saying roast potatoes give you cancer, or something like that (first cigarettes, then alcohol, then drugs, then bacon…now fucking roast potatoes – am I not allowed any pleasures in life?).  As these were not crispy at all, if you can actually remember what I’m talking about given my mini-mid-sentence-rant, yeah screw you hyphen-nazi.  The potatoes were a bit anemic in looks, though cooked through enough.  Decently average but nothing more.

There was also a little pot of cauliflower cheese.  I really do not understand why this was in a separate pot.  Can anyone elude as to why this might be the case?  Surely only for reasons of presentation?  Like all non-kale vegetables, the quantity could have been higher, just three mouthfuls though I do have a big mouth.  A little squidgier than ideal but cheesier than the norm.  Pretty damn good.

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Things went up a notch with the Yorkshire pudding.  Sometimes they can be so tasteless – a good chef friend of mine believes that they are utterly pointless.  But this really was quite exquisite in terms of taste, soft, somewhat fluffy – a really good yorkie.

And the pork belly was in the very good category – not amazing but very good.  The top crackling layer was soft and chewy rather than crunchy but the meat was excellent – so succulent, rather quite gorgeous.  It was a relief!

My accomplices advised that the chicken was spot on, and the beef, though not rib-eye (I think) was as tasty as rib-eye.  So, whilst not everything in the roast dinner is good – the second most important part of a roast dinner, you are guaranteed near-excellence.

And for the most important part.  We were promised endless gravy, which to a Yorkshireman is the equivalent of offering a banker endless cocaine.  And I can understand why they can promise endless gravy because it was little more than what came out of the tap.  And a real schoolgirl error here in that I forgot to photograph the meal with the gravy added so you could see how weak it was.  Doh.

The gravy was utterly disappointing.  Taste-wise there was nothing wrong with it, absolutely fine, but the weakest, most watery gravy I have probably ever encountered.  Around the edges of the plate it would literally look like water.  Just imagine a banker buying a whole gram of bicarbonate soda.  That kind of disappointment.  I still had the gravy, of course.

At least it wasn’t jus.  Should I attempt an “I’m in North London so I’m surprised it wasn’t a jus” joke?  Yeah maybe not.  Dodgy territory – I might end up with the Labour Party trying to recruit me.

It isn’t a million miles away from being a very good roast dinner.  But clear improvements can and should be achieved – in my opinion anyway, and I am important for I am Lord Gravy.  For the roast dinner, it gets a 7.2 out of 10.

It is a really good pub, service was decent, it was clean, homely and welcoming – it has a lot going for it and I recommend a visit – I’d definitely eat there again (Monday to Saturday) if opportunity arose.

But the ‘gravy’ needs reporting to trading standards.

Next up…I have no idea.  I need a job first.  Or a lot of people clicking the adverts!  Maybe I should become an escort.  Yes – roast dinner escorts!  Surely there are some lonely women out there in London that need escorts so they can go for a roast dinner on a Sunday?  I’ll get started on the website this afternoon.  I am a genius.

Oh yeah, please can you share if you enjoyed reading.  It helps.

The Castle, Harrow

For my first roast dinner of 2017, I decided to head to my local, The Castle, in Harrow. On the hill. Harrow-On-The-Hill. You know, the posh bit where everyone is still complaining that they are surrounded by London.

It really is very nice up there, walking up the hill you are suddenly teleported out of London and into a quaint Berkshire village. The Castle itself fits well into the area, with 18th Century features inside and several rooms, including the bar area, where you can sit.  I chose the clock room.  It has lots of clocks.  None of them work.

I say it is my local. There are probably about 10-20 pubs within closer walking distance to me, including a bloody Wetherspoons. It isn’t exactly as if it was worth risking an adventure into central London on Sunday with the tube strike about to commence. Does anyone know what they are actually striking for this time? Apart from “oh my word aren’t the Tory government evil, lets cause chaos so everyone rises up and causes a communist revolution – all hail Mao & Stalin”. The phrase where I come from is “get to fuck”. Getting to work would do (says the unemployed web developer – anyone need a website?!).

I digress. You’ll get used to me – assuming that there is someone reading who isn’t a long-suffering friend/follower/ex-lover of mine. Do feel free to share. Please. I’m desperate.

So I’ve been to my local twice now, and I shall shortly give it my 3rd visit. And this paragraph is absolutely not suitable for anyone who works for a trade union – please skip to the next paragraph as I am about to become very offensive and you don’t want to read this part. Right, non-trade union folk, you can get 20% off your bill at The Castle this January if you follow this link – and they even sent me a voucher for a free drink (after my visit) so hence my 3rd trip coming up. At least sign up and get your free beer. You might not want a roast dinner there…my review is still to come.

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Yeah I know.  I cannot be arsed to rotate it.  Do you want a fight or something?

Let’s talk food.

Table service was offered, polite and perfunctory, quite cute too, though probably laughing at my attempted humour in a customer service kind of way as opposed to actually enjoying my attempts at making her afternoon more pleasant.

The menu offered beef, lamb, chicken and a butternut squash, feta and spinach wellington.  I spent a princely sum of £16 on the beef.

It didn’t take too long for the food to arrive – never a particularly good sign. Maybe 10 minutes at the most.

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The presentation was ok – the meat covered the vegetables with a burnt yorkie at the side. Hmmm.

I started with the red cabbage as it really is not something I’m keen on. However it was tasty, sweet and a touch nutty, shredded and not too copious an amount – enough for me not to get fed up.

Then there were two forms of roasted vegetables – carrots and parsnips. Dry roasted I believe, both pretty tasty – and roasted, as how both carrots and parsnips should come in my venerable King of roasts opinion.

However the cauliflower cheese was a bit limp. Soggy is the most appropriate description. The complete lack of structure failed what was a reasonable cheesy taste.

And then we went downhill further. The roast potatoes were simply not cooked enough. Not particularly crispy on the outside and quite tough on the inside – one potato seemed closer to uncooked than cooked. I’ve had worse, but these really were not great.

And why did I get a burnt Yorkshire pudding? One of my accomplices had a nice one, myself and my other accomplice both had dry, burnt Yorkshire puddings. Again, I’ve had worse, but nah. Not good.

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Thankfully the beef was good. Striploin, whatever that is. 4 reasonably sized slices around 3mm thick each, a tiny bit of pink – I’d prefer rarer but I guess this is safer. And it had a really strong taste of beef – it seemed very hearty.  Quality beef.

The gravy was pretty decent too. A red wine gravy, enough consistency for a southerner, and more was forthcoming upon request – there is rarely enough gravy on a plate. Red wine gravy really can go horribly wrong, but this wasn’t too strong – more of a unsubtle hint. Good gravy.

Overall a fairly mixed roast. Some good parts – some bad parts. It wasn’t far off being a really good roast – and I’ve eaten here before, albeit only a sausage roll – but a rather immense wild boar sausage roll nonetheless. Hmmm boobs….I mean hmmm sausage roll.

I’d like to rate what is quite a very nice little pub higher. But it is what it is. A 6.8 out of 10 – which is higher than average so shouldn’t be sniffed at. I’ll be back in for my free beer soon. And maybe a sausage roll.

I might be back in a couple of weeks with a review of wherever I go for my birthday roast. Though I’m currently having a little “I’m not celebrating my birthday because I’m a miserable, unemployed tosser” strop.

Either way, I’ll be back before winter is out.  Keep it gravy.  And feel free to add to my to-do list.

The Duke Of Wellington, Notting Hill

Welcome to the first ever Roast Dinners in London review.

You tourists, immigrants, bankers and stray Londoners have some good shit going on in this town. But now things are about to go up another level in brilliance with the arrival of your new local blogging super-hero, finding you the best, and worst roast dinners in London.

You may know me from Roast Dinners Around Reading. In fact I probably don’t yet have any readers that live in London. I might not get any readers that live in London.

I got pretty bored doing in Roast Dinners Around Reading – you could say I had done them to death.

But London is a whole different level of adventure. I’m kind of hoping that I can get at least a few reviews in without having to resort to talking about drugs, politics or pointless self-defecating humour just to keep you interested. There are only so many ways that one can describe carrots.

I am also hoping that the big smoke (especially so in a south-easterly breeze) will attract a greater level of ingenuity when it comes culinary adventures.

My most frequent complaints in Royal Berkshire (Slough and Bracknell are particularly worth a visit, dear London folk), were near-inedible unroasted roast potatoes, microwaved roast dinners that were cooked many hours before, a lack of ingredient ingenuity, jus, and almost a total county-wide herb shortage.

Maybe, just maybe, London’s finest roast dinner establishments have heard of herbs.

For this very first Roast Dinner In London, I had the absolute pleasure to have my crazy Cumbrian friend joining me, whom accompanied me on my first ever Roast Dinner Around Reading. Ahhhhh isn’t that sweet?  He managed a whole few hours drinking without showing anyone his penis.

I chose carefully from a list of three recommendations, one of which had been closed down, and decided to go to The Duke Of Wellington, in Notting Hill, on the Portobello Road nonetheless. A busy, bright modern pub, we were seated in the corner on a wonky table, replete with crackers for it was the Sunday before Christmas.

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It being Christmas, there was only really one choice – turkey. Normally they have chicken instead, along with beef sirloin, pork belly, a meat trio and a vegetable wellington. All priced around £14 to £15, apart from the trio at £20.50 – check the menu here. All were tempting – even the vegetable wellington.

Got you! The frigging vegetarian didn’t really appeal, you dumbass. I’m from up north. We do meat for breakfast, lunch and tea. Yeah, tea. Stick your “dinner” up your arse you posh southerner.

It took a while to get the attention of the one young lady hosting upstairs for she was rather busy. But once in the groove, we ordered our beers and turkey dinners, sat back and had a long conversation about the civil rights movement in 1960’s America. Or something like that.

Again, dinner took a little while to arrive – which is normally a good sign as when a roast dinner turns up 5 minutes after ordering, you know that evil Japanese machine has been at work. Not talking about my sex robot.  For she is not evil.

To look at it was impressive. Let’s start with the side-plate of vegetables.

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There was a roasted medley of vegetables – carrots, swede and beetroot. Wait a minute. Beetroot? On a roast dinner? Never my favourite vegetable but it worked so well as an accompaniment – roasted is the only way to do carrots and these were very good – the swede was just fine. All topped with some herbs. Yes – some herbs. DO YOU HEAR THAT ROYAL HERB-FREE BERKSHIRE?

Also topped with some rosemary and thyme were the potatoes. Not traditional roast potatoes, in terms of size, but they were roasted, freshly too. Could have been crispier, but were soft enough in the middle and on the better side of average.

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Slotted neatly underneath the turkey, were a few slices of cabbage. Delicately crispy and flavoursome.

The Yorkshire pudding was a reasonable size, crispy on the edges, soft on the bottom. Definitely a good pud.

The pig in blanket seemed slightly token and unremarkable – but pleasantly unremarkable.

I was disappointed with only one stuffing ball, but only because I could have quite happily have had a whole plate – and that isn’t just me being northern (though I probably could happily just have a bowl of stuffing and gravy). This was exquisite stuffing. Arguably the best ball of stuffing that I had ever had in my life – chorizo, pepper and I think, sausagemeat. So, so so good. Brilliant, in fact. Go here for the stuffing ball if nothing else.

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Turkey is a meat that really can go wrong. Why do you think you have it once a year and then decide never to have it again? But this was top notch, succulent, good quality breast. Resisting the temptation for tacky jokes…

Finally, the most important part. The gravy. Oh yeah. Proper gravy, that matched the meat and actually accompanied what had been cooked. Not the thickest gravy ever, but sufficient enough to keep northern boy here happy. Of course there was virtually none on the plate upon arrival, as is standard, but extra was forthcoming on demand. Actually, on request. I was nice.

And this roast dinner was nice. Very, very nice in fact. So good that I am giving it a roaringly roasting 8.4 out of 10. I only ever had a handful of better roast dinners around Reading.

Proper gravy, roasted potatoes, no microwave, ingredient ingenuity and herbs.  It seems moving to London was a good idea.

Reviews are probably going to be monthly or so for a while, temporary unemployment means that I am relying on jobseeker’s allowance and sadly this does not yet cover the costs of me going for a roast dinner every Sunday though I shall be writing to my MP to insist that this changes going forwards. You can always employ me as a web developer if you so wish.

Normally publishing date is a Monday. I very much welcome your suggestions of places to review – good or bad. A to-do list and a league table will be provided in due course.

Sorry for the caps lock earlier – very rude of me.

Don’t forget to share and invite all the people that you once met in a nightclub off your tits that you class as a friend to follow my blog. You can also subscribe by e-roast, Roaster and Roastbook.

And you can find me on Brenda.