The Three Jolly Wheelers, Chigwell

Oi Oi Saveloy!

Basically, mate, this Sunday I went into deepest, darkest Essex in search of Sharon, Tracey and some gravy. Oh yeah and Doreen. Well I didn’t get into any fitty’s noo yesterday at the Spanish thing I went to, so I kind of thought that I might pull if I went to Essex. Mate.

As regular readers will know, I am trying to expand my cultural understanding – plus I have a sexual fascination with leather-clad lesbian slave hardcore bondage porn, erm, I mean, I find Spanish women beautiful. So I went to this Spanish thing near Tower Bridge yesterday to fall in love every 2 seconds, and to queue. I queued for drinks, then queued for drink tokens, then queued again for drinks, then queued for the toilet, then queued for drinks, then queued for food (like a whole hour), then queued a bit more. It really was very mañana, mate.

I also had a similarly cultured welcome to Essex – the first people I heard speaking once I took my earphones out were talking about their upcoming evening imbibations, “ahhhhhm gonna get fucked off me face, innit”. Mate.

We arrived at a very ordinary indentikit, personality-free pub, The Three Jolly Wheelers, somewhere between Woodford and Chigwell. There was quite a lot of choice on the roast dinner menu – beef, lamb, turkey, pork, veggie and beef duo, priced between £10.50 and £14.50. I am increasingly becoming fatter since I gained employment, so I concluded to continue to be greedy and have the beef duo – both sirloin and short rib. I also paid 50p for an extra Yorkshire pudding.

The menu said ‘seasonal vegetables’, so I checked that there would not be any peas, and the barman said that there were no peas, but he’d put “no peas” on my order just in case. I explained my phobia and the likelihood that said peas would end up everywhere, including probably thrown at his face.

So we sat in the Essex sunshine and awaited our dinner – surrounded by some of the various stereotypes that you expect in Essex – from the group of wideboys all talking over each other, to the slightly fake-tanned women on another table. I am such a fucking snob sometimes. Yet most snobbish people would stay well away from me, just as most women do (except the really fat ones).

Vote Tory.

And then dinner arrived. With fucking peas, mate. Absolutely not fucking cushty, I did not need the agg is it mate. I mean, innit, mate. Should they be a question mark there, bruv?

Bang out of order.

So I had no option but to start throwing the fuckers around, to the left, to the right, on the table, in the flower pots, at the window. I decided against throwing them at the other diners in case I got into a fight.  Or even worse, a conversation.

For some reason only a relative thimble of gravy was supplied, in a hot ceramic object which became even hotter as the sun shone on it. I asked for more gravy and looked at my dinner as I continued to check everything for peas. I say looked, as one cannot eat a dinner with just a knife.  I was well jel of those with a fork.

Eventually some extra gravy turned up and some cutlery. Don’t get me wrong, but a serviette would have been useful given that I’d been man-handling my food, but alas. Shut up, mate.

A pretty minging start – would the food make up for it?

First I had two very ordinary wide carrots. They were fine but I cannot say much more than that. There was a tiny bit of thyme on there, though I struggled to detect it.

The cabbage was exceptionally innocuous – tasteless and overly pointless.  Just like an Essex…don’t say it…don’t say it, I am not a snob, I am not a snob.  Repeat, I am not a snob.  Essex women are notorious for being exceptionally stylish, fashionable and naturally tanned.  Especially those on Made In Essex.

Oh If only there was a third vegetable. Maybe I was starting to regret not ordering a side dish of cauliflower cheese.

Or maybe not. The roast potatoes were absolutely not crispy, quite rubbery and just felt and tasted cheap – no maris pipers, here. Poor but not dreadful.

The parsnip was a little undercooked – seemingly not roasted, at least from the lack of taste.

The Yorkshire puddings were fine. A little tough and a little chewy – and like much of the dinner, seemed rather pre-prepared. Though maybe that is the cynic in me.  Acceptable.

One slice of sirloin beef was provided, which somehow has come out much pinker on the photograph than on my plate. Again it was fine – a little tougher to cut and chew than preferred.

I liked the slow-cooked short-rib of beef. By no means was it particularly cushty, but it was decent enough in a very-average-pub kind of way, mate. It did fall apart, it was a little enjoyably burnt in places, and had enough fat but not too much, to add to the relative flavour. I’ve had miles better beef rib – but compared to the rest of the dinner, this was the highlight.

Finally, I guess we should talk about the gravy. It was a rather shiny, oily affair – not the most pleasing taste, seemingly some kind of effort at a red wine gravy – it did detract more from the dinner than add to it. No wonder they didn’t want to give me much.

Don’t get me wrong, but I cannot say that I enjoyed this at all. It was distinctly average, at best, with a very pre-prepared feel and often below-par ingredients. My first roast dinner in Essex is only a 4.79 out of 10, a score that my companion would agree with. I won’t be rushing back. Mate.

Next Sunday, unless I feel the need to show off my new fake boobs in Marbella, I shall be going all political on you. Well, there is an election coming up.