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.