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