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.