The Lamb, Bloomsbury

You’ll have probably noticed one or two patterns of moaning in my blog.

Actually you probably won’t have noticed, as anyone who has read this abomination of a creative writing speciality before, won’t read it again. Except for my sister and one or two completely bizarre freaks. Is that you? Are you a freak too? Do you wanna freak with me? Or you could just subscribe to me – there is a box on the right. You just need to put your e-mail address in and you’ll be notified for every roast dinner review I do.

Where was I? Oh yeah, Theresa May’s conference speech. What? You don’t want to hear my in-depth analysis? You want me to talk about roast dinners? Really?

Well, I’ll be damned, folks.

So yeah. Moaning. I like to moan. Which is pretty useful as I have lots of opportunities on this blog, as nobody has yet provided a thoroughly excellent roast dinner, and hardly anywhere has provided me with a crispy roast potato. Spoiler alert – no crispy roast potatoes today either – in fact, quite a controversy.

The Lamb in Bloomsbury was picked as it was close to my sister’s work and she had to work on a Sunday afternoon. A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. This meant an early roast dinner, at 12:30 – practically breakfast time. I was hoping this would allow for freshly-made crispy roast potatoes. I would tell you now, but you’ll need to read on to find out whether our dreams came true.

It is a proper old school kind of pub – quite an enchanting look on the outside with several hanging baskets, a centre-bar with plenty of seating around the edge. There was a small and well-kept beer garden, and the obligatory urine-smelling toilet. There was an upstairs but no idea whether this was just the ladies, or whether there is another bar. A proper, traditional pub where you could take your grandad, pretty much as central as you can be.

And lo and behold…wait. Hold your horse tranquilizer. I haven’t actually finished my opening paragraph – hardly a surprise with my dreadful concentration levels. I blame Donald Trump. 28 television interviews the day before a conference speech is pretty fucking amateur planning, isn’t it?

You’ll have probably noticed one or two patterns of moaning in my blog. Shit roast potatoes, an aversion to herbs, invisible gravy, jus. One of my true bugbears is a limited choice of meats. Always chicken, pork and beef, often lamb. Ever so rarely anything else. 25 million immigrants in London and not one of them has any imagination to add to a roast dinner.

But lo and behold. The Lamb had poussin on offer (little chicken to the culinary-challenged out there), partridge (it’s a dumbass bird that posh people breed and shoot) and duck (you know what ducks are I hope). Crazy. With an elongated vowel. 3 unusual meats. They had beef topside and leg of lamb too – but why would you choose one of them when you could have something completely different? Eh, sister?

I took my shotgun out and…yeah maybe no gun jokes this week. Unless they were dead Libyans as that is completely acceptable to joke about, isn’t it, Boris?

I chose partridge. £17.95. The cheapest meal was actually the beef at £14.95 – I think the duck was £18.45…maybe £18.95. The others in between. There was also some kind of vegetarian option which I am sure would be been absolutely gorgeous.

Two very good points to note. Firstly, if you sign up on their website, you get a free beer. I have no idea if this only applies to the first Young’s pub that you sign up to (Fullers declined my idea of a free pub crawl even with my 10 different e-mail addresses), but give it a try.

Second, there was a warm welcome from the gentleman who seemed to be running the place, and the cute young Scottish lady that did most of our service. Unlike the wanky Florentine and the sterile Hawksmoor – I felt at home here. I could spend hours here. Alas, my sister had to go to work. On a Sunday afternoon. A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I probably shouldn’t laugh – karma and all. If the young Scottish lady is reading, I hope my blog has made your world a little more beautiful.

Dinner took around 20 minutes to arrive.

I started on the leaves – I think variegated kale and possibly Swiss chard – I stand to be corrected, especially on the latter. Both had a good texture, easy enough to chew yet weren’t completely floppy – the kale having a slightly earthy taste, and the Swiss chard which had a slightly sweet taste – very reminiscent of spinach. A complimentary mixture.

Then there was an area of finely diced celeriac. A slight nutty taste with a hint of thyme – it was slightly annoying to have them so finely diced but I really am being pedantic there. I do however find celeriac pointless – but it is a rarity that it is served, so kudos for imagination again.

So far so good, but how about the roast potatoes? There were no roast potatoes. Or maybe there were? To me, I thought that they more closely resembled baked potatoes – not only in look, but taste and texture too. Mine were a little burnt on the outside, but that didn’t really detract – the insides were soft. A controversial touch, but The Lamb doesn’t do normal. And I approve of that.

But I would have preferred crispy roast potatoes. Alas.

Onto the Yorkshire pudding. Again it was burnt on the top. Meh. However, when I got down to the base, it had a glorious taste – really scrunchily yummy, a thick eggy taste – it seemed like quite a magnificent batter had gone into it. Impressive in terms of taste, once I got away from the burnt top.

Despite the fact that I voted Tory, I have never eaten partridge before. I haven’t even shot one. That I remember, anyway. There are large chunks of my life that I don’t remember due to insobriety, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t eaten partridge. So I have no other partridge eating experiences to compare it to.

It came as a whole bird. It was a little tough – especially on the legs which were particularly difficult to cut any meat from at all. I was actually pretty knackered from cutting the meat off the bird. Again the breast was tougher than I’d prefer – substantially more so than chicken. Is that normal? Don’t ask me.

Difficulties aside, it was really tasty. In terms of taste, it is much more interesting than normal chicken – very much a gamey taste – in terms of texture then chicken is arguably preferable. There was a very slight hint of both thyme and cracked pepper, but the bird itself had enough going for it without the need for additions.

As a very important side note, sitting here post-roast by myself in my imaginary girlfriend’s bra and panties, my farting is now on another level. An astonishing partridge like smell. You could call it fartridge. Yes I am a neanderthal northern fuckwit that enjoys farting, go stick a battered sausage up your vagina, you snowflake. Though quite why such a beautiful and unique thing as a snowflake has become such a derogatory term is beyond me. Are you telling me that your average racist can drive up a hill after a few snowflakes? Fuck off.

Can you share my blog please?

Gravy. It was a thin and watery affair – very bland and pretty much tasteless. Surprise, surprise, there was so little on the plate so we had to ask for more. Twice.

And look at this.

Yes. We got charged £1.75 for each hug of plain, watery gravy. Had I known that I would have brought a fucking flask of gravy. Not at any point were we advised that, nor did I see it listed on the menu. A bit cheeky. Then again, we had a free beer and excellent service. Yes I know I wrote hug instead of jug. It was an accident but linguistically and romantically, it works.

Hmmm.

I should add before I move onto summarising and scoring, that my friend who had the poussin was happy with hers, though didn’t give it a score. My sister, who had the beef, said it was some of the worst beef that she’s ever had on roast dinner club, and only gave it a 6 out of 10 – the rest of the dinner she was very happy with.

Charging for gravy really is offensive. All the good work from it being a homely pub, a free beer, an imaginative menu and really excellent, warm service – cancelled in one offensive measure. JUST PUT ENOUGH GRAVY ON THE PLATE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Often I have a score in mind straight after the meal and the more I think about it, the lower the score becomes. This is the opposite. Having been hugely offended by being charged for extra gravy (might as well just have called me a southerner), and also offended by my sister not having a good roast (I know, your author is snowflake central), I’m starting to nudge the score up a bit. There were high levels of imagination – clearly a creative chef. The bottom of the Yorkshire pudding was excellent, the partridge was very good. The gravy was meh and I was disinterested in the celeriac and baked potatoes.

I’m giving it a 7.28 out of 10. A respectable roast – it is in the ‘good’ category.

Next Sunday I won’t be back in London until late afternoon so there might not be a roast dinner. I will be back. Unless I am banned, hospitalised or arrested in the coming week. All possible.

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