10 Worst Roast Dinners in London, 2020

Spread the gravy

Funny how life has changed, isn’t it? Two months ago we were all making copious travel plans from our addiction to the multitude of talented influencers on Instagrim – now we are all desperately trying to find photographic evidence of people being less than two metres apart so we can denounce them on Twitter and be a proud member of the Social Media Stasi.

Well, I thought I’d take it one step further, and do something nearly as useful for the NHS as privatisation, and update my list of worst roast dinners in London.

Granted I wrote a 2019 version of 10 Worst Roast Dinners in London so this will be mostly regurgitated content – 9 of the 10 places in this 2020 list were in the 2019 list. Whilst I’m only on paragraph 3 and it isn’t like I have somewhere to go this weekend except to go pick up some crystal meth from my dealer (don’t worry, he throws it to me out of his window – 2 METRES AWAY), there is a real danger that I might just copy and paste.

It’s only been a month without going for a roast dinner and I’m already like, how the fuck did I used to write about roast dinners every week? Yet I realise that it is my duty to keep you inside your home and I think this list of worst roast dinners in London should do its job. Then again I realised in 2016 that it was my duty to keep us inside the EU and look how well I did there.

Pornhub to the rescue?

Then again, can you actually watch porn now without being disgusted about the lack of social distancing? I just looked at “SANDY, PUMA SWEDE AND SOPHIE DEE FUCK IN THE POOL AND PISS BEFORE DINNER” and was like, what are they doing so close to each other? Why are they touching each other? I cannot watch something like that – what has the Stasi done to me? Why has porn suddenly started to feel like it is disgusting and unnatural?

Why am I here? Perhaps why are you here is the more perky question? Yet I have fans. I have no idea why. Shall we get on with the top 10?

Now there is a man that could fix COVID-19.

And I reckon he’d rather enjoy the roast dinner in at number 10 – well, still in there from 2019. Starting my roast dinner cabinet of all the non-talents…

10. The Northcote, Clapham Junction

Carrots harder than Mark Francois, turgid roasties and gravy so far removed from the concept of “real gravy”, which is what the menu promised, that I actually complained to Trading Standards.

Yeah, I’m already reaching for the copy and paste functionality – but most crappy lists are copied and pasted in full with the year changed, and at least I’ve eaten these roast dinners. Well, tried to.

“Unfortunately, Trading Standards wouldn’t be able to provide a description on what they believe is Real Gravy. We would recommend to bare in mind that it may be difficult to pursue as a description of real gravy is opinionated.”. In 2019 I said, “Is it fuck a matter of opinion”. In 2020 I say, “Is it fuck a matter of opinion”.

9. The Grocer, Spitalfields

I went for this most disappointing roast dinner after going to a jobs fair which involved unlimited free booze and I didn’t have enough time for a drink or even use the ball pit. Yeah, tech job fair.

So imagine that you have a choice of the above after two hours trying to tell recruiters how amazing you are and no you don’t know React but are sure you could pick it up quickly, and no you are not a senior developer.

Well that wasn’t my choice but I can tell you about the roast – not only was it on a fucking child’s plate which is the most ridiculous thing since Michael Gove said that we’d hold all the cards the day after we voted for Brexit and we could choose the path we want, it was also as turd as the path we have chosen.

They only had chicken left when I arrived, it had bits of red cabbage scattered all over it, the gravy tasted odd and the roast potatoes seemed days old. Wow, much of that was actually original pirate material, lock down your aerial…OH MY GOD I could make a good joke out of that…hang on…LOCK DOWN your aerial…

8. No 32 The Old Town, Clapham

Down a place from the previous year’s list as the original number 7, Heirloom in Crouch End has closed down – though not before they offered me a free roast dinner. Note to self – please continue not accepting free roast dinners. Do people still have aerials?

The thing that most pissed me off about No 32 The Old Town was how they tried to cram us in – literally, so much so that Matt Hancock would have been proud were this a bed in an NHS ward.

I’m fat. Well, I’m obese, and for some reason they stuck us into a space where the table stuck into my belly all meal. Cheers. Don’t blame me that I’m fat – if I had to pay health insurance than maybe I might have thought twice about eating five sausage rolls a day. BLAME THE SYSTEM. BLAME THE WHO. BLAME THE BEATLES. BLAME THE TORIES. BLAME CHINA. Oh wait, maybe we can blame China.

Basically this was half a plate of cabbage, roast potatoes that were rock solid – one almost as green as the sprouts, a stale yorkie and tiny portion of chicken.

Yeah, someone didn’t CARE about this, did they?

I must not Photoshop the badge.
I must not Photoshop the badge.
I must not Photoshop the badge.
I must not Photoshop the badge.

The sprouts were nice though. All 5 of them.

7. The Three Jolly Wheelers, Chigwell

Yeah I went to Essex for a roast dinner – well, it was on the Central line. And I went with a Brexiter that I met on a Conservative debating forum before I was forced out for not being Islamophobic. And it was exactly as you might expect it to have been. Both the forum and roast.

Actually, I’ve just checked and my ban from the Conservative debating forum seems to have ended – guess what the first post I saw was about? I’ll let you think about it. There are two topics involved…see if you can guess correctly.

There was nothing jolly about the roast dinner at The Three Jolly Wheelers – it was as cheap and nasty as it looked, and the worst thing was that despite being promised there were no peas – it came with peas. Good job we were sat outside in the wasp garden as I didn’t peacefully take them off my plate. I reckon Liz Truss would have something to say about this:

No I don’t even remember the name of the person I went with. And yeah, he lived in Europe.

6. Treehouse, Croydon

Ahhh Croydon. Why on earth did I go there? Well, I decided to enter a competition to unearth the next great talent in food writing and I saw no other choice than to go to Croydon. I think the uniquely talented Nadine Dorries would have approved of my choice of venue. Alas, I had some Jeremy tosser as the judge, and you know my thoughts on Jeremy’s.

We came pretty close to having a Jeremy as Prime Minister, didn’t we? Ahhh that alternative universe where Jeremy Hunt is the Prime Minister and we only have hundreds of cases of Coronavirus and I am still going to Croydon. Well, still able to go to Croydon.

What part shall I copy and paste? It was a plate of mushy broccoli, roast potatoes that seemed like they had been cooked in a different decade, a brittle and dead yorkie, and a salty brown water to pour over the food. At least I was thought of as a VIP. I still haven’t been back to the nightclub upstairs. I haven’t even been back to Croydon.

And no, I heard fuck all back from the competition. Racists. Oh Jeremy Hunt. Oh Jeremy Hunt. Oh Jeremy Hunt.

5. The Red Lion, Westminster

In case you are new around here – I’m not sure whether my 23 readers are repeat readers or whether most people read once then block my website – I used to be a Tory. I still want to be a Tory. I miss being a Tory. But I don’t belong any more – nor do I belong to any political party…I did vaguely consider starting a roast dinner political party but I had better things to spend my money on like a new suitcase for my exciting travel plans in 2020.

Anyway so I take the piss a bit, but I do believe that almost all MPs are honourable people so I wish them no harm – I just disagree with most of them on most things nowadays. You don’t believe me, do you? Well, here’s Maggie:

Yeah, a life-sized cardboard cutout of Margaret Thatcher. Yeah, the only contact with a woman that I’ve had in my bedroom for years.

Anyway, this was a free roast dinner because I’d been here on a Friday night with my family and it was shit. So they offered me a table for 4 as an apology, and yes the roast dinner was equally as shit.

A huge pile of stale red cabbage, weak and wobbly parsnips, tough, rubbery and Farragey roast potatoes, and finally, tough and dry yorkies finished off a truly UKIP-style roast dinner. Utter turd on a plate. Can you tell I copy and pasted this paragraph? I mean, UKIP aren’t a thing any more are they?

A totally clueless roast dinner, and for absolutely no related reason I shall share a photograph of Dominic Raab, who Brussels apparently nicknamed the turnip. Yeah, no idea why either.

4. Poplar Cafe, Poplar

In hindsight it doesn’t seem like going somewhere Brexity for a roast dinner on Brexit weekend was the most wise use of a limited Sunday. Then again, nothing about Brexit demonstrates wisdom and I did at least get a forewarning of trouble ahead when someone wearing a mask confused a window for a door and then shouted that he “didn’t give a shit what people thought” about him wearing a mask. Though I did add some clarity for future readers – “for those reading in the future, there is some global panic over a cold”. Hmmm, I may have understated things there.

Yet you couldn’t understate how bad this roast dinner was, how expectedly bad this was – yet it perhaps marginally beat expectations. It was edible though if you gave me the choice of ending lockdown now but the next 3 weeks I’d have to eat this roast dinner, I’d probably stick with lockdown for now.

I did actually prefer the basic gravy to some of the wanky jus that pubs serve…used to serve, sigh. The lamb was edible – which you couldn’t say about the beef or chicken that my accomplices had, and the yorkie wasn’t burnt – chewy, but not burnt.

I don’t know what the supposed roast potatoes were – some kind of ugly blocks of turgidity, the cabbage was so disgusting – it was almost like two people shaking hands. This was misery on a plate and fully deserves its positioning in the list of worst roast dinners in London, but I will have worst aspects of roast dinners in 2020. Actually, I probably won’t have any unless I cook a roast, will I? Even then, I have no idea how to make food this bad.

Don’t fucking laugh at me.

3. The Bedford, Balham

Ahhh back to copy and pasting. I went here after watching Hull City AFC (my football team) confirm relegation at Crystal Palace – and we needed something to lift our spirits. This wasn’t it.

You could imagine Priti Patel serving this to me as a sympathy meal with her perma-smirk. Ahhh, get relegated did ya?

The carrots were actually solid – we had no idea whether they had even had an attempt at cooking them. Rubbery roasties and the beef was just an astounding achievement of arseholery – tough, chewy and way over-cooked.

It is under new owners now, The Three Cheers Group, and I’ve had a couple of very good roasts at their establishments. So maybe this abomination is truly in the past.

Back to normal times, and I had a bet on my football team getting relegated (again) in January, when we were near the play-offs. £5 at 250-1. We then went on a run of 12 games without a win. One more defeat and we would have been in the relegation zone and I would potentially have a nice little bonus for my Japan holiday. Fucking bats.

2. London Business School, Baker Street

You’ll need to sneak past the security guards for this one, and it was served to me on a Monday. This was when I had no job, so I did some mystery shopping in exchange for £20 and some free meals whilst pretending to be a mature student. I even had to feign interest in joining their gym – they must have seen right through me when I pretended to be interested.

Steve Baker. Baker Street. Geddit?

I’m not sure that I even need to comment on this – yeah I’ll copy and paste again.

Salad on a roast dinner. Huh? Some of the carrots were crunchier than an apple and the broccoli was yellowing. I complain a lot about roast potatoes but these were as bad as you could get – cold, hard and greasy.

The Yorkshire pudding was not only served upside-down – but it was rancid. It was possibly the second most disgusting thing I’d eaten on my adventures (the most disgusting is in the next review) – it seemed like it had been soaked in the North Sea. And the watery, brown “gravy” was pretty damn salty too.

1. The Islington Town House

You know when you sing along to a tune doo do da, doo doo doodoo doo dada and you are trying to work it out?

That was me earlier today, and then I was like, “Fuuuuuuucccck…I keep singing the theme tune to Jim’ll Fix It”. I really must get out of this erroneous behaviour before lockdown ends otherwise I will experience lifelong social distancing.

It’s an error, and you can get things wrong in life. Badly wrong like the Iraq War or Islington Town House’s gravy.

For the rest of the roast dinner was reasonably good – I have since been recommended to go here by a couple of people.

Yet our experience was vile and all because of the gravy, which will forever be referenced as the “road resurfacing tar” afternoon. Yep, somehow, I guess by burning sugar, they made the most disgusting gravy possible and totally ruined what could have been a good roast dinner. One of the very few places to actually put enough gravy on the plate too. Ahhh I do love irony.

So, I hope you are all suitably excited about staying in for the next few weeks…months and I’ve put you off wanting to have a roast dinner in a pub for a little while.

Let’s hope I get to add a few more to the list of worst roast dinners in London for 2021.

Anyway, I left you with a question earlier on about what the first post on the Conservative debating forum that I used to be banned from was:

“The crop pickers have arrived and bringing the virus with them. What a joke! Wasnt this what Brexit was designed to stop?”.

Sigh.

That’s three themes actually.

I could go back and edit the earlier paragraph where I said two themes.

I’m not sure I can be bothered.

Yet I can be bothered to keep typing stuff here.

I’m not sure why.

How do I end this now?

Maybe I should say something offensive.

I wonder how easy it would be to find a “Boris Has Risen” video on Pornhub?

END THIS HELL NOW.

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