Suck my black…whoa don’t go there. Sorry, I mean suck my small, hairy…. Whoa, super-sorry, I mean this is a review of suck my Blacklock in Shoreditch. Finally. What you looking at?
Google’s robots are going to love that first paragraph. My SEO on this page is soooo fucked already. RACIST.
I mean, did you really think someone with my exceptional maturity and minimal penis size could manage to write about Blacklock without inferring what it rhymes with. I should probably re-write this introduction (2020 edit – I have done, twice).
So, finally I made it to Blacklock. Nowhere has been recommended to me for by more people than Blacklock has. Nowhere posts such drool-worthy photographs of roast dinners than Blacklock do. Nowhere on my to-do list have I wanted to go to more than Blacklock.
So why is it roast dinner 106? Why did I leave it so long?
I am a special occasion, no?
Well, I was waiting for a special occasion. Yet I couldn’t find a suitably special occasion, so a fair few weeks ago I just thought “fuck it” and booked a table. And then I was offered a new job. Believe it or not, rating Yorkshire puddings isn’t actually my real job.
Though my new job does depend on passing background checks. Let’s hope that their HR department haven’t discovered this blog.
I was quite apprehensive about visiting Blacklock. I tried not to build it up too much in my head, yet I had spent all week telling people that I was going for an amazing roast dinner on Sunday.
Blacklock may be the most recommended roast dinner to me, but Hawksmoor was regularly recommended to me plenty of times too – and look how that turned out. There are no guarantees in life, except for Jeremy Corbyn being utterly fucking useless. #CorbynOut
Possibly a good moment for my final plug of People’s Roast Vote 2 – yes I am offering you a people’s vote despite there still being a chance of a general election. So far I have 6 venues nominated – if you want somewhere adding to the list, now is the time to do it. Then we can have some votes next week and watch Brexiters claim that whoever got the second highest amount of votes actually won. Oh hang on, let me quickly throw a milkshake over myself.
This is not a roast dinner review
Unsurprisingly it was busy inside, with every table occupied or awaiting their occupiers (bring back the British Empire). Hmmm just seen that a few of my 70ish Google Chrome tabs that I have open are for PornHub, including one entitled, “This is not a pornographic video”. Quite what that says about my drunken libido on Sunday night I shall leave for you to conclude.
Blacklock have three venues, Soho, City and Shoreditch. The first is the one most famed for roast dinners, the second isn’t open on a Sunday and the latter is their newest restaurant, and the one I decided to visit as it was easiest to book at a decent time.
The venue was a sizeable yet cosy affair – the gorgeous smell of smoked meats met us just outside the door. The restaurant had a classic feel to it, with exposed brickwork, a wood-panelled ceiling and proper tables and chairs. There was plenty of natural light too though I cannot say that I looked outside once. I’m not even sure I looked around inside as I had to do a Google search to be able to describe the interior.
We ordered some beers, a mixture of Blacklock Pale and Blacklock Lager. I already had my heart set on the “all in”, which was a mixture of beef, lamb and pork, priced at £20 with a minimum of two people ordering. Pretty much just so I could have one of those pornographic photographs of stacked-up meat to help entice visitors to my blog.
What are you doing?
Alas, my guests were not obliging, two ordering the beef and one ordering the lamb. Two of them were actually considering ordering the vegetarian, until we explained that would be like going to Ibiza without taking any drugs.
But I still wanted the “all in”.
I explained to the waiter, who had already impressed, that it was my birthday next year and that I really wanted an “all in”. He said he would see what he could do, and two minutes later a tactile touch and a confirmation that I was going “all in”. Let’s just give Blacklock a 10 out of 10, shall we?
We also shared two portions of cauliflower cheese to go with it, between the four of us, and ordered a bottle of Tempranillo – not chosen because it was the cheapest red wine, but it was the cheapest red wine, I think at £34 from memory but I cannot say that I noticed as I have a new job to celebrate! And I have already spent my first month’s pay.
Dinner took around 15-20 minutes to arrive, though I cannot say that I was timing it. In the meantime we had to chase our second round of beers, which had apparently got lost – and shortly after we had to remind them that we had ordered a bottle of wine. Were the waiting staff not so endearing, this quibble could be a disappointment.
And, of course, we ordered extra gravy.
Finally, I am eating a Blacklock roast dinner.
The carrots were thinly sliced and roasted…nay…charred. Pretty black in places and in a parallel universe this would be the start of a review of somewhere that had served me burnt food. Yet these were fucking gorgeous – charred to perfection and in the running for carrot of the year on the off-chance that I can actually be bothered to do my awards come Christmas (though there are two other strong contenders). I reckon they were even better than the ones I grew on Farmville years ago.
Green beans were just green beans, but pretty much spot on in terms of a crunch/squidge ratio. By the way, whatever happened to golf sales? Why don’t I see people holding those signs up down Oxford Road any more?
The cauliflower cheese we paid extra for, at £4 a pot. Not only exquisitely presented, but the cauliflower was cooked through perfectly and it actually tasted of cheese – I doubt just one cheese though don’t ask me to name them. Cheddar for sure, perhaps something like a stilton too?
It shouldn’t get better yet it does. The roast potatoes were fresh and crispy on the outside (it shouldn’t be that rare), seemed to have actually been par-boiled and chuffed up, and were soft inside. Chuffing hell. I don’t want you to think it is a criticism, but I have had fluffier insides once or twice. Don’t look at me like that, these were superb.
The Yorkshire pudding? Well, it was kind of large and pointless (I think I’m going to start knocking off points for large yorkies…soooooo 2017), marginally overcooked too. Yet it was soft and floury. A good’un though I didn’t finish it. I guess that counts for venom?
Did I mention my new job? I do have a small nob though.
Onto the meat. I don’t think I’ve ever had a meat combination roast whilst doing this blog – I learnt years ago that having several meats reduces the ability to appreciate the meat. At least it does for me, and this was no exception.
Starting with the beef rump which was nicely smoked. A little bit of it was slightly gristly – though I am picking at the margins here. Quite tender, though I’ve had one or two even nicer beef rump roasts.
The pork loin was again nicely tender, though eating it after the beef kind of confused me as to the flavouring – was it plain or smoked? I have no idea.
My favourite of the three, by some way was the leg of lamb. Again a little bit of it was tough and fatty – just a bit, but otherwise it was plump and hearty, and ever so flavoursome.
Gravy arrived in traditional gravy boats, though, shock horror, not enough. It got full marks in terms of consistency – in terms of flavour it scores highly too, being a hearty beef-flavoured gravy – lots of bits floating around in a grvaysexual way as opposed to a what the fuck is this way. It was really, really damn tasty yet didn’t overpower the taste elsewhere.
Extra gravy eventually arrived on chasing, in the form of the world’s smallest gravy boat between four of us – which surely was a piss-take. The waiter looked at us and said, “you want more gravy, don’t you?”. Aha. Cue a proper-sized gravy boat for each of us one minute later. I sense that the original tiny gravy boat may have been their sense of humour.
I am stuffed
And then I was stuffed. Absolutely stuffed despite having not eaten Brexit. Except the waiter then brought round a small tray of extra roast potatoes. And then later – a bowl of dessert for us to share, on the house. Had they worked me out? Or did they really look after all tables as well as this?
Service was second only to the wonderful (and pricey), Oblix, in The Shard. This despite having to remind them for our second round of beers, our wine and extra gravy – yet the affinity they built with us meant this was instantly forgotten.
It isn’t a 10 out of 10. I refuse to score anything that high anyway, as there shouldn’t be a point where a meal cannot be improved. And there were minor imperfections (though non-venomous non-pedants wouldn’t notice), though perhaps the greatest imperfection was mine in choosing the ‘all in’ and not giving myself the opportunity to savour and enjoy just one meat. Also attempting to go out in chavtastic Shoreditch after was another imperfect decision but that’s for another paragraph.
Except I won’t bother.
Except to say Shoreditch is proper chavvy now isn’t it?
OK, two paragraphs. Yet everything on the plate was very good at worst, and very near-perfect at best. Everything. Every single thing.
Yes, I do finally have a new answer for when someone asks me where the best roast dinner is in London. I’m scoring it a sensational, sexy, gravytastic 9.29 out of 10. Even the receipt paper was top quality. Lick my plate and suck my review of Blacklock in Shoreditch.
The question now is, should I just give up? Surely this is the best roast dinner in London? Is there any point in reviewing anywhere else?
Next Sunday’s roast dinner (if I don’t give up) will be worse than this. It might be worse than quite a lot of the ones I’ve had so far, but the venue is…a bit different.
I can still review Blacklock in Soho, right?
Blacklock, Shoreditch, East London
Station: Old Street
Tube Lines: Northern
Fare Zone: Zone 1
Where now, sailor?
Random roast review: Lady Mildmay, Stoke Newington