Browns, Covent Garden

Please note that due to Copyright Trolls, all images have been removed until I can manually review them, one by one, and ensure credit is appropriately displayed. So if the story suddenly makes no sense, then...well...soz.

This is a long process, so please bear with will likely take until the end of 2024 until all images are reviewed and displayed correctly. Sigh.

Cha cha cha – roast din ah. It was time to put on my lime green bolero and head out to Browns in Covent Garden.

The Human Centipede from Eurovision 2023.

Ah isn’t it wonderful to see how the citizens of Europe can work together.

Even Liz Truss agrees, as apparently she is going to argue the case for an economic NATO. Something like a Single Market, perhaps? Surely nothing good can come of that?

Chart showing food inflation high before joining the EU, and after leaving the EU.

Oh look – high food inflation before we joined the EU. High food inflation after we leave the EU.

Just co-incidence, right?

Yep, I’m infected both with Eurovision and the remainer woke mind virus this week…I hope it is even more infectious than covid.

Headline - "Britain is being impoverished by a Remainer mind virus"

Yep, our declining economy is absolutely nothing to do with Brexit, spending vast amounts of money on people staying at home, faffing vast sums on Track & Trace, all the dodgy PPE contracts, telling business to go fuck itself and toadying up to Trump for a trade deal that didn’t happen. I could go on.

On the bright side, Theresa Villiers has said that building more houses for a housing crisis that doesn’t exist because she hasn’t met anyone that is struggling to be appropriately housed, means that we’ll turn into East Berlin. You know – the coolest area of Europe with banging techno parties all night long, everyone dressed in black, free ketamine in the pharmacies and affordable housing.

How terrible. How the fuck did I vote for this lot? Not in 2019, I add, but prior to that. I’m not sure I’m ready to apologise, but I am ready to consider voting Labour for the first time in my life. There you go. It’s in writing. I’m considering voting Labour next year.

Tory Economic Frowns

And how the fuck did Browns end up on the to-do list? And why don’t they have an apostrophe?

I’ve been to Browns before. I’ve even reviewed Browns before. I didn’t realise it when I initially booked here, but in a previous life as a human centipede, living in Reading (do you know what people from Reading call a woodlouse?), I experienced this:

Browns, Reading, Pork belly Sunday Roast from 2015.

And you thought my photography was bad in 2023.

Also it came with this:

Browns, Reading, Sunday Roast from 2015.

Even stranger my choice given that we went to the BBC Earth Experience (good but overpriced and no fucking centipedes) beforehand in West Brompton, where there are perfectly good pubs with that we could have gone to instead…we might even have been able to sit outside in that brief pre-wasp nearly-summer period.

I remember now – I added Browns because they had re-opened after a £2.5m refurbishment, and I was curious because apparently they had an art deco look. Is this art deco? The lights, perhaps.

Browns, Covent Garden, alleged art deco decor

What I did notice was a shit beer choice – when I say that Asahi was the menu highlight, then you’ll hopefully understand. I didn’t even bother ordering a second pint later on – I just slowed down my drinking. Not that I could find a waiter for quite some time.

The food menu was rather extensive, though I bit like me watching Eurovision, you are only here for one thing:

Browns, Covent Garden, Sunday Roast Menu

Sexy Eurovision Gowns

I ordered the chicken for no other reason than I fancied it – well, that and I’ve had pork the last two weekends. Plus I still vaguely have memories of that tiny pork belly portion at Browns in Reading from 2015. Before Brexit. Before fucking Brexit. Before Fucking Brexit. Imagine.

Spanish Eurovision entry 2022

Hmmm European Union. Hmmm Europe. Hmmm Eurovision. Hmmm sexy Spanish women at Eurovision. Yeah, I know this was last year.

Spanish Eurovision entry 2023

Feliz ahora? Tiene una vaccinna de woke mind virus, senorita? Me suffario mucho de remainer woke mind virus.

I ordered the cha cha cha…chicken, priced at £20.95.

Browns, Covent Garden, Chicken Roast Dinner

Yeah I’ve no idea why they decided to hide the vegetables either. Why is this a thing?

Let’s go crazy and start with the cha cha…that isn’t going to be funny a second time, is it? So the chicken was fine, I guess, to steal a word that my mother describes most things as, good or bad, where I can tell more depending on the intonation and the length of the “i”. The breast was a bit dry, though nothing too much, the thigh was the nicest part – though if you are having unenjoyable thigh then it is probably 3am and you’ve got a receipt from Deliveroo.

The stuffing I cared no more about than I did the timbre of notes from any Eurovision act ever. Do you even describe singing as having timbre or am I making that up? None of my music has singing, and I’m too busy to ask ChatGPT. The apricot was noted, the thyme less so, the texture was quite smooth – I’m not selling it to you, am I?

I May Have Run Out Of Nouns

Browns, Covent Garden, Chicken Sunday Roast

The carrots were just pretty decent yet ordinary roasted carrots.

I liked the smaller parsnips, their nutty flavour was brought out well – however the larger ones were undercooked, and my accomplices both had large and pretty uncooked parsnips. Luck of the draw and I got the smaller more functioning parsnips.

I didn’t care for the cabbage which felt undercooked too and had that kind of semi-raw stringy feel.

Two green beans (well maybe 4-5) were pleasantly perfunctory.

Three sizeable roast potatoes were kind of on their way to being good – they were remarkably soft inside, nicely flavoured with thyme – but had no crispy sides. Oh, I forgot, people from Reading call woodlouse, cheeselogs.

And finally, the gravy. I didn’t hate it, but it was as wanky as a chain bar with a live pianist. Oh, did I mention Browns had a live pianist? La di da cha cha cha. A slightly rich gravy with a red wine flavour.

Not so finally would have been a Yorkshire pudding, but I had the uninspiring stuffing instead. My beef-eating accomplice advised that the Yorkshire was dry, old and pointless. She offered me some but I couldn’t be bothered to try to cut it. She was complimentary about the beef – though apparently it had too much mustard coating.

Browns, Covent Garden, Beef Sunday Roast

A Roast Dinner At Browns

Well I hope you enjoyed the different order, as there wasn’t much else to enjoy.

Clearly I didn’t really like this roast dinner – but there was a live pianist, so what is more important?

And despite my half-hearted loathing of it, was anything that bad? The cabbage was undercooked, the chicken a bit dry – but mostly it was just uninspiring, unappealing, remarkably average dross. Oh and there was no Wi-Fi or mobile reception, the booking confirmation doesn’t tell you the time of your booking and the beer choice was shit. I quite liked the roast potatoes, albeit they weren’t crispy.

I’m still questioning how the fuck Browns ended up on my to-do list. I know I’m supposed to be best and worst roast dinners in London, but I really am keen to find somewhere absolutely perfect one day. And a roast dinner in a chain bar with a pianist was never going to be good, surely?

Browns, Covent Garden, Vegan Sunday Roast

The vegan accomplice was more in praise. Not enough for me to remember details, but she scored it a 6.80 out of 10. My regular accomplice, eating the beef, scored it a 6.20.

I’d like to score it under a 6, but it wasn’t worse than others in the high 5’s – it was just meh – so meh that I’d actually have preferred it to be worse so I can properly justify a moan. So I’m scoring it a 6.01 out of 10. It didn’t sing, for sure.

Next weekend I am back in central London again, with a recent recommendation. And I will try to get out in the sticks a bit more again soon!

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Browns, Covent Garden

Station: Leicester Square

Tube Lines: Northern, Piccadilly

Fare Zone: Zone 1

Price: £20.95

Rating: 6.01

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Loved & Loathed

Loved: Roast potatoes would have been really good were they crispy.

Loathed: Gravy a bit wanky, parsnips a bit undercooked, cabbage a bit undercooked, beer choice crap.

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