Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to my annual modern art special, this year featuring Dean Street Townhouse in Soho.
Well, annual in a very haphazard fashion like many annual things have been since China didn’t allow a virus to escape from a laboratory, though I’m not really sure this was annual before.
That’ll be £96,500 please, Sir. And you thought Test And Trace was a bargain.
Yes, it was one of those weekends that my parents come down to remind me that I’ve eaten too many roast dinners and that they would like to go for a roast dinner with me, oh but make sure it is as good as Blacklock. Yes I’m still fat. Yes I’m still single. No you are not having grand-children any time soon. I did tell you to sort me out an arranged marriage when you went to Spain the other year, but you only arranged to send me a postcard of a Spanish woman. And she didn’t even have her tits out.
Which reminds me, I need to apply for tickets for the Women’s Euro 2022 football tournament. Guess which country I support?
Anyway, so this weekend gone I needed somewhere to eat a roast dinner after going to the Royal Academy, that was easy for my mother to get to. We had a choice of Berner’s Tavern and Dean Street Townhouse on the to-do list within walking distance, so I went for the latter – only because it was the first entry on the list, it has been awaiting my visit for longer than anywhere else.
It was a good job that we hadn’t booked Berner’s Tavern, as they relaunched their menu not long after we chose where to go – sans Sunday roast. Though I’m trying to reduce the length of my to-do list and am reluctant to accept many new additions, I’m definitely short on places to go in central London.
And Dean Street Townhouse is another ticked off the list. One of those places that project a quality offering, with a certain Britishness to its feel – starting with the chaotic entrance (or exit, depending on your view of modern Britishness), with too many people in the entry area, most of them David Bowie lookalikes, and staff buzzing around but without quite offering us an understanding of whether and how we could announce our entry.
After a little while, the chaos subsided, but our table wasn’t ready. Not their fault – we were 10 or so minutes early. After a while we caught the attention of the barman and ordered some drinks – at which point our table was ready. It was feeling more British by the minute.
Do you want to play a game of guess how much the sausage roll cost?
And then we can play a game of guess how much the roast dinner costs. Because it only tells you the prices for 2 courses – £30, or 3 courses – £36. I’m quite wise to this wizardry and just ordered whatever I wanted – including a dessert that isn’t on the 2 course for £30 list. And the sausage roll which isn’t on the list either.
Beef, chicken and pork were the choices – I had eaten beef the Sunday prior, so that was knocked off from my considerations, and I didn’t really fancy chicken. So pork it was – and the actual price of a single Sunday roast is £22.00.
We shared the sausage roll, generous in sausagemeat though also compact – flavouring closer to Lincolnshire sausage, I’d suggest. Gosh, am I writing about some other food than a roast dinner? Ginger Pig sausage rolls outclass this though – pork and stilton are the bomb. Know of a better sausage roll than Ginger Pig? Please do let me know. You can write to me at PO Box 110, Granada Studios, Manchester. Or maybe just put it in the comments.
Our roasts arrived around 20 minutes after our sausage amuse bouche roll:
Ahh, sorry, that’s not a roast dinner, that’s an exploration of “space, scale, texture and colour through repetitive and durational sculptural processes”. Though I do actually quite like it, and the artist has overcome way more difficulties than many of us have.
Yeah the roast was one of those put together yourself roasts – with each portion of vegetables, cauliflower cheese and gravy, to share between two. At least I didn’t have to pay extra for the cauliflower cheese here – which almost makes £22.00 look a bargain. This time next year, £22.00 might indeed look a bargain.
Edit – just been told that I need to use a better photo. Here’s one of the beef from someone with a better camera:
Do you want me to describe the roast dinner using modern art?
No? Well go read Instagram.
OK, this harder than I expected. But I’m going to suggest that the vegetable medley was like this horse picking out the flowers in the dark, as I was trying to pick out the vegetables I liked from between the peas. I didn’t expect somewhere quite upmarket to serve peas. But hey.
So the carrots were almost so tough that you required hummus – but just had enough malleability to make them enjoyable.
The broccoli had a bit of crunch to it, but nicely so and the cavelo nero/cabbage was fine – but only fine.
The cauliflower cheese was pretty stunning.
And now I have a huge wad of space to use thanks to this funky layout though if you are on mobile and 62% of my users are, then you probably won’t notice…unless you have a flip phone but please don’t get a flip phone because then I’ll have to take them seriously when doing styling of my website and my website at work.
Gooey and cheesy inside, the cauliflower was soft, there was a crisp to the top – and this was quite frankly excellent. Just like keyboard boy to your right…or above if you are on mobile. Seriously, everyone should get a desktop computer to make my life easier.
So the roast potatoes were most like this chewy-looking piece of modern art – bravo to Gabriela Giroletti who can now afford 35 roast dinners by selling this chunk of wood panel with a bit of paint on.
Yeah, the 5 roast potatoes – 5 – were all pretty tough on the outside and pretty chewy on the inside.
I’ve had worse, and will have worse again, but they weren’t good.
I feel like you might need a reminder of what the roast dinner actually looked like:
What? You are just waiting for the tits?
I’ve no real idea what is going here, and I’ve no real idea what the point is of Yorkshire puddings. People still think it is great when they are huge.
It was acceptable enough, over-cooked without tasting burnt, still soft enough on the bottom to be edible – I left some.
Something to do with the birth of Copernicus?
Ahhh just two more items to drag out this modern art comparison with.
The pork was nearly as magnificent as these donkeys. It had some shortcomings – mostly that there was too little of it, just two thin slices, and the crackling was only crispy in parts.
I think for some people, perhaps too fatty – but I’m happy at this level of unleanliness. No surprise that my spellchecker thinks that isn’t a word.
I also had some of the beef – which was good, if not especially spectacular. The pork topped the beef.
The most obvious choice of modern art to compare with the roast, was comparing the gravy to this family picking their nose, with their dog taking a shit.
Though this was actually my favourite piece of art, it also typified a lackadaisical attitude which came across in the gravy.
Watery and barely tasting of anything – they might as well not have bothered. Perhaps their reluctance to provide enough was a sign.
Ahhh back to normal paragraphs.
So the roast had some excellent moments, but was outshone by averageness. The cauliflower cheese was stunning, and the pork was excellent also.
But then having to pick out the vegetables from the peas (like…peas on a £22.00 roast dinner?), chewy roast potatoes, overdone yorkie, watery browned nothingness. I did say to my Dad after we exchanged scores that I might persuade myself down when I write, and I think I have just done so.
Nothing was especially bad though. Oh, but it was bloody mafting inside. It was a nice restaurant, there was a good feel to it, it was busy and bustling yet you could hear yourself. But I wished I’d had shorts on. In November – just two weeks before the big freeze. And no, I’m not going to Iceland.
I’m scoring it a 7.04 out of 10. My family scored it a 7.40, 7.50 and another 7.50.
Service was mostly very good, bar a few minor moments like nearly taking an unfinished drink away and that kind of minor service misdemeanour where they are almost trying too hard, and then towards the end it became more difficult to attract attention.
They’d also undercharged us. It was good enough service to be honest about it, but even then the new bill saw us undercharged again. To finish with a note of good service – my Dad left his glasses there and they called me after we left to advise.
Modern…yeah I’ve run out of things that rhyme so I’ll make the SEO plugin happy by saying Dean Street Townhouse
Hmmm, what else do I have to say? Did I mention how warm it was in there?
Well I guess that is it until next time. Oh yeah, the sausage roll was £9.00. Let me know if you won and I’ll send you a prize of my choosing.
I’ll be back next week. Nothing special planned…I’ll be surprised if it is anything other than bang average topped with watery gravy, but you never know.
OK, you deserve it. Titty time. Yours for just £200,000. And she has three legs.
Dean Street Townhouse, Soho
Station: Piccadilly Circus
Tube Lines: Bakerloo, Piccadilly
Fare Zone: Zone 1
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Pork was limited but gorgeous, cauliflower cheese was superb.
Loathed: Roast potatoes chewy, yorkie overdone, gravy watery - but nothing especially offensive.