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Shall we go dahn Dog & Fox, Shaz?
Well you try writing an introduction to your 261st roast dinner review, tired and hungover, on yet another miserable wet day in…JULY. Only another 7 months of autumn until spring starts.
I had no plan for this week, so I decided to go to one of the longest outstanding roasts on the to-do list, the Dog & Fox, in Wimbledon.
It was reasonably suitable for the occasion – the occasion being the roast after that roast. The roast after the best roast dinner of the year so far. Because comparison will be natural, and it seems unfair to go to a (hopefully) decent independent pub, for example, the week after the best roast of the year so far.
A Young’s pub, however, with their bland watery gravy as trademark, trading on the stock market, is fair game for comparison.
The expected averageness of a Young’s pub, is perfect for the week after visiting The Harwood Arms.
Raining Dogs & Foxes
It was worse than it looked.
The week after the beauty of The Ladbroke Arms last year, I was offered this:
Bravo to The Crown in Islington for turning Yorkshire puddings into a small piece of meteorite.
The omens were not good within my soul either. I was solo dining, so enthusiasm was limited. I was hungover, so enthusiasm was limited. I was tired, so enthusiasm was limited.
And then there was an unexpected hill.
Oh and when I arrived at the Dog & Fox, I overheard them saying that there was a 30 minute wait for food. I HAVE A HANGOVER AND I NEED TO EAT, DRINK AND LEAVE QUICKLY.
If you’ve been in a Young’s, then you’ll know the deal with how it looks, as much as how crap the roast potatoes probably are – spacious, airy pubs with a feel of modern middle class-ness about it – you can take parents and grandparents to them, without them feeling uncomfortable.
The paint colours are formulaic, the lighting is safe, the furniture is solid, the beer choice is predictable (Neck Oil, aha) – though the Dog & Fox did also offer a Hepcat, which I gleefully upgraded to.
You know what you are getting with a Young’s pub.
Nothing surprising on the roast dinner menu – rump of beef at £22.00, pork belly at £21.00 and lemon and herb roast chicken, at £20.00.
I certainly wasn’t going to order beef after having such outstanding Cote De Boeuf the previous Sunday – I was more tempted by the vegan option than the beef. Pork belly, is my favourite, but did I want my favourite or should I save it for next weekend? I plumped for chicken.
And thankfully with only a 10 or so minute wait – maybe the waiter understood my predicament. I probably had “hungover” written across me.
Dog Days Of Summer, Sorry, Autumn
Starting with the carrot which had a certain bounce to it, to use a phrase to make me look like a proper food reviewer yet clearly I know fuck all. It was juicy though. A good carrot. Yeah it was wan, maaate. I’ve no idea what wan means either, but I’ve seen food reviewers use it.
You want to actually see the vegetables?
The parsnip, which you still cannot see, but whatever, was a little undercooked and squeaky.
What you might just be able to make out is celeriac puree. I’ve come a long way during this roast dinner journey. I was a junior software engineer when I set up this blog, who’d just lost his job. I’m now a senior engineer, who might lose his job to AI.
I was renting a bedroom in a shared house when I started this blog. I’m still renting the same bedroom, but I am currently trying to prove to solicitors that the payments to my ISA is not me money laundering and it is possible to save for a flat deposit when you don’t eat Sunday roasts in a pub more than once a week.
And most pertinently, back in 2017, I thought puree was baby food, and should be banned from roast dinners. The celeriac puree that the Dog & Fox supplied, was divine, and the highlight of the meal.
Really creamy, rather peppery – almost to the point of being spicy. I didn’t expect a wow from this roast dinner. I didn’t get any more wow’s, at least not in positive ways.
So the cabbage, though stringy and coarse, was a joy too – due to the celeriac puree. Gosh I even voted Tory back in 2017. Ahhh strong and stable, those were the days.
Sly As A Fox
Don’t panic, the roast potatoes were shit. All three were hard on the outside, tough on the inside and tasted old. One was notably stale – one was passable in a, well, it is a Young’s pub so can you really expect decent roasties kind of way.
The Yorkshire pudding even exceeded my expectations – it was so old that debating cutting the deficit was still a thing back when these were made. Apparently we prefer paying 10.4% of government revenue on interest payments instead. It’s only £110bn we’ll spend on debt interest this year, which is enough to buy everyone approximately 84 roast dinners. Yet nobody seems to care. Let’s just carry on spending more than we get in revenue, and rack that government debt up. Maybe we can even devalue the pound some more. Oooh how about a bit more quantitative easing.
Anyway, back to things that really piss me off – the Yorkshire pudding was inedible. Outright inedible, bar the very bottom layer which was still around as crispy as burnt bacon. Wow.
The chicken was fine. Well, the chicken drumstick seemed a bit pink, but tasted fine – the skin even had evidence of a lemon flavour, albeit the skin wasn’t crispy, though there are worse crimes.
The chicken wasn’t especially fresh, but wasn’t dried out either – the breast just about had enough going for it, the leg was more appealing, if you can get over the pinkness. Or was it the light?
And finally, the gravy was suitably inoffensive. It didn’t really taste of anything, bar any remnants of celeriac puree. And it wasn’t as watery as normal in a Young’s – there was some consistency.
Dog & Fox. Dox & Fog. Ducks & Fucking Old Yorkies.
So the Dog & Fox in Wimbledon was a bit of a mixed bag.
If everything was to the wow factor of the celeriac puree, then maybe last week’s roast might have had some competition.
Alas, nothing else impressed outside of some of the vegetables – maybe the chicken was the best of the rest but also maybe it was pink?
The yorkie was so old and stale that did impress me – and the roasties exceeded expectations with how crud they were too.
So, rescued by puree. Who would have thought it? Certainly not me 6 years ago.
My score is a 6.38 out of 10.
There is no plan for next week either – no accomplice as of yet, and I’m on call so it needs to be somewhere easier than Wimbledon to get to. 6 tubes I had to get on the way home. Granted 1 of those was when I went the wrong way at Edgware Road…and that was after the train was stuck going nowhere for 10 minutes. Bye.
Dog & Fox, Wimbledon
Tube Lines: District, National Rail
Fare Zone: Zone 3
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Well the celeriac puree was spectacular - really creamy, rather peppery, proper wow.
Loathed: The Yorkshire pudding was spectacularly bad - really old, rather stale, proper wow. Also the roast potatoes were crap.