18/03/2018 I have been advised that they no longer do roast dinners, though they are still advertised on their website. Best check before going
Yesterday was Mother’s Day. So there had to be some thought put into where to go, given most decent places would have been fully-booked.
The area couldn’t be anywhere nice like Clapham or Richmond. The pub couldn’t be any kind of gastro-pub shite. It certainly couldn’t be next to a canal. But yet I didn’t want a crap roast either.
Some bright spark in our group (yes I actually have friends in London to go out for a roast with, unlike in Reading where I was often on my lonesome bar the occasional socialist/homosexual/socialist homosexual) came upon the idea of this newly-refurbished ex-dive in Camden called The Enterprise – and nobody in their right mind would either bring up children in Camden or take their mother to Camden (unless she smokes weed) so it seemed like the perfect spot.
I had no expectations, which is often useful. The choice of roasts was chicken, beef or pork shoulder, all priced at £12.50. I have few rules when it comes to roast dinners, but one is never to order beef if I feel that there is a chance that they might not know what they are doing. As I had no idea whatsoever about the kitchen’s roast dinner abilities, beef was out of the question.
That said, I had seen some rather awesome-looking fish and chips being delivered to a nearby table (fish and chips on a Sunday – what would Jesus say?), so I felt the omens were positive. I didn’t fancy chicken, so I plumped for pork.
There was a problem though. The dinner was advertised as coming with peas. The barmaid (who was rather damn cute) wasn’t sure if the peas could be taken off the dinner. I tried to explain my phobia of peas, and that it could result in some kind of violent reaction, she empathised in a kind of “do I really have to serve such morons” kind of way (actually she was very nice about it), checked with the kitchen – and yes, peas could be avoided. Phew. I was also rather envious of her multiple hair grips, with my floppy over-grown fringe that keeps getting in my eyes.
It took around 15 minutes for our respective dinners to arrive. Well, mine took 15 minutes, the other’s had another 5 or so minutes to wait.
The cauliflower was acceptable yet utterly forgettable. I may have forgotten to write about it had I not photographed, but it was decent, blanched normal cheese-less cauliflower.
There was one roasted carrot on the plate. Whole, nicely done – roasted carrots are the best.
Red cabbage is something I tolerate. I can handle a small portion once in a while. A bit like listening to Nick Clegg – I can tolerate him for 5 minutes once a year. This was quite heavy stuff, the darkest red cabbage that I’ve ever had. I do always worry that the taste infects the gravy and then infects the rest of the dinner – but this was pretty nicely cooked – red cabbage fans would have approved.
The parsnips were pretty excellent. Roasted, perfectly soft in the middle, there seemed just a hint of thyme though that could be my imagination.
And the roast potatoes were pretty damn fine efforts too. Two large potatoes, as fluffy as a Teletubby inside, though could have been a little crispier on the outside. But I’m not complaining. Not like I did to HMRC the other week. I sent them a rather long letter in response to their P800 form telling me that I had underpaid tax.
Being an “unemployed Tory cunt” (not my words but fairly accurate), I was not amused.
I advised them of my current financial predicament and how hard it was to afford a roast dinner on a Sunday. I proposed to them that they waited until I had a job so I could then afford to pay it back out of PAYE, which is how they would usually collect it. I did also advise that if I did not become a rich and famous Youtube star (or get a job) by the end of the next tax year, that I would apply for a sex change, move to Thailand and become a ladyboy, and repay them that way.
I have not yet had a response.
Where was I? Oh yeah, the toilets were pretty good. How stylish are these?
Oh shit. You know I’m a man now. Or at least I currently identify as a man. Or maybe I’m a whore and just sucked off someone? Or maybe they are unisex toilets, because gender is just a societally enforced construct, man, don’t you know?
Yorkshire pudding. Fairly large, homemade – a fraction overdone but not as much as the picture suggests. Like all of the dinner so far, predictably good.
Then there was the pork shoulder. Tastier than your average pork loin, it just had that added succulence. It was a good piece of pork, 3 fairly thick slices of shoulder, very easy to cut. I was reasonably impressed.
I was also blessed with a long strip of crackling – a touch on the dry side but that was soon softened up with copious gravy, whilst remaining crunchily yumtastic. It was pretty cracking crackling.
And it was the right decision. Three of my accomplices (check me out – more than one friend) had the beef, and it was fairly tough and overdone by all accounts – two of them seemed to have more gristle and fat than actual beef. Had I chosen beef then I certainly would not have been amused.
Finally, the gravy. This let the side down a tad – it seemed to be a red wine gravy (an odd choice for pork, in my book) – though it had a very appealing colour to it, the taste just wasn’t quite right for me – maybe it was infected with the red cabbage. Possibly a bit horses for courses, as others on the table seemed happy with it. Though I did want to lick the plate, so maybe it was pretty good.
Overall it was a very good roast dinner. There was never a point where it was singing to me like Barry White, but likewise there was no Ed from Steps either. A thoroughly enjoyable roast, in a decent pub with slightly old-school wallpaper. I’m going to give it a healthy 7.60 out of 10.
I think there will be a roast dinner next Sunday but I’ve no idea where yet. Praise the Lord. Inshallah. Gravy.
The Enterprise Public House, Camden, North London
Station: Chalk Farm
Tube Lines: Northern
Fare Zone: Zone 2