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 me...it will likely take until the end of 2024 until all images are reviewed and displayed correctly. Sigh.
The big weekend finally arrived. The 250th roast dinner review – and I chose to celebrate it at Fallow, in St James’s.
Well I thought 250 roast dinners was something to celebrate anyway, though maybe given that I’ve spent around £50 on each roast dinner including drinks and transport, which equates to £12,500 that I’ve spent attempting to entertain and educate around 17 followers every week, perhaps I should be commiserating.
Just think of all the Bitcoin I could have had. Or a flat deposit. Don’t even think of telling Tim Gurner. Too niche? Do you want a link? Yeah I bet you thought that came from some deranged Conservative backbench soon-to-be-ex-MP, didn’t you?
I realised a few weeks ago that this rather big round number was coming up, assuming that I’ve not missed any off my league table which is closer to probable than possible, but who cares if it really is 250 or 251. It’s 250 to the best of my knowledge, in the same way that Liz Truss was once Prime Minister to the best of my knowledge.
I was all set up, ready for mass media coverage of the big event, when what happened? The King decided he wanted the weekend all to himself. I didn’t even get one of those shitty MyLondon articles hidden by a million adverts about my achievements. Hell, not even Londonist featured me and they wrote an article about London’s best buttons to press this week.
And how they didn’t feature this one from Liverpool Street Station’s Metropolitan line platform is even more of a mystery than why I’ve never pressed it, especially with the arrow telling me to press it. Albeit mostly I’ve feared it might shut down the whole signalling system.
250 roast dinner reviews
The one place on my to-do list that I thought had a chance of beating Blacklock, was Fallow.
It’s somewhere I’ve been saving for a special occasion, and I’ve seen all the other roast dinner Instagrammers go there (none of whom are anywhere near 250 reviews may I add – or even 250 characters on a review) and fawn over how everything is so perfect.
I actually discovered Fallow on Instagram either 2021 or 2022, not knowing it did a roast dinner at the time, just been impressed with the look of the main dishes, and then I added it to the to-do list straight away – this was pretty much when it opened.
Plus I’ve actually eaten here too, on a Saturday night – the food was all excellent and creative, using parts of animals that are more often overlooked. There is both thought and style that have gone into Fallow.
Into Fallow’s food anyway, as the interior design looks a bit 1980’s New York bank clashing with a bit of Instagramism and some cool AF/godawful (delete as appropriate) modern lighting. I kind of thought it was tacky, but I’m also planning on having multiple photographs of Margaret Thatcher in my bathroom for my new flat that I might buy if I ever hear back from the estate agent, so maybe question my design tastes also.
One thing that got my goat was charging £7.00 for a beer. You may think that is normal in 2023, but not in 2/3s servings, which effectively makes it £10.50 for a pint, which you may think is normal in 2024.
Not only that, but it was basic beer bitch, Atlantic Pale Ale. Meh. There was an even more forgettable lager too, or a rather eye-opening wine list too, plus a pleasingly curated cocktail list – though I tend to need to be both sozzled and bloated to switch to cocktails.
250 roast dinner reviews > 40 coronations. Suck on that, Charlie.
My attempts at choosing places for the special (ish) number roasts have been a bit hit and miss in terms of success. Madame Pigg was going to be roast dinner 125 and was excellent, until I realised that I had a couple of places missing from my league table, so really it was 127.
Hawksmoor was number 25 and was disappointing. The Pig & Butcher was number 50 and was very good – but not outstandingly so. Eat Lagom was roast dinner 100 and was the saltiest roast dinner I’ve ever had. Second saltiest, actually. The Farrier in Camden was roast dinner 175 and was another disappointment.
Tila in Deptford was roast dinner 200 – which is one of the more successful round number chosen ones, yet it didn’t come with roast potatoes.
Fallow has an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs work, and I remained pretty confident that this would score in the 8’s as I watched them work, and watched roast potatoes looking crispy, and sufficient gravy being poured.
And there was that nagging nervousness that maybe it would be better than Blacklock, that maybe I would need to have that conversation with myself – which I wasn’t sure I was capable of given that my hangover was pumping – apparently I was so drunk the afternoon before that I wanted to fight the security, and if you know me, you know how ridiculous the idea of me fighting a cardboard cut-out is, let alone someone 300 times my muscle mass.
Options on the menu were beef rump, pork belly or venison, all priced at £32.00. Ouchie.
I’d made my mind up in advance that I was ordering the pork belly, but if I had seen one plated up during that time, then I may have changed my mind – as both the venison and beef looked far superior.
It being a special occasion, we ordered starters, so you’ll finally get to see that I’m shit at photographing all food – not just roast dinners.
I love croquetas. There’s a restaurant serving nothing but, that I need to go to soon. These were fairly happy and glorious, silky pureed cauliflower inside, juxtaposed with black garlic mayonnaise with a light and airy cheese on top (Bermondsey cheese, apparently).
250 roast dinner reviews – where is my knighthood?
Our roasts didn’t take long to arrive after our mini-starters (those 4 croquetas were to share between 2 of us).
Of course, it is lacking something, and a southerner with a large jug of gravy came around to pour it – and I finally know what my back-up plan is for when AI eats my software engineering job.
Well, it’s either that or open a gravy-dipping bar, or perhaps a 24/7 roast dinner restaurant that isn’t shit or overpriced. If only I hadn’t spent around £12,500 on eating roast dinners over the last few years.
Starting with the carrots which were excellent. Phew. I feel like I said the same thing last week (and am quite tempted to just copy and paste), but the carrots really were carroty – the flavour brought out so well, with some charring from the roasting of them (perhaps finished off in a pan).
The spring greens were pleasant enough, with a fair taste of garlic to them and a slick feel.
The highlight of the vegetables was the mashed swede, which really was superb – creamy and swedey with a very slight hint of herbs.
250 roast dinner review – pledge allegiance to the Lord Gravy
Is now a good time to mention that I used to work for a bank, in the back office, doing mind-numbing admin like updating customer addresses? I saw that one of my colleagues had changed his middle name to “Bad Boy”, so I decided that I’d change my salutation to “King”.
Alas, this came up on a management report, and I was informed the next day that this was actually a sackable offence by two managers desperately trying not to laugh, and to change it back. However, it seems that I apparently didn’t know how to do my job properly as 22 years later I still get some bank correspondence written in the salutation of King.
The roast potatoes were a scarily light colour, but actually were pretty good. Crispy enough on the outside and fairly soft on the inside – they needed longer in an oven to perfect them, but they were sufficiently cooked to be enjoyable. Maybe not so much at the £32.00 price point though.
Worth noting that one of my roast potatoes was a bit dry inside, and one accomplice reported a mixture of good and poor roasties. On the flip side, there was actually 4 of them – though guess how many my regular accomplice received? Yep, 5.
On the other hand, the Yorkshire pudding was quite clearly overcooked. It was edible but not enjoyable. The sludge underneath, by the way, is their version of apple sauce I guess, but I only need one condiment on a roast – it begins with a G and ends in a Y.
It really was a puny portion of pork for the price – the photographs actually make it look bigger than it felt at the time. It wasn’t anything special either – mostly it was flavoursome and juicy, though on the base layer it was going a little dry. The crackling was wispily delightful, although it came on its own.
Finally, the gravy, which was sufficiently thick and had a vague richness to it, but otherwise there isn’t much to say about it. Simply, it worked well – but didn’t do any more.
Fallow – roast dinner 250
It’s been a while since I’ve had to have the “is this better than Blacklock was in 2019” conversation with myself – it normally happens once a year, but seeing the pork and the overcooked yorkie, meant that I knew this wasn’t the case from the off. It wasn’t even better than off-form Blacklock in January 2023.
My beef-eating accomplice described her envy-inducing beef as well-flavoured but chewy, my venison-eating accomplice enjoyed his venison but also found it too rich for a roast.
Fallow do provide a very good roast dinner, but it isn’t a wow, as you may have worked out. And it is £32.00.
In terms of vegetables, it really was excellent – the carrots and swede being memorably so. Only the yorkie was disappointing in terms of quality, it being overcooked and therefore over-crispy, though the puny portion size for the pork belly was also a downside.
I’d heard that the service at Fallow was impressive, but I would just call it fine – they were attentive and nice, but otherwise not especially noteworthy.
Scores from my accomplices were all in the 8’s – an 8.60, an 8.50 and an 8.00.
It just about gets a score in the 8’s from me – my score is an 8.01 out of 10.
If you don’t mind paying a bit more, then I think you should go to Fallow – but maybe go on a non-Sunday – you won’t be disappointed with their roasts (unless you expect it to be better than Blacklock), but I think their kitchen creativity deserves the main menu being explored instead.
Next week I’m having a roast dinner in a chain restaurant. Expectations are lower.
Fallow, St James’s
Station: Piccadilly Circus
Tube Lines: Bakerloo, Piccadilly
Fare Zone: Zone 1
Loved & Loathed
Loved: In terms of vegetables, it really was excellent - the carrots and swede being memorably so.
Loathed: Overcooked yorkie, puny piece of pork belly and expensive for what it was.