Ganley’s Irish Bar, Morden

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Top of the morning to you. Welcome to a roast dinner review of Ganley’s Irish Bar in Morden, and a whole load of possibly offensive Irish clichés.

I would ask my latest AI accomplice to reproduce a photograph of Irish people rolling their eyes at some English nobhead with a blog using shitty Irish clichés, but I ran out of credits requesting lingerie models eating a roast dinner.

So this will have to suffice:

AI generated art of lingerie models eating a Sunday roast.

Morden, I hear you enquire to yourself. You’ve heard of it but never been, right?

Well its at the southern end of the Northern line – so southern that they have space for about 5 platforms when you arrive. Though after waiting over 20 minutes for my first of four tubes to arrive, I was wondering if it would be an if. So you’ve seen it on a tube map – well the Northern line map anyway.

Ganley’s Irish Bar has been on my to-do list for quite some time, definitely pre-pandemic. And I’ve had a few recommendations for it, yet it never particularly stood out as anything other than a curiosity to me – a roast dinner in an Irish pub, a carvery and at the end of a tube line. So it stayed on the to-do list.

Plus I know someone from near Morden who advised that it’s scary in there, and someone on Google said that they have the “WROST MANAGEMENT EVER!” and there’s at least two reviews on there complaining about food poisoning – though far more saying “The best roast dinner in London”…and then saying “It puts Toby carvery to shame”. So it stayed on the to-do list.

Until a follower, who recently moved to Morden, suggested that we meet up for a roast dinner. At Ganley’s Irish Bar. Well, you don’t have to ask me twice.

Bottom Of The Morning to You

Granted if I realised back in December when we arranged this, that the Metropolitan line wasn’t working, then I may not have agreed, but a commitment is a commitment in my world. Just 4 tube lines. 30 stops…actually 28 as I realised rather excitedly that I know the tube better than both Google Maps and Citymapper, which saved me 10 minutes, most of which is the long walk in Green Park station which possibly goes all the way to Buckingham Palace and back, between tube lines. Lingerie models?

AI generated art of lingerie models eating a Sunday roast, but totally fucked up faces,

Fuck…what have I done to the internet?

Then again…what have I been doing to the internet for the last 6 years?

Someone actually opened the door for me when arriving at Ganley’s Irish Bar. No idea if it was staff or a customer but it took me aback.

Somehow, it had some kind of welcoming and homely feel about the place. It felt quite reassuring, despite the fact that it could definitely tweak my snooty side. Irish pubs aren’t really my thing, and I appreciate this is going to be ironic coming from someone who just said “top of the morning to you” in my introduction, but they often feel a bit cliched themselves.

Maybe my opinions are swayed from being dragged into O’Neill’s in Reading too many times in the early 2000’s before I didn’t discover ecstacy. Or maybe it was the Irish pub in Hull in the late 1990’s with absolutely zero Irish customers…not that anyone born in another country or whose parents had been born in another country lived in Hull at the time.

Yet whenever I go into an Irish pub that isn’t a gash chain, there is a sense of reassurance, a sense of familiarity – and maybe a lack of judgement. A lack of snootyness.

Granted I didn’t once go in my local Irish pub in Harrow, the closest pub to my house, despite it being the best Gaa pub in London – albeit it seemed to be the best 15 year old’s pub in London most weekends until the pandemic. And now it is about to be the best vegetarian restaurant on that side of the road. Not Irish. And no, there was no vegetarian option at Ganley’s Irish Bar either.

Fuck Off Nadhim Zahawi Of The Morning To You

Anyway, the homely thing – it happened in Ganley’s Irish Bar.

Inside Ganley's Irish Bar, Modern

And yes the clichés are there – the signposts to places probably beginning with Bally, the posters with the craic jokes, Guinness on draught, Irish teams playing football on the big screens like Liverpool vs Brighton, the smart-casual dress code surprisingly signposted on the door…gosh if only I had managed those lingerie models with raised eyebrows.

This do ya?

AI generated art of Spanish lingerie models eating a Sunday roast, in the style of Andy Worhol.

Gonna say, that’s almost sexy, especially the Amy Winehouse one with the fucked eyes near the front. Andy Worhol eat your roast dinner heart out. Now that is Morden Art. Get it? Morden? Modern?


So the deal here is a carvery. But most importantly – DO NOT SHARE MEATS.

Ganley's Irish Bar, Modern, Sunday Roast menu

There was quite a queue – we left our bags on the table assuming that everything would be fine in an Irish pub (it was), though there was nothing to steal in mine other than a 3 year old M&S very reused reusable bag, a packet of Sports Mixtures and the Economist Christmas special.

And no, I didn’t read the whole 117 pages of The Economist despite how far away Morden was, though I did read enough to persuade myself to avoid buying Indian stocks in the short term, and that I should go to a Goya vs Munch exhibition in Oslo next winter. Oh and I planned the whole trip, £54 return flights to Oslo. Aha. Oh, but the important thing – I found a roast dinner there in a cute restaurant that looks straight out of Islington.

A roast dinner in Oslo!

And Fuck Off To Nadine Dorries Of The Morning To You. She’s Not In Government. Nobody Listens To Her Any More.

Nearer to home, well…in relative terms, I was wondering what meat to order.

A wise person would have jumped the queue to pay, to have a look, but I quite fancied beef, so went for the prime rib of beef, priced at £16.95.

To be fair, all the meats looked pretty sexy once we reached the counter. Granted not so much with my pretending not to photograph photography – believe it or not, I didn’t see anyone else photographing their food in there. Weird.

Ganley's Irish Bar, Modern - all the meats

Alas, the vegetables didn’t look so sexy:

Ganley's Irish Bar, Modern - some of the veg

The glutton in me was actually a little jealous of those before me going for all meats, I hadn’t even read that option – though I still insist that having only one meat is preferable to the confusion of a bit of everything, especially when you have a blog to write.

That I had a blog to write, I eschewed the carrots – partly because they looked basic, but also because I’m soooooo bored of writing about carrots. Behold the joy – I escaped writing about carrots this week!

By time I had been along the line, which took a good 15-20 minutes, I had this:

Ganley's Irish Bar, Modern, Beef Prime Rib Sunday Roast

Roast Dinner Of The Afternoon To You

So, not starting with the carrots but the basic, boring lump of cauliflower that was somewhat coarse and had likely been steamed. I should at least have asked for the carrot and swede mash.

The broccoli was mostly stalk, which is totally edible but still seemed a tad odd. Less crunchy and a bit watery in flavour – very much bang average steamed vegetables. Maybe I should have had the wet-looking carrots instead.

My greatest error, apart from not asking for everything and therefore having the smallest plate of food in the pub (or maybe they thought realised I was a snooty asshole) was asking for cabbage.

I like cabbage, but I could see that the cabbage bucket was half-full of water, and you know what happens when water and gravy mix – yes I ended up with a post climate-change reservoir of water on the plate.

AI generated art of Spanish lingerie models eating a Sunday roast, in the style of Gustav Klimt, somehow with Getty Images tag.

Gosh, its going downhill so much that my requests for lingerie models eating roast dinners aren’t even wearing lingerie. Actually I think I was asking for Spanish lingerie models at this point. And screw you Getty Images – you cannot sue me for this as my AI accomplice thinks a Getty Images tag is part of real life.

3 types of potatoes were possible (don’t fucking think about referencing it, Lord Gravy) – roast potatoes, mashed potato and some rather brown-looking potato dauphinoise.

Gravy Of The Morning To You

I asked for roast potatoes and guess how many I received? Two! Just two. I asked for a few more, received two more, and declined other types of potatoes – possibly another error on my part.

Their website suggests that everything is cooked from scratch, though on the outside, the roast potatoes did somewhat have the look and feel of being from a packet – they had a kind of smooth coarseness that did remind me a bit of my dark Aunt Bessie days – however the insides were quite soft and fluffy. Respectable roasties, at least relatively. Probably home-cooked, but I’m unsure.

Ganley's Irish Bar, Modern, Beef Prime Rib Roast Dinner

The Yorkshire pudding was squished, but I get and approve why – as they try to soak any meat juices into them on the counter. Fair play. And it was appealingly soft and squidgy inside – a crispy outer and squidgy inner – you could say that it was a winner.

Thankfully the prime rib of beef was better than it looks – yes it was overcooked, or you could say mothered – remember Ganley’s Irish Bar aren’t really looking to appeal to Islington foodie types so the beef was never going to be bleeding.

It was very hearty, had a kind of earthy flavour to it – there was plenty of it too.

AI generated art of Spanish lingerie models eating a Sunday roast, in the style of Gustav Klimt

Well I was about to mention the stuffing, but OMG AI has finally nailed the Spanish lingerie model art. Sexy, wonky with still some slightly fucked-up eyes, the beef looks pretty decent and you could almost imagine Gustav Klimt had painted this.

Now I’ll tell you about the stuffing – which had great sage and onion vibes (and yes absolutely should not be served with beef but my life and my plate so top of the morning to you), but was arguably a bit undercooked – it just felt a bit too grainy. Still, top flavour though.

Oh and the gravy. It was very granule-heavy with the salty aftertaste on the roof of your mouth, yet also had some appeal. It’s like when you try to make gravy at home, but either don’t make enough or it is far too watery, so you put in a load of granules to bulk it up. I didn’t mind it. I prefer it to the wanky red wine jus stuff in Islington. And it was thick – or would have been without the cabbage’s reservoir of water.

Ganley’s Irish Bar

This is definitely a horses for courses kind of roast dinner.

And Ganley’s Irish Bar isn’t quite my kind of course.

If you like a lot of food on a plate (some people had twice what I had) and aren’t particularly discerning about quality or flavour, then this is for you. Plus they have the football on, and various sports should you request, it felt reassuring and homely. It’s fairly affordable too, with their cheapest meats at £13.95.

That said, the beef was a good quality cut of beef – the other meats looked good, though obviously I wasn’t allowed to try my accomplice’s beef sirloin. And I like what they did with the Yorkshire puddings, keeping them soft and squidgy, and allowing them to soak up meat juices – its probably the best I’ve had this year, albeit that doesn’t say much.

But on the flip side, the vegetables were soooooo basic, cabbage annoyingly came with a load of water, the gravy was kind of my style but also heavy on the granules/powder/salt. And the really nice cut of beef had been overcooked.

My accomplice seemed satisfied and scored it a 6.70 out of 10. I couldn’t help comparing it to Toby Carvery – it probably was a bit better than Toby, and the meat was far superior to the basic stuff they serve there. Gravy was better at Toby though.

My score is a Toby Carvery-beating 6.50 out of 10. It has a charm, and though it wasn’t particularly suited for my tastes, I wish them many more years of success.

I’ll be back next week. Nothing booked yet – I’ll leave you in the capable hands of my AI accomplice…

AI generated art of 3 Boris Johnson's eating a Sunday roast

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

And the rest of the day to yourself.

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Ganley’s Irish Bar, Morden

Station: Morden

Tube Lines: Northern

Fare Zone: Zone 4

Price: £16.95

Rating: 6.50

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Loved & Loathed

Loved: Proper cuts of meat - way above Toby Carvery standard. Thick gravy, squidgy Yorkshire.

Loathed: Very basic vegetables, cabbage came with reservoir of water, gravy too salty/granuley

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