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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.
And then it was time to check out the venerable steak restaurant, Goodman, in Canary Wharf. Of course they do great steak, you can skip that part – but can they do decent roasties?
Whatever happened at Goodman, I knew that I wouldn’t be eating the worst potatoes of the week, for on the Friday I had the curious fortune to eat at Arcade, the new “street food” ensemble at Battersea Power Station.
Like everything at Battersea Power Station, Arcade is heavy on the design, and somewhat lacking on the substance. An internet equivalent to one of those annoying websites which take 30 seconds to load (hey Big Mamma group) when all you want to do is check out a menu, but no, they want you to go through their flashy loading sequence for the 18th time.
I didn’t photograph the Bombay Spiced Potatoes, as you wouldn’t have seen how bad they were, or even seen any potato – they were the tiniest chunks of crispy potato, yet so stale that I might as well have eaten cardboard. Quite impressively dreadful.
I used to want to be a dancer. Main problem was that I didn’t like other people’s music. Or being told how to dance. Or what to wear.
OK, I just enjoyed taking ecstacy and dancing the night away. And then not being capable of eating a Sunday roast.
Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion.
I didn’t really take much notice of the inside of Goodman, though it was notably quiet. Of course, Goodman are known for their steak – so much so that it has been on my Monday to Saturday to-do list since I moved to London 7 years ago. And therefore maybe not so known for their Sunday roasts. Did you even know they did Sunday roasts?
Out of the 3 locations; City, Mayfair and Canary Wharf, this is the only one to offer a Sunday roast. The other two don’t even open on a Sunday. It isn’t exactly if a steak restaurant cannot be known for doing good Sunday roasts in London. Yet it was pretty empty.
OK, bank holiday in August – lots of Canary Wharf residents were no doubt at carnival. Or perhaps at their chateaux in Bordeaux. Or enjoying the marvellous English summer in a park.
We had free bread which is obviously as free as the street food in Arcade is from the street, and not instead from a sizable corporation pretending to do street food.
I cannot say that I was fussed about the bread – though the beer, when it finally arrived, after they finally took our drinks order (or possibly me being impatient) was surprisingly excellent. A very drinkable, slightly fruity pale ale by some brewery I’d not heard of.
Even better was the Malbec – I’m not going to pretend tones of anything, its difficult enough to remember what roast potatoes taste of, let alone wine, but damn it was good wine. And we did that ordering without looking at the prices thing – thankfully and surprisingly it was only £32 a bottle.
Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.
There were two real options – beef or beef. You know you have a good group when two people want to share the rib, and the other two want the striploin. Sharing the rib was £40.00 each, and the striploin was £35.00.
For the vegetarians there was chicken. Ohhhh. For the vegetarians…dancing vagina?
Well, you could have had chicken for £28.00, but then you needed to pay an extra £10.00 for roast trimmings (as opposed to just eating chicken?). For the vegetarians…well…quinoa. Ha!
Possibly the first thing we noticed about the interior of Goodman was when they tried to bring out plates out. It was far too ambitious to fit drinks, some of us double-parked (triple if you include the enforced water), then to offer empty plates, along with dishes where the meat and vegetables were.
Yep, one of those restaurants that make you suffer meal-plating Tetris – trying to pass different sized plates into different blocks without dropping food, scolding yourself, or pouring gravy on an accomplice. Only one fork went overboard, and it wasn’t my doing.
So if you don’t like how it is presented, then fuck you. I tried.
He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name…
The cabbage was practically raw – barely cooked, barely edible, then charred. What a waste of hispi cabbage – the vegetable that won vegetable of the year in 2022. It didn’t taste of anything – had the gravy tasted of something then it might have been marginally enjoyable. Fuck the pain away.
There was a shallot.
I mean, what are you expecting me to say about a shallot? I’m not paying £58 to go on Jay Rayner’s food writing course, so just accept it as fine. It’s just a shallot. It was soft and tasted of shallot.
The whole carrots were pretty glorious – soft, succulent and tasting of carrot – with a hint of butter.
I only had one twig of tenderstem broccoli, which was spot on in terms of crunch, for my preferences – though one accomplice said hers was too tough.
We ordered cauliflower cheese at £10 a bowl – and barely ate half of it. That wasn’t because it was unappealing – it was just down to too much food. I assume the weirdly grey nature of it was the truffle I could taste – it perhaps wasn’t as visually appealing as it could have been, but it was creamy and cheesy, if arguably verging on the mushy.
One of my accomplices raved about her roast potatoes – perhaps there were different batches going on, as I wasn’t so convinced.
On the positive side – they tasted rather delightful, roasted in beef fat (another reason for no vegetarian option one assumes). Alas, mine were kind of old and chewy. Not overly so, not Young’s pub old, not Arcade street food ancient, but sufficient for me not to understand my accomplice’s raving.
A different accomplice thought the Yorkshire pudding was the best of the year. I grant you that’s a similar bar to suggesting Rishi Sunak was the most competent Prime Minister of 2022, but it was fairly soft, not especially old, and had some appeal. For me, definitely not the best yorkie of the year, but I cannot say I can think off the top of my head which has been.
…and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.
Ahhh time to talk beef.
Despite being rib of beef, there was little fat, it was mostly tender beef, juicy though with a notable charred outside, to give it a slightly dirty-feeling contrast. And I mean dirty, in a suck and let go kind of way. And I mean suck and let go in a positive way.
Whilst not a patch on the Cote De Boeuf (just 3 attempts for my spellchecker to be happy) at The Harwood Arms, it was very good. But surprisingly, not a patch on the striploin.
I have no regrets – but diddle my skittle, the striploin was supremely delightful.
I think there were 4 or 5 reasonably thick slices, seemingly cooked medium – way more beef than was plausible to eat, probably the most generous portion (albeit at £35.00 a roast dinner) of meat I’ve seen in my 264 reviews.
And smoked to perfection. Absolute excellence, and a slight tinge of jealousy – though us two rib-eating accomplices got our revenge by being the only two daft enough to back Liverpool to beat Newcastle at 20-1 odds when they were losing 1-0 and had just had a man sent off. Coming back home from a Sunday Funday in profit is a strange but delightful feeling.
Finally, the gravy. It was impressively tasteless – how it could taste of so little was beyond me. There’s a few missed opportunities here at Goodman, and flavour-free gravy is the most glaring. It even had reasonable levels of consistency.
Good men, and good women at Goodman
My expectations of the roast were broadly in line with reality – and yes, we did get caught in the rain on the way.
The beef was pretty special (exceptionally so if you ordered the striploin), and the vegetables mostly were up there, bar the cabbage.
Yet too many missed opportunities – the blandest gravy ever, the toughest cabbage for a long time, and roasties that tasted glorious – yet were somewhat old and chewy.
It’s a nearly roast. Nearly great.
That said, if my striploin-ordering accomplices were writing this, they’d be enthusing more – with scores of 8.90 and 9.00 out of 10. Generous, if you ask me. And you did ask me – you are here. My rib-sharing accomplice scored it an 8.50 out of 10.
I’m scoring it a very healthy 8.09 out of 10. Goodman really need to hire someone from Blacklock (soz) to sort out their gravy, freshen up their roasties and post their roast photos on Instagram more than once every 4 years, because this has potential, and it could become one of London’s most talked about roasts, with a bit more care, effort, desire and promotion.
Next week I’m going somewhere a bit quirky, that look like they know their roast potatoes. We shall see.
I’ll leave you with some instructions, take us away Peaches:
Goodman, Canary Wharf
Station: Heron Quay
Tube Lines: DLR
Fare Zone: Zone 2
Loved & Loathed
Loved: The beef was pretty special (exceptionally so if you ordered the striploin), and the vegetables mostly were up there, bar the cabbage.
Loathed: Too many missed opportunities – the blandest gravy ever, the toughest cabbage for a long time, and roasties that tasted glorious – yet were somewhat old and chewy.