Sometimes I have absolutely no idea how to start a post.
No, that doesn’t inspire me either.
At least you shouldn’t be lacking in inspiration this week, as not only do you get this roast dinner review – if I can work out what to write – but you also got a very special article, via the Londonist, about the best, worst and weirdest Yorkshire puddings in London. You probably have already read it, true?
They actually paid me to write that crap too. Seriously. Living the dream. Writing crap and getting paid for it.
Maybe one day I’ll work out how to monetise this blog – I did receive an offer of a free roast dinner this week, but when I messaged them to state that I’m not a blagger and say exactly what I think of the roast dinner, I received an ominous silence.
This week, if I’ve added up correctly, was roast dinner number 90. A random number generator choice for the first time in a while, and it picked Hatched in Battersea, which I think used to be called Darwin – but don’t quote me on that.
It’s a small and allegedly intimate restaurant, which could probably sit 40-50 at most. A clean and relatively minimal feel, with an open kitchen so you can watch the chefs microwave everything. JOKE! It also only has a grand total of one toilet so maybe not the best place to take a dump. Also, toilet art was not quite that of The Little Blue Door last week.
According to the blurb on the website, “there will be no smoke and mirrors” – though as you enter, the smell of smoked food is delightfully noticeable. The website also states, “Its time to forget your phone and actually spend time with the person you’re with…”. I can confirm that did not occur – however neither of us had phone reception inside so they did try their best.
On the menu was beef striploin, duck and chicken, priced at 22, 20 and 19 respectively. I assumed Sterling, I hoped for Zimbabwean dollars.
The slightly unusual aspect was that each roast came with a choice of two sides – so you’d be screwed if dining alone. As there were two of us eating, and four sides on offer, this was a pretty easy outcome.
As was the choice of meat – I’ve never had duck whilst on duty in London and I’ll always jump at the opportunity. The roasts were a tad pricey, but we’ll probably have to get used to a roast dinner costing £20+ come March 30th…or maybe only having two sides at best. Oh to own a frozen pea factory on 30th March 2019.
Heading. No idea why.
Annoyingly I didn’t make too many…any notes in fact either on the way home or when I got home so I’m going from my fading memory somewhat…though at least this roast was memorable. It took around 15-20 minutes to arrive (no microwaving – I was watching) and arrived on small plates.
Fancy gallery, huh?
Yep, the second week in a row that I’ve had to serve the roast dinner myself. And yes, of course there was still a service charge.
Cute note though – knives and forks were in the drawer of the table. I approve of the minimality.
So, the carrots were pretty damn sublime. Cut into rather small pentagonalesque (fuck you spell-checker) semi-circles, with added courgette and a little chive – these were buttery heaven and quite a wonderful small dish
Random subheading to make Yoast happy.
The broccoli came as both part of a head of broccoli and some tenderstem. The head was rather al dente and just there, the tenderstem charred and tasting very much so.
The cauliflower cheese looked divine thanks to the clear use of actual cheese, and a spot of blow-torching. The reality wasn’t quite that divine, they were too crunchy for my personal tastes, and I didn’t detect an awful lot of spice in the cauliflower cheese, though I’m the kind of person that would put cumin on Weetabix. But this is mostly a tale of expectations as this was far supreme to most cauliflower cheeses out there.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on what had happened to the roast potatoes – they almost had a kind of deep fried taste and a slightly oily texture, but I doubt that was the reality. They were perfectly edible but were a way from being proper crispy roast potatoes.
As I discussed in my Yorkshire pudding article, they can often be redundant to requirement and this was a fairly pointless Yorkshire pudding, which whilst not unfavourable, didn’t add anything to the meal – and wasn’t an especially good accompaniment to the duck. It was very ordinary – yes I would have screamed in anger were there no yorkie, but it added no value.
My main concern about ordering duck, was that portion sizes of duck can be rather small. Thankfully this was not the case – the portion size (forgetting the £20 price tag) seemed marginally on the generous side.
It was pretty perfectly cooked too – rare in the middle with a smokiness that pervaded pretty much everything bar my apple juice (yes I am already fed up of drinking apple juice), though particularly strongly.
That said, as much as I like duck, I’m not sure I’d choose it again for a roast dinner. For a start, I would quite like to be re-incarnated as a duck if I cannot be re-incarnated as a lesbian supermodel – I really don’t think there is a better animal to be, do you? Also, it just didn’t quite seem to work…I’m not sure what I am trying to say here, nor how I’m going to say it. What animal would you like to be re-incarnated as? Yeah that’s the way to go, just change the subject.
We were expected to share the jus from the sharing plate, which was barely enough for one southerner let alone two northerners. More was forthcoming, alas in a small cylindrical (ooh that is a word) jug, thinner than an energy drink can, with barely a centimetre of jus inside. Sigh. It was pretty decent for a jus though, and there was enough flavour throughout the meal for it not to be an issue.
I don’t think I’ve really got across quite how flavoursome this roast dinner was. Slightly off-centre in the way it was done, mostly rather smokey with some vegetables a tad al dente for my tastes.
Improvements could certainly be made to both the roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings – I wouldn’t change the excellent vegetables, nor really anything else. Hatched seem to know what they are and know what they are doing.
I’m scoring it a 7.91 out of 10.
Next Sunday I’m again going somewhere a tiny bit more upmarket and quite possibly with an added scattering of tossers. With a bit of luck, my dinner might actually end up on a plate without me having to do any work.