So for the penultimate roast dinner meal kit in the irreversible final ever unprecedented lockdown, myself and my outdoor dining accomplice decided to go for the Livelyhood At Home roast dinner kit.
The what? Livelyhood are a small collection of independent pubs in South London – you might have been in one of them, The Clapham North, The Mere Scribbler in Streatham, The Regent Balham, The Old Frizzle in Wimbledon, The Faber Fox in Crystal Palace and The Perky Nel in Clapham South – list copied from their website as I’m far too tired after the extended Easter drinking weekend to work it out myself.
Oh yeah, Happy Easter.
Well that’s my motivation dried up for the day. How is yours now? I’m actually sat here on the Tuesday after a bank holiday weekend wondering why the hell I didn’t write this on the Monday?
Anyway, Livelyhood. I’ve heard of a couple of their pubs – I’m sure I’ve been to The Perky Nel – yet I’ve not reviewed any of them, or even added any onto my to-do list. I’m sure that The Regent was on my to-do list but apparently not and I have far too many places already on there – and the only time my to-do list goes down in number nowadays is when somewhere goes out of business.
Which, believe it or not, doesn’t happen very often – though that is perhaps because us taxpayers have been paying to keep pubs closed. Paying…to keep pubs closed. Paying…to…keep…pubs…closed. Jesus, I really don’t like pandemics.
Livelyhood. My SEO plugin makes me put the name in at least one heading.
But if anything good has come out of this pandemic, then that has been the answering of the same old tweet that happened every week for decades, “surely there must be a roast dinner delivery service in London?”. All we needed was a pandemic and a government that were at least responsible enough not to think that the solution was “3 days of national prayers against COVID-19” to get not only roast dinner delivery/takeaway from pubs, but also the delights of finish at home meal kits.
What? 3 days of national prayers actually cured Tanzania of covid-19? Oh and then the president died? Oh, but not of covid-19. Of course. I wonder how the tractor-driving is going in Belarus…
Anyway, this all made me think – I’m actually sat here on the Wednesday after a bank holiday weekend wondering why the hell I didn’t write this on the Monday?
Yet this all did make me think – do I prefer roast dinner meal kits or roast dinner takeaways?
Well, I still feel roast dinner meal kits are superior to roast dinner takeaways. I’m not sure that I can justify why, other than meal kits actually deliver to Harrow where I live. Well, except Livelyhood who only deliver around more inner-ish parts of London because Harrow isn’t London to those elsewhere in London – and also didn’t turn up to deliver to my outdoor dining accomplice until after the allotted 4 hour delivery window.
Vacuum-packed roasties are not sexy though, are they?
Or vacuum-packed lamb.
Neither are vacuum-packed humans which according to Pornhub are a thing. How does that conversation even go? “So babe, what turns you on the most?”. “Well, I’d like to be vacuum packed”. If a Spanish woman said that to me, I’d probably move to Portugal. You try searching “vacuum” in Pornhub and see what you get.
Something else that didn’t look pretty was Livelyhood’s roast dinner post on Instagram.
Let’s face it, I am too old to understand Instagrim – but this doesn’t look that appealing to me. Yet we’d ordered by this point – and there was a good choice on the menu – lamb (which was just for Easter), beef, pork belly, chicken, vegan or a mixture of meats – all for 2 people – single people and groups of 3 ignored as always when it comes to these things. I think we paid £45.00 for the lamb – though I forget.
Plus points also for offering not only a kid’s roast for £10.00, but a dog roast for £4.00. Plus you can add beer, wine, desserts, raclette and most importantly you can add extra gravy. Are people in control of our roast dinners in London reading? They offer extra grvay. EXTRA GRAVY.
So Easter Sunday arrived and it was actually nice enough to sit outside in the sunshine all day, drink beer and eat roast dinner. After a couple of beers we decided it that we were too hungry so needed to cook the roast – the first instruction was to take the meat out of the fridge to bring it up to room temperature. We remained hungry for a bit longer.
The instructions said 15 minutes for the lamb with 15 minutes to rest. So we cooked it for 20 minutes. Roast potatoes and root veg we were advised to cook for 25 minutes – there was no advice for the cauliflower/broccoli cheese or the cabbage. Gravy needed warming up – a bit like this fucking country with our never-ending winter right now.
So if I described the carrots as unusually carroty, would you understand? It was as if when pre-roasting them, they had sprinkled some carrot flavouring over them to make them taste more like carrots than normal. Tasty.
Also tasting more potent than expected was the parsnip – the flavour had been brought out really well again, good texture and one of the best parsnips that I’ve had in some time.
As I mentioned earlier, there were no instructions for the shredded cabbage (and I haven’t bothered to photograph it either so you’ll just have to imagine it) so we just put it in a pan with some butter for a few minutes. It tasted buttery – as you might expect, and was decent. But not unusually cabbagey.
The cauliflower cheese was unusually broccoliish – yes we had cauliflower and broccoli cheese. The cheese was potent, quite packing a punch to it, the cauliflower and broccoli both soft but not too much so. Again, I really liked this.
So far so very good, but here comes the vacuum-packed slave being tickled by his mistr…no…I mean the vacuum packed roasties. Well, they weren’t crispy. But they were soft, they hadn’t been hanging around a kitchen for hours and hours, they had rosemary flavouring – they were nice to eat if not quite hitting the required status for roast potatoes.
Lively Pud. Quite impressed with myself there.
The Yorkshire pudding was shit. You can probably deduce that from the photograph – it had a texture similar to a dried-out polystyrene cup, though a bit thicker than that. After a little while I concluded that it was inedible, though I did make further attempts at the end to use it to mop up the remaining EXTRA GRAVY.
The lamb. You know, I’m actually sat here on the Thursday after a bank holiday weekend wondering why the hell I didn’t write this on the Monday. I don’t think I photographed the lamb that well – quelle surprise mon amigos – but it was really rather nice. There was lots of lamb – a generous portion, hints of rosemary, garlic and whatever else it was pre-marinated with.
And the gravy was excellent. Yes, excellent gravy and EXTRA GRAVY. Maybe I could trademark EXTRA GRAVY? Maybe I could rename myself Lord Extra Gravy? This was reasonably thick, proper meat stock gravy that I couldn’t get enough of – I even used some of the shit inedible yorkie to help me finish it – it was that good.
This was actually a very good roast dinner. Downsides – the yorkie was properly shit but that is the least important part. Also the roasties were not crispy on the outside but at least they were nice to eat. All the veg was really good, especially the punchy cauliflower/broccoli cheese, the lamb was great and the gravy gorgeous.
We both settled on a score of 8 out of 10 – we were both impressed with Livelyhood. Maybe I should even add one of their pubs to my to-do list?
So I think I have a final roast dinner meal kit on the way for Sunday. I nearly cocked it up and there is a bit of a story which will be totally boring but I’ll probably tell you it anyway next week.
Though TFL still seem to have no control room staff yet again this weekend…a little digging suggests that it is down to the trade unions on strike…what a shock.
Might as well announce lockdown 4. Sigh.
Livelyhood At Home
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Gorgeous gravy, punchy cauliflower/broccoli cheese and really nice lamb
Loathed: Yorkie truly shite, roast potatoes not crispy
Where now, sailor?
Random roast review: Waitrose