You know those subjects that hang around like a bad smell, and just keep coming back at you almost as regularly as the Daily Express believe that they’ve found Maddy? No matter what you do (or don’t do), a few weeks later you have to deal with it again?
Yes, yet again it is time to talk about jus.
This week the random number generator decided to laugh at me and send me back to Clapham – the venue chosen being Metro Garden.
Believe it or not, the main selling point of Metro Garden is the garden. There is a fairly small, dark indoor area, but we chose to sit in the charming garden, which had plenty of covering should it rain, filled with a mix of comfy seating and stable garden chairs – a plethora of cushions. The table was a little low down, but the opportunity for al fresco dining far outweighs any marginal awkwardness…though there were a couple of wasps to dodge too.
By the way, for anyone else from Hull reading, al fresco dining is where you have dinner (I mean tea) outdoors. Don’t worry, I only worked out what it meant a few years back too. I would still feel stupid, but one of the people on a nearby table asked the waiter if cider had fruit in it.
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I know what you are thinking. Is Metro Garden in the Triangle of Roast Doom? It is right on the edge of the top-right corner. Is it in the triangle of doom or just outside?
When I arrived at Metro Garden I noticed the word, ‘jus’. Given that I can count the amount of times that I have enjoyed jus on my pre-ecstacy penis, I quickly became rather sceptical. That said, it was apparently an award-winning roast dinner.
Award-winning, I hear you say. What award? Apparently it is the best roast dinner in Clapham.
Despite having to catch 4 separate tube trains, I managed to get there early, and without having eaten breakfast I decided to order some bread, which was keenly priced at £1.50 for two people. Unlimited bread though the amount of times the bowl of bread turned up was limited to twice. And somehow, it tasted of lamb roast dinner. It was quite sensational – there really is something to be said for the understated brilliance of bread (as long as it isn’t from Tesco) yet this was beyond brilliant. How the hell did this taste of roast dinner?
Surely, if they could make the most amazing bread ever, then they could even make Jeremy Corbyn be nice to Jews?
Oh, it’s just a smear campaign? Well, silly me. Sign me up to the revolutionary communist future after all.
Yeah, you knew the jus/jew joke was coming, didn’t you? Why are mountains so funny? Because they are hill areas.
Menu options were beef, lamb and chicken, all priced at £16.95. There were 3 of us at the table (see…I do have friends) and we each ordered a different roast. Suitably inspired by the bread, I ordered the lamb.
Dinner took around 15 minutes to arrive from ordering, and it was certainly well-presented with a rosemary twig sticking out of the yorkie, and everything else tucked in rather tidily.
Both the carrots and parsnips were cooked in honey, I am assuming roasted in the stuff. The carrots themselves were fairly ordinary with a hint of honey – the honey came through much less on the parsnips, as these really were flavoursome, and almost starting to flake away – pulled parsnip style. I’ve had some disappointing parsnips recently, but these were top notch.
Before we go any further, I do want to combat the right-wing smear campaign and clarify that I was not in Clapham this weekend.
Good, got that out of the way. There were some florets of broccoli too, a nice balance on the tenderness, but with an upcoming but regarding the taste. You know what I am talking about.
The roast potatoes were crispy, but to the point of requiring the steak knife that was kindly provided. These were tough, council estate crack dealer kinda tough. Hard to chew on the outside, passably soft on the inside but pretty unpleasant. One of my accomplices said, “at least they taste quite nice”. My eyes dropped into the back of my head, and I thought, “are things really that bad that these relative monstrosities are complimented?”. My accomplice did go to a Toby Carvery last Sunday though. And no, they didn’t taste nice. Though there was a reason for that, and before we go on, just to clarify any media mistruths, I may have been in Clapham against my knowledge, but I wasn’t at a restaurant and definitely wasn’t eating a roast dinner.
Where was I? Oh yeah… (really cannot print what just came into my head then…I do actually edit this before posting, believe it or not).
So whilst my accomplices were going, “hmmm yummmm”, I was going, “hmmm ummmm”. Believe it or not, I am strong enough in my opinions to go against the majority.
I didn’t like the jew. I mean, jus. I did actually write jew then by mistake. Fucking hell, I really did sign up to Corbyn’s communist plan a few paragraphs ago. And even though I was at a restaurant, there were no roast dinners anywhere near where I was sat, these just happened to be in the same area that I happened to be in.
Shall I talk more about the jus problem or leave it until later? Nah, I’ll deal with it later. Maybe it’ll go away.
The Yorkshire pudding was pretty decent. Or would have been did it not taste of jus. A small to medium sized yorkie which is enough for me – there is absolutely no need for massive yorkies unless you are desperate for Instagram followers, in which case you might as well just buy them. Speaking of which, now I’ve passed 500 Instagram followers, I am starting to get all kinds of bullshit offers through, the latest of which is 30% of the profit from any sales I get for Poppy Apparel, which is not only a crap-sounding women’s fashion store but also has some pretty ugly dresses. Apparently I would make a great match as an ambassador for their clothing. I asked for clarification as to why I would be such a great match and how I am going to manage to show said clothing whilst only displaying picture of roast dinners. Tablecloth? I am still awaiting a response.
Who actually buys this? One even comes with armpit hair. Next week, Lord Gravy launches fashion advice blog.
There were roast dinners in front of me, but I DID NOT EAT THE ROAST DINNER. OK?
But yeah, the Yorkshire pudding was pretty good if you can pretend there was no jus around.
I thought the lamb was good, or would have been good. Alas, I could just taste the jus – which wasn’t vile, by the way – it just wasn’t for me. The lamb itself was of a healthy proportion, had some nice marbling about it – though for my personal tastes was overcooked a bit, but not particularly to the detriment. I think I am correct in saying that I didn’t eat the roast dinner.
Speaking of personal tastes.
Let’s talk about jus, baby. Let’s talk about you and me. Lets’s talk about all the good things, and the bad things like this jus. Let’s talk about jus.
I don’t like jus. Roast dinners should come with gravy. I really don’t care what else you fuck about with, but don’t fuck with my gravy. I’m a fat northerner and I need my gravy. So much so that I’m currently tempted to make some gravy just to make up for my disappointment. You can give me new potatoes, no yorkie, asparagus, beetroot and spinach. Hell I’ll even have a vegetarian roast if I have to.
Just make sure I have fucking gravy.
Occasionally, I have a nice jus. But I don’t even think this would have been nice in a different context, say a fish dish. It was way too sweet, kind of reminding me of a combination of tomato, honey and red wine. It really wasn’t to my taste. Sorry. And I didn’t lick the plate, that I can assure you, no matter what the Daily Mail says.
And there weren’t any wreaths.
I do feel a bit sad as I did want to like this place. I guess that I want to like most places, but the garden did particularly have charm, Metro Garden had the kind of independent feel that I admire, and the two guys serving us were excellent, even if one of them was consistently off in his timings. Yes, there was a fucking 12.5% service charge.
If it just had bang average normal gravy, then I would have rated this around a 7.4 out of 10. But I’m taking a whole point off for jus. And then I’m taking a little more off for the price of beer – £6.50 for a bottle of Punk IPA. Seriously? The beer prices were not listed on the drinks menu, and I really didn’t expect that kind of price – an equivalent of £11.19 for a pint. Now I’ve calculated that, I am truly shocked. I don’t feel so bad in giving it a low rating now. Actually, add on the service charge and I paid the equivalent of £12.59 a pint.
At least they had some modern art for sale in the toilet.
And that was eclipsed by the nature of the toilet in the pub that we went to after – on advice of one of the waiters.
My hopes were fairly high for the award-winning roast but it was as disappointing as when you use those gender reassignment apps on Facebook and look exactly the same. I’m giving it a 6.31 out of 10. Award winning? It isn’t even the best roast dinner in the Triangle of Roast Doom.
However, this can be balanced out, as my two accomplices enjoyed it much more than I did. One of them thought the jus too sweet but enjoyed her beef (which still tasted of jus) enough to rate it a 7.5. The other liked the jus, thought the chicken was excellent and rated it an 8. He is from down south though. Horses for courses, but 6.31 is my score. I’m not actually sorry given the price of the beer.
Highlight of the experience was the sensational roast lamb flavoured bread – parsnips also very good, lowlights the jus and the abominable roast potatoes. Or was the shocking price of beer worse?
Next weekend I’m at a techno festival in Croatia (the token sweaty, fat guy at a festival full of beautiful people), and therefore will not be around to have a roast dinner. And probably won’t be in any state to eat either. I remember last time I was in Ibiza, ordering a salmon dish, and out came a salmon fillet with one measly potato and a tiny portion of vegetables. I couldn’t finish it.
The weekend after, I am going somewhere that I’ve got really high hopes for. You know what? It might even be one of the best ever roast dinners. My hopes are that high.
£6.50 a fucking beer.
Metro Garden, Clapham, South London
Station: Clapham Common
Tube Lines: Northern
Fare Zone: Zone 2