Where the fox is Lord Gravy this week? Of course, Croydon, because it’s all about Roast Dinners in Croydon, and for this week, Mr Fox.
It’s all about Croydon…gravy.
Except one of my companions didn’t get ANY gravy this week – and I’m not even talking the usual thimble of pretend volumes.
Spend each roast dinner trying to be a little wiser than you were when you turned up.
Yeah this is me trying to persuade everyone to visit Croydon. Or maybe actually me trying to persuade everyone to move to Croydon, so the value of my overpriced but rat-free home (yes we had rats at one point in Harrow) will go up.
I’m not doing too good a job of it so far.
It’s kind of the Roast Borough Of Doom.
The borough of Croydon is actually bottom of the league table of boroughs…and that’s without the bankrupt council even trying:
Some people think I’ve lost my marbles. Some people think I’ve lost my Elgin Marbles. Some people think we’ve lost our Elgin Marbles. Some people think we should lose our Elgin Marbles. Some people think we should lose Greece’s Elgin Marbles. Like…why do we care? It’s not as if they make the British Museum any less boring. Ooh look, a bit of stone from 500 years ago.
I was separated from my greens this Sunday. I asked about peas, and “seasonal greens” included peas – you know and understand my phobia, right? At least most of you understand.
So I asked if the greens could be in a separate bowl. “NO”, was the resounding answer. The person ordering before me, asked for her gravy to come on the side, and this was perfectly acceptable. Granted she has more charm than I do – I even had the temerity to take a wine glass back and ask for one without lipstick on.
For those of you thinking “needs greens”, then that is your answer. And I’m not talking about elections, though I am delighted to have heard that Kier Starmer has praised Margaret Thatcher for the great leader that she was, or something like that. Fine, you can have my vote. I’d probably vote for the National Union of Miners if they came out and praised Lady Thatcher. Don’t start with me, I live in Croydon now and if I want to admire Lady Thatcher then I bloody well shall.
You don’t have to pee on a roast dinner to learn not to do it.
Mr Fox offered a smorgasbord of nibbles and starters – pork belly bites, croquettes, focaccia, chorizo scotch egg, pigeon – were the beer offering any good, then it would be a decent spot for a Saturday afternoon of drinking and munching. Alas I had a choice of Atlantic Pale Ale, or Irish IPA. I went for the Irish IPA, and an Atlantic Pale Ale turned up. Oh well.
They weren’t quite on form with service – it kind of reminded me of the post-lockdown time when most people working in bars/restaurants had seemingly forgotten how to serve people, granted not helped by having to do 50,000 steps a day – woe betide if we were to dare stand close to each other at the bar.
Gosh it must be 3 years since tiers.
No gravy in one jug, wrong beer turned up (apparently the one I ordered was out of stock), there was no booking when I enquired when I turned up, I wasn’t allowed greens in a separate bowl, we had a couple of dirty wine glasses and it was just generally slow. I think understaffed as opposed to actually slow humans. I guess the roast took around 40 or so minutes to arrive from ordering, though I wasn’t taking too much notice. It was long enough to wish we’d ordered a starter.
On the flip side – look at those roasties:
Options on the menu were an unnamed cut of beef, pork belly or half a chicken – priced between £19.00 and £21.00. You already know I ordered the pork belly – I’ve been craving some since I had some burnt chicharrones in a tourist spot in Malaga.
We’ll start with the carrots, because that’s what we do. Shockingly un-mushy, though this should be in context of having recently spent 4 weeks on the Costa Del Sol, and no, I’m totally delighted to be back here in Croydon, in the cold, the fog and the rain. Yep, vegetables with a crunch. Crazy. Nicely flavoured with maple too.
I’ve zero idea what the sludge was, as it didn’t really tasted of anything. Kind of annoying as the gravy got mixed up in it. It wasn’t parsnip. I don’t think it was swede. Maybe squash, but the colour doesn’t really match. Turnip? No idea.
The best way to get what you want in life is to deserve a damn good roast dinner.
I’d ordered cauliflower cheese at £7.00 a dish, because I wasn’t allowed any greens.
This was pretty much as good as it looks – fairly soft cauliflower but a nice crispy cheesiness to the top of it. Nothing overwhelmingly special, but good enough.
The greens were mostly peas, for what it is worth, so a dodged a Glastonbury ballot there.
A whole 4 roast potatoes were supplied by Mr Fox – well, not exactly whole but 3 small roast potatoes and 1 medium. They were actually crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside – someone knows what they are doing! Enough to make you buy a flat in Croydon? They were a little “done earlier” in terms of freshness, but overall good roast potatoes. Supposedly roasted in duck fat, but I didn’t notice it.
The yorkie was respectable – a bit dry and floury, but soft and not burnt, so we’ll take it as a win.
I quite liked the pork belly – it had the gluttonous inside, crispy crackling (not too crispy, though one accomplice’s very much was), though was a bit tough on the bottom. Like, cooked earlier and stood around kinda tough.
Finally, the gravy was inoffensive. A bit of consistency though still fairly watery, and otherwise not really doing much.
In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t eat roast dinners all the time – none, zero. Even in Croydon. Even at Mr Fox in Croydon.
Clearly this is the best roast dinner since I founded Roast Dinners In Croydon. My 4th roast dinner in Croydon, and who knows how many more there will be? Probably not many, as there are only two other places I actually would considering eating a roast dinner at. There’s quite a few that I wouldn’t consider eating at. Or going in.
Anyway, Mr Fox. They need to sharpen up their service – it was a bit shoddy and slow, but food-wise it was respectably good, if improvable. Though when I find the perfect roast dinner, I guess I’ll need a new mission.
There was a wide variety of scores around the table, a 6.50 (first time at roast club), a 6.75 (this is better than it appears as he works on a full 0-10 scale, 5 being average, as opposed to the football player rating scale I and others use), a 7.00, a 7.30 (tight on the beef – just two thin slices and lots of fat), an 8.25 and a whopping 8.50. Not quite sure how you justify an 8.50, but hey. I could have asked, I guess.
Decent pork belly, crispy roast potatoes, veg that wasn’t mushy – plus there’s nothing to complain about…in terms of food anyway. Yeah, I’ll give it a score of 7.39 out of 10. Mr Fox is where you’ll be having a Sunday roast when you move to Croydon.
Next Sunday, there is a plan. Will I venture out of Croydon? Will I desire to see the sights of London proper once more? Or is there room for a bit more Roast Dinners In Croydon?
I’m sure you are excited to find out.
Mr Fox, Croydon
Station: East Croydon
Tube Lines: National Rail
Fare Zone: Zone 5
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Crispy roast potatoes - if a little cooked earlier.
Loathed: Service needs sharpening up - long waits, dirty glasses, wrong beer, no gravy in one jug.