After getting caught up in RoryMania this week, I am considering launching #LordGravyWalks, where I’ll walk the streets of London and have people come up to me to talk about roast dinners. Live video, but still anonymous, somehow. Good idea, huh? In the meantime, you can have a plain, ordinary written roast dinner review of Paradise by way of Kensal Green.
What an odd name.
Nowhere in London is easy to get to for me unless I go for a roast dinner in Harrow – I did once review my charming local, The Castle, though it very much wasn’t up to scratch. I call it my local though it is a good 30 minutes walk away. My closest pub is an Irish pub populated mostly, it seems, by under 18’s and immigrants that look like they hate immigrants. Then there is a Wetherspoons a little further away. I assume you’ll understand why my “local” is therefore 30 minutes walk away. I’m sure that I’ve told you this before, I guess I’ve run out of new content.
You might think that somewhere at least in my NW quadrant of London might be easy to get to, but no, Kensal Green is a good hour or so away from my house. It being a pleasant afternoon, I decided on the 30 minute walk from Kilburn station, through pleasant, leafy suburbia. Tits.
Getting To Paradise
Then I checked Twitter. Guess who had been to Kilburn that morning? Rory! Yes – believe in the bin, my friends. Though I soon realised that was past tense. Alas, but at least Lord Gravy was walking where Rory had been walking. The honour. This is also the point where I should stop writing political references when I start my review because they seem to age before I can publish it. #RoryWalksOffCourse
Arriving at Paradise By The Way Of Kensal Green Because We Cannot Think Of A Normal Name For The Pub, I found a tall-ceilinged establishment with bar area to the front and restaurant area to the back – with proper tables and chairs. It had a restaurant feel to it and was clearly trying to be a bit more upmarket whilst still being a pub. With fairly astounding peacock taxidermy, I must add.
Shall we use that dreaded word, “gastro-pub”? I think we should.
The slightly pricey menu also pertained to this nomenclature, especially with the lamb being priced over £20. Ouchie. Yes I am northern. Given that I hadn’t had chicken for a while, I went for the garlic and herb chicken breast at £16.50. I’d like to think for the sake of humanity that nobody spent £3.00 on carrot puree, but there are people that think significant economic damage is a price worth paying in their war on the EU.
Are You Paradise?
Not long after I had sat down, our Italian waitress (who claimed to be from Essex and only spoke with an Italian accent because it is “sexy” (I would)) spilt a little water when filling my glass, and blurted, “shit service”. It tickled me and I realised that we had a character serving us. Whilst I had no issue, drinks for others did take quite a while to arrive.
Dinner took around 20 minutes to arrive and there seemed a fair amount of food on the plate.
Starting with the cubes of swede. I was distinctly unimpressed and thought they tasted like how I imagine someone’s arse to taste the morning after eating curry. None of my accomplices were so scathing – then I had a panic. Maybe it was the gravy that tasted of arse?
The gravy was a red wine gravy – well, more of a thick jus. Yeah, I hear ya. I normally don’t talk about the gravy until the end. Maybe this is the end. Maybe I’m not going to talk about the rest of the food. Maybe I didn’t eat anything else. Maybe this blog is going to end. Maybe I won’t ever review another roast dinner ever again.
I think this is how people that are not posh but want to be, feel that they should have their gravy. It was quite rich, it was quite tiring but kind of tasty at the same time. I would grow to dislike it if I had it every week, but I can confirm that it was just the swede that tasted shit.
Carrot puree. Why? Why take perfectly good carrots and mulch them? This is an utter waste, and can only be another “gastro-pub” trend. Fuck puree. Would 63% of Conservative members buy carrot puree?
There was some cauliflower too – just ordinary cauliflower, which seemed to have been roasted.
Along with some cabbage. I think shredded savoy cabbage, but you know – it was cabbage. I actually really like non-red cabbage.
Four roast potatoes were supplied but this extravagant generosity only gave me opportunity to dislike them more. These didn’t seem like good potatoes (could be a seasonal issue…any farmers reading that might know?) and also seemed to have been cooked some time ago.
Is This Really Paradise?
The Yorkshire pudding was just an over-sized and slightly dry, pointless lump of batter. Granted I seem to have developed an animosity to large Yorkshire puddings in recent weeks so this is just an accumulation of yorkie-based frustration.
Also the chicken breast was rather “cooked a while ago”. Definitely a hint of garlic though I didn’t note the herbs – more notable was the moderate lashing of dryness. Those accomplices eating the beef and the lamb were however complimentary, one was particularly impressed with how Mark Francois his beef was. Is that too edgy a political reference for you to understand? Well for my American readers (yeah, fuck knows why) this is revenge for Family Guy in the early seasons where it referenced lots of obscure American TV programmes. So there. Stick it in your Trumphole and snort. Or Google him. I’ll give you a clue – he isn’t the brightest. OK, he’s thick. Get it? Thick twat, thick beef. OK. Moving on. Maybe I should end this whole damn thing.
I quite liked the ring of stuffing. Sausagemeat with a hint of…apricot? There was some form of fruit that lessened the appeal but made it more gastro-pub. The below image was because my accomplice’s stuffing had been forgotten so I asked for our due food, which fair play, they served with aplomb and good humour.
Well. This was not roast dinner paradise.
I liked the service. The two main waitresses looked after us pretty well and with charm and a tad of self-deprecating humour (apparently they are known for shit service).
There was plenty of food too. I felt rather stuffed afterwards. Alas, most of it was sub-par in terms of quality. The swede particularly unsettled me and nothing impressed. Maybe I’d have come away happier with just a plate of stuffing.
I Guess This Is Not Paradise
Scores around the table of 6 varied quite widely from a couple of 6.5’s, a 7.5, a happy, and an 8 point something – better than Coal Rooms apparently…yeah…whatever. So, maybe a horses for courses kinda thing. Or maybe ignore everyone else but me.
I’m scoring it a 6.22 out of 10. It was distinctly unimpressive. If you aren’t a roast dinner connoisseur, you might not notice. Though maybe I’m wrong – most people give it 5 stars on TripAdvisor, except the person who was denied ketchup by the waiter.
Sigh. Why do I do this blog? I’m off to go buy a bin and believe in it. Maybe I’ll be back. Maybe I won’t. Maybe this blog is going to end. Maybe I won’t ever review another roast dinner ever again.
Paradise by way of Kensal Green
Station: Kensal Rise
Tube Lines: Overground
Fare Zone: Zone 2
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Service was self-deprecatingly funny, there was plenty of food too.
Loathed: Yorkie was pointless batter, chicken dry, crap potatoes cooked some time back.