For some reason, my parents decided to have a day trip from Hull to London to go for a roast dinner. Not quite sure when 5 out of the last 6 roast dinners that I’ve had have been crap, or close to. This time we chose the venue – Percy & Founders in Fitzrovia.
However they did book tickets before my bad run started. Then my Dad dropped the ‘b bomb’, “just make sure it is as good as the place you went to the other week”. He meant Blacklock.
Seeing as we had a bit of spare time, I thought that I’d take the opportunity to educate them about this thing called “art”, and show them what art really is, with a trip to the Summer Exhibition at the RA.
Just imagine if my roast dinner at Percy And Founders would be as impressive, and also as good value as this artwork. Whilst I am on the subject, Percy Pigs are way over-rated.
You are currently reading modern art
Percy And Founders was an impressively large venue, bordering on the enormous – for a central London restaurant. Plenty of covered outdoor seating, with a large bar area and two large kitchen areas. We chose to sit in the bar area – the only people that were.
A fair amount of thought had gone into decorating this restaurant – I enjoyed the little touches like the classy taps in the bathroom. It was upmarket and it felt like good quality materials had been used in the building of this place – yet I didn’t feel out of place in my flowery shorts and £3 H&M t-shirt. I don’t think my mother liked my shorts. Or my hair. Then again, I don’t like my hair right now – my last barber fucked it up truly. Suggestions on a top quality barber welcomed.
Of course, I didn’t take a photo of the inside, but if I tell you that the furnishings were better than this photograph, that should suffice.
Or you could just check their website.
Nice website too. Which is where I noted in advance that I have been to their other venue for a roast dinner, The Lighterman in King’s Cross, which was a mighty fine roast dinner. The kind of roast dinner that it was starting to seem I would never experience again. Blacklock really has killed it for me, hasn’t it?
With my experience at The Lighterman in mind, I was a bit more confident for this one – and particularly hoping that they had pork belly on the menu.
The options were pork belly at £19.50, beef sirloin at £23, lamb shoulder at £22.50 and half a chicken at £18.50. Ouch, ouch, ouch and ouch again.
Aaaaaaaaaaand they’d just sold the last pork belly. I was heart-broken. It was as if Mildred had dumped me.
So I went for the beef. At £23. Yes, that is not the last time that I will mention the price. £23 for a fuck…oh wait a minute that’s for later. It might be an amazing roast and well worth £23.
30 minutes or so passed whilst I enjoyed the company of my style/hairstyle/lifestyle inspectors, and the hearty pint of Yakima Red, before my dinner arrived.
I am sooooo getting sued one day. Fuck, imagine writing this in America.
Anyone else think Donald Trump should send himself back to where he came from? Oh wait a minute…that’s the UK. Well…Scotland. For those reading in the future, that used to be part of the UK.
OK, I lied.
My roast was actually more appealing than the modern art supplied above, and not that expensive either. In fact, £23 for a roast dinner is looking like a bargain compared to the £200 price on the above modern art.
Time for the boring bit.
Well, it is for me. Do you know how many times I have had to describe carrots? These were orange, roasted and pleasant. I think that is a unique description.
See, I like writing all the rest of the bollocks, and to be fair, when a roast dinner is shit, I enjoy writing about the food then too. The tenderstem broccoli was nice (other words are available) and a little al dente.
Not really inspiring this though is it? And red cabbage never inspires me – thankfully there wasn’t too much of it, and there was minimal pollution of the brown water on my plate. It was sharp and fruity – if you like red cabbage you would likely approve.
Big Fish, Little Fish, Roast Potato
Anyone got a spare £3,000 for a cardboard box?
The roast potatoes were not a work of art. Or perhaps, taking the above cardboard box into account, they were a work of art. They had a crispy shell and were cuttably solid inside – they seemed very much as if they had seen a deep fat fryer rather than an oven.
I was about to post the review when I realised that I hadn’t mentioned the parsnips – they were that forgetful. Bland and a bit tough – these need to go back in the ground.
The Yorkshire pudding was more edible than the above cardboard box, and more edible than the last couple that I’ve had. That isn’t saying much though. It was overdone, it was rather crispy and a tad too salty but it was actually edible. I’ve had worse. Last week. And the week before. And the week before. You get me. I’m gonna dig some coal.
You may note some cauliflower cheese on there. I had decided that I hadn’t spent enough money at only £23 for a roast dinner, so I paid another £3.50 (yes I actually paid, not my parents) for some cauliflower cheese.
This was probably the highlight, cheesy and gooey – I could taste the cheese, a hint of parsley (I think) with breadcrumbs on top.
Though the beef was good as well. It wasn’t £23 worth of good, I’ve had more impressive tasting beef, however in terms of quality it was fairly top notch, tender and juicy with some flavour…though not huge amounts of flavour.
Finally, the gravy. It was inoffensive-tasting offensively-watery brown water. It didn’t detract from the meal, it had a light gravyish flavour to it – but what I wouldn’t do for some proper, thick gravy to be licked off my nipples by a hot Spanish lesbian…or just some proper gravy on a roast dinner.
Was it a £23 roast dinner?
Sorry, but if you are going to charge £23 for a roast dinner, it has got to be better than this.
The only item on the plate that was notably good (apart from the cauliflower cheese which I paid extra for) was the beef. I mean, that’s definitely appreciated. Last week the place I went even fucked the meat up. My father’s lamb was annoyingly gorgeous, quite well done with crispy ends and so flavoursome. So they can do even better.
Deep fried roast potatoes? Hmmm. Watery gravy? On a roast dinner? Come on London chefs, sort it out. Or blame Brexit, one of the two.
The vegetables were pretty decent. It was less disappointing than recent roasts, but I come back to that yes I am a fucking northerner point again. £23.
One more positive before we end, the service was really good. A level of urgent enthusiasm, and quite personable people serving us. The dining experience somewhat masked the imperfections of the dinner experience.
So, service, venue, bathroom taps and the beef all impressed. The yorkie, gravy, parsnips and seemingly deep fried potatoes didn’t. I asked my mother whether it was better than her roast dinner, and she said apart from the beef, no, and rated it a 7.5. My mum is pretty rubbish at cooking beef, to be fair. Love you mum!
My dad rated it a 6.4 despite having the far better meat. I’m going in the middle for my score, a 6.90 out of 10 – negatively influenced by the high price.
Next week, I’m going to go to the kind of place where I imagine all the Time Out writers go drinking. Pray for me.
Percy & Founders, Fitzrovia, Central London
Station: Goodge Street
Tube Lines: Northern
Fare Zone: Zone 1