New Sunday, new method of transport – it was time to get the Ding Ding to the Rose And Crown in Wimbledon.
Tubes, trains, cars, walking,
buses, Uber and now tram – let’s marvel at all the methods that I’ve used to go for a roast dinner in the past 6 or so years. If anyone has a helicopter, let me know.
And that was as exciting as my week got, except for the edict from the CEO that “everyone back to the office because we work better together”…how do I get vomit emojis on WordPress?
Here’s another edict – to all the chefs of London. Stop making Yorkshire puddings the night before and leaving them under a heat lamp to go ultra crispy.
Yeah, about as likely an edict to be fulfilled, especially when some of my colleagues live 200+ miles away from the office. Though if you find me blathering on about how amazing some anaemic-looking deep fried roast potatoes are in a few weeks, and are thinking to yourself, “hashtag ad?”, then the edict was acted upon and yes I will accept a free roast dinner because I’ve been eating Lidl baked beans all week and I’ve no fucking clue how I’ll pay my mortgage.
I have a Patreon, you know:
Lord Gravy’s Frown
Though seriously, asking a software engineer to mentally delve into a huge, complex codebase whilst in a stuffy office, with no monitor, mouse or keyboard, people walking around everywhere, people interrupting, random noise and office chairs that look like they are designed for a Shoreditch pub, is about as effective as asking a roast dinner reviewer to review roast dinners by using Rate My Plate alone.
Shall we try it?
Evil On Plate™. Cauliflower broccoli cheese looks decent though.
I’m sorry for you life, and I’m not correcting my spelling.
Roast Dinner Is Brown
So it wasn’t the best week, again, but at least I had a roast dinner booked, and even more exciting, I could get the Ding Ding to Wimbledon. Well, it wasn’t very exciting – it stops a lot, which is one of my issues with buses. Yes I have caught a bus in London before. I think twice.
I had a bit of a panic on the way to the Rose And Crown, as I approached I was like…hang on…I went here last year. But I was confusing it for The Dox & Fog – another identikit family-safe Young’s pub in Wimbledon.
It took a while for anyone to ask if I wanted a drink, apple juice, alas – quite how I got through being told I had to “go back to the office” 3 days a week without breaking Dry January (the other 2 days we are allowed to work “where we work best”, which I found amusing that I’m not expected to work to “my best” when in the office). No I won’t get over it. Yes, I will update my LinkedIn but writing this is more important. At least whilst I have a job and can afford to spaff £20 on bland beige shite, without wanting to give too much away about the review. Well, the Rose And Crown is a Young’s pub.
Hmmm, “spaff” is not in my dictionary.
It was at this point that I was advised that there was a 40 minute wait for food. Hmmm, shall I just sit here and admire the décor then? Dark blue, mustard, dark red and cream, with fake candles, wooden chairs, posters of tennis tournaments and just a general all-round naff vibe to it. Naff is in my dictionary. Spaff is now, also.
Oh well, at least it means that everything will be freshly cooked. Right?
I Am Wearing A Sexy Gown
On the menu at the Rose And Crown was a duo of lamb – though I was a single of human, so that was off-menu. Chicken for £20, beef rump for £22 or pork belly for £20. I went for the chicken because I had beef last Sunday, and I might want pork next weekend. If the vegan wellington had been a vegetarian wellington, I might have considered it for half a second – but I don’t want anyone thinking that I’m so miserable that I’m doing both Dry January and Veganuary. Yes I am miserable though. At least this year so far. You are my shining star. I enjoy writing this. No I am not adding Veganuary to my dictionary.
It was at this point that I was attacked.
OK, I make this sound dramatic, but a screaming toddler on the table next to me threw some serviettes and gloves at me – her mother gave me a rather charming smile of sorry, and I went back to reading about Xi Jinping’s latest wisdom in The Economist, sipping my apple juice. I know how to live. Well, I do know, but I also have a £720 council tax bill to pay, and I might be unemployed soon if I don’t go to the office three days a week, because if nobody sees me in an office then I’m obviously not doing any work.
I did later throw some cutlery back at the toddler, which thankfully missed.
Rate that plate then.
Starting with the parsnip because that’s the only vegetable you can see. It was a little undercooked and anaemic, a tad squeaky and tasted of very little. If this wasn’t previously frozen, then you will find me in an office 5 days a week going forwards.
Two carrots on the block – the orange one was soft, the purple one rather crunchy, and leaking into the beige water – not that it affected the flavour of said brown water as there was no flavour of said brown water. There was a very mild maple flavour of the carrots.
What Is A Noun
We also had beetroot – roasted and it didn’t really taste of much, though there was a slight sweetness to it, at least.
And finally for the vegetables, some crushed celeriac. Yay – something had some flavour in it! Celeriac is possibly the most-underrated vegetable out there.
I had some hope looking at the crispy roast potatoes at first. Crispy – kind of, yeah. Roasted today? A ha ha ha ha ha ha. Also some of the insides were grey, as I think you can tell from the photograph, one was stale, one was chewy – the other kind of acceptable. The greyest I cut open, though nah, and I think this is where I threw my knife at the toddler. Inadvertently, and it missed, I should add.
Plausible that the Yorkshire pudding was made today, but it was so dry and rather floury in nature – it was pretty miserable, and I barely ate half of it.
The chicken was not exactly a highlight either – as I was eating the rather dry breast, my stomach seemed to be giving me signals that I was full, despite the fact I’d eaten a handful of grapes, a few cashew nuts and a Softmint all day to this point – and I’m probably capable of eating two roast dinners in a sitting. Hmmm Softmint is not in my dictionary, but Softmints is. The somewhat deformed-looking drumstick and thigh part tasted of rotisserie chicken, which I think is me being somewhat complimentary.
Most impressive was the sage and onion stuffing – in that somehow it tasted of neither sage, or onion. OK, perhaps there was a hint of onion, but I mean a hint – I’m mostly just shocked how something with sage in it, can not even vaguely taste of sage?
I’ve already told you what the gravy was like. You can see it yourself. Regular readers will be well aware of what Young’s gravy is like. Look – it was on my to-do list from years ago, OK? And I couldn’t be arsed as I’ve had a shitty week and didn’t want to have a really good roast dinner then have to write superlatives when I really want to be grumpy. And just in case you still need a clue, it was flavourless browned water.
Rose And Crown And Frown But Don’t Drown In Watery Gravy In Your Sexy Gown
Fine, you can question my sanity for going for what I assumed would be an average at best roast dinner at a Young’s pub – a chain proven to excel in watery gravy. That said, a few Young’s pubs have license to cook good food – such as The Lion And Unicorn or just down the road, The Alexandra. So the Rose And Crown could have been one of those. It wasn’t.
Plus I’m reviewing London’s best and worst roast dinners, albeit with hopefully few of the latter.
Bad roast dinners are going to get lower scores this year.
And this was a bad roast dinner. As bad as last Sunday’s? Probably not, but the Rose And Crown excelled in blandness. The only part I enjoyed was the celeriac.
Watery gravy, grey roasties, floury yorkie, tasteless frozen parsnips – you can tick most things off the list of naff roasts once more. Could you tell it was this bland just from looking at Rate My Plate? I think not, and therefore I conclude that I am far more productive as a software engineer working at home where I actually have a set-up to work effectively. And air conditioning. And hotpants. Maybe I should just set up my own consultancy?
Oh and the other conclusion…a 4.60 out of 10. Blandtastic.
Birthday roast next weekend. Alas, most of my usual gang are not around…but I’m not solo dining. Well, hopefully I’m not. And I’ve got high hopes. I can tell you with certainty (ahem) that it will be the best roast dinner of 2024 so far.
Rose And Crown, Wimbledon
Tube Lines: Tram
Fare Zone: Zone 3
Loved & Loathed
Loved: I enjoyed the crushed celeriac.
Loathed: Blandness central. Sage and onion stuffing didn't taste of sage or onion, roasties were grey, yorkie was floury, gravy was browned water, tasteless frozen parsnips. Yawn.