COCK. FOSTERS. Yes that place that you see right at the opposite end of the Piccadilly line from where a cock is an MP. Home of Skewd Kitchen. A Turkish restaurant. Time to be a tough guy or time to be a fool?
You may ask why I’d travel on the Piccadilly line all the way to zone 5 – the final stop – a place so far out from the centre of London that they even have plastic straws – the horror.
However, I was returning from Yorkshire in my chauffeur’s chauffeur-driven car and it was relatively convenient. Relatively. Though I hadn’t quite planned to time it with a military invasion of Kurdish Syria by Turkey and this is a good point to remind myself not to call President Erdogan a fucking dictator cock. Oops, there goes another dictatorship that I cannot go on holiday to. Yeah, Putin – fuck you too. I know you are reading – I see the Russian bots visiting the site every day for 0.01s.
Before I go too far into a monologue about international politics and the ever-increasing amount of morons in charge, I’ll try to steer it back to food – I’m sure you are here to escape the sun-lit wonders of Brexit. Still, why on earth am I going to a Turkish restaurant on a Sunday?
Skewd Kitchen are apparently the Sunday Roast Rebels (good job they not based in Canning Town) and invite customers to “join us or die…”. I’m more nobhead for life than rebel for life, perhaps because I rather enjoy the wonders of central heating (except when it is already warm, dear housemate) and don’t want to live in a communist state…oh crap here I go again. Look, they promise a gastronomic revolution. And roast dinners could sometimes do with a little inspiration so I was more than game.
Until I sat down and saw the price on the menu.
£23.90. However it was Wagyu beef, so perhaps the price point was understandable…you could even suggest competitive given the £25 that my accomplice paid for a beef roast at The Narrow a while back.
What other roasts did they offer?
If you don’t like beef – well, tough luck. I was hoping that they might have had turkey on the menu – only ever reviewed one turkey roast. Colleen Rooneyu will suffice. If you think that is bad, wait until you see how they describe their roast dinner revolution.
The restaurant itself was situated on a ten-a-penny row of shops slightly set back from the main road – a very unassuming block, despite the wealth of the surrounding area – some of the nearby mansions are seriously huge – the kind of places that likely house Extinction Rebellion leaders, living with their parents on their £400 a week basic living standards funded by well-meaning members of Extinction Rebellion – the group set up by some bloke who blames the government for his organic farm going bankrupt and wants to get revenge.
Oh crap I’m banging on again. I need a holiday. Oooh how about some bread?
Yes to warm bread with sesame seeds scattered on top. I swear every time I eat out now, I get free bread. No to communism…and how is it even legal to offer a university course on civil disobedience? Imagine studying that course in Turkey or Russia.
Don’t worry, I’ll get onto Brexit at some point. Shall I talk about the food?
Possibly about to start talking about food
Maybe I’ll just tell you a bit about the restaurant itself – a long room with a bar on one side at the front, and the slightly more appealing area at the back, where you can see the chefs at work – and some mightily impressive-looking food being cooked. Solid tables and chairs with a mid-2000’s mix of modern and pseudo-elegance coming across in the furnishing – there will be a point in 10 years or so where this looks tacky. But at the moment it feels warm yet business-like. It feels like it knows what it is doing.
Let’s start with the carrots – for the second week in a row I was served carrots from the main three different colours – orange, yellow and purple. All packing lots of flavour, however they were very much on the crunchy edge of the scale. Like your carrots crunchy – you’d love these. I prefer quite a bit more give.
The parsnip was over the point of acceptable crunch and too tough to enjoy. Shame.
There were three cubes of tentatively-spiced squash – much more tender.
Also it came with some rather fabulous kale – though perhaps more to do with the quality of gravy, and a twig of tenderstem broccoli, which also impressed.
You cannot see it as it is covered in some curly string stuff, but there was a tiny dopple of mash. Creamy and seemingly piped – it was very nice but too little really to judge.
On top of it was the aforementioned curly string stuff, which is where I am thankful that I’m not a proper food writer as I didn’t work out what it was. I think it was crispy onion. Whatever it was, the texture worked rather superbly with the creamy mash.
Curly string stuff – the new backstop?
The website suggests: Standard roast potatoes? Yawn. Imagine them smothered in Turkish spices so that each mouthful smacks your palette around before making love to it.
Are your eyes rolling as much as mine are? Has Turkey joined the EU yet?
Can you get good roast potatoes in a pub? Apparently not. Can you get good roast potatoes in a Turkish restaurant? Yes. For these were very good roast potatoes – properly crispy on the outside, pretty fluffy on the inside. I enjoyed the hint of spice though nothing smacked my palette and I didn’t even get a semi.
The Yorkshire pudding was nothing less than laughable but let’s check what the website of Skewd kitchen thinks first:
Normal Yorkshire pudds? Boring. We do them our own way – tweaked, twisted and tastier.
It certainly was not normal. It was more suitable for use on an air hockey table than a Sunday roast – in terms of texture and taste it seemed like fried toast, yet somehow more greasy. Hilariously shit – but at least it wasn’t burnt.
Sufficient Wagyu was supplied – apparently the wickedest Wagyu from Japan. Who wrote this puketastic crap on their website? They do at least have a nice, well-functioning site, unlike almost every restaurant in Europe.
So, enough beef, and it was quite flavoursome too – I particularly appreciated how silky smooth the texture was. I might have preferred it a closer to medium-rare than medium, but I’m picking.
Finally, the gravy, which was on the menu as a “red wine jus” but was definitely much closer to my definition of gravy than jus. It had a good, if slightly gloopy consistency and was very flavoursome too. It had a hint of red wine, a slightly silky texture and thankfully no wanky description on the website.
You liked it?
So, if you can be bothered to get off your backsides there is actually a damn good roast dinner all the way in far, distant northest north London. And only 32 minutes on the tube from King’s Cross – it might be the most north I have reviewed, yet I’ve definitely reviewed more difficult places to get to. Looking at you, south London.
The roasties, kale, mash, weird crispy stuff that might have been onion and the gravy all seriously impressed. And the tweaked, twisted Yorkshire pudding is so hilariously shit that it is possibly worth the journey to COCKfosters just for shits and giggles.
One assumes that the rest of the food at Skewd Kitchen is damn excellent too – the kebabs that were cooking on the grill were especially droolsome.
As tempted as I am to score it low just because of the puke written on their website, I’m scoring it a rather high and healthy 8.05 out of 10.
Call your family, friends and the local press; tell them all to head to Skewd on Sunday because it’s all going to kick off in the kitchen. You’ll have the best seats in the house, watching our food-fighters perform as they prepare your Sunday Roast Rebellion. We’re not settlers, we’re trendsetters who treat cooking like an artform without forgetting where we came from, our purpose and the appetite of the most important people in the room – YOU!
Next Sunday I’m just going to a bang ordinary pub.
What? There’s a Brexit deal? All hail Saint Boris – Brexit is resolved and everything will be fine. Can we have another war now please? I feel like Iraq would be up for being invaded again.
Skewd Kitchen, Cockfosters
Tube Lines: Piccadilly
Fare Zone: Zone 5
Loved & Loathed
Loved: The roasties, kale, mash, weird crispy stuff that might have been onion and the gravy all seriously impressed
Loathed: Yorkshire pudding was so hilariously shit - resembled an air hockey puck.