Vaguely, anyway. I don’t remember much nowadays, I can barely even remember the amount of people that voted for Brexit to the nearest one decimal place.
It was something along the lines of me being impressed by the PR at launch, suggesting that it was a meat feast kind of roast – maybe they even offered a carvery but that could be my memory making shit up, but its cool to make shit up nowadays, it can even get you elected. I remember thinking it looked awesome, this was in the early days of having this blog, it was possibly the first place I added to my to-do list that wasn’t on my initial 30 or so gleamed from Time Out lists.
I was even a bit less cynical back then. I was just about able to think that what was on a PR launch was representative. The only thing that stopped me booking for their opening weekend was some wise words proferred to me by another food reviewer – to let a restaurant bed in before reviewing it.
So this Sunday gone, I had guests visiting me that had come all the way from Hungary especially to have a roast dinner. And if you think our country has political problems – just wait until 13th December when Corbyn gets in…I mean…just compare to Hungary.
Alas, they seemed to be under the impression that going for a roast dinner meant going out at tea time (or dinner time to you southern lot). In my head, I’ve always thought that going for a roast later in the day reduced the chance of a good roast dinner – longer for the roast potatoes to have been sat around.
It should be noted that I have had some very good roast dinners late in the afternoon – The Old Red Cow and The Lighterman stand out. How do some places manage not to have to cook the roast potatoes the day before?
However at 5:30pm this was going to be the latest roast dinner that I’ve ever reviewed.
Stoke House as a venue was modern and airy – think high ceilings, wood panels, bronze tables and a wall full of shiny Brewdog cans made to look like a Union Jack. Our cute waitress was charmed by my asking her how she was – the first person of the day to do so. I do care about people. Honest. Just because I voted Tory.
Shall we watch some football?
I’m not massively up for writing this. I’m not feeling especially witty – Brexit being paused doesn’t help and taking piss out of Corbyn/Boris/the woman isn’t exactly novel. I’ll just get on with things. Blame the late roast.
Individual roasts on the menu were a choice of sirloin of beef, leg of lamb, chicken, pork or salmon – I was especially curious to see whether the salmon would come as a roast dinner, I reckon salmon and Yorkshire pudding might bizarrely go together…but I wasn’t willing to risk it not being a roast dinner.
We saw a plate of the roast feast go by which looked Blacklock-esque – it seemed good value for £21.00 and the prices overall weren’t stepping over the mark.
I quite fancied the lamb so I chose that at £16.00.
It didn’t take long at all to arrive – 10 minutes at a push, barely after our drinks had arrived – the Tempranillo was a hit for the relatively cheap price – the Pale Ale not. Chill out, doc, I’ll be back on apple juice come January.
I cannot be arsed to write anything about this. Anyone know Michael Gove’s number? Hang on, I’ll ask my Dad to do the review – I cannot be arsed.
As we were finishing some Xmas shopping inBeverley, my wife suggested we could go for a Sunday roast.This was a surprise as only twenty minutes earlier she had said we were going home for lunch.We picked up speed and hastened to the Kings head. Although it was fairly busy we were shown to table in the restaurant.
The second surprise was the price of the turkey roast at£13.95 almost London prices.I am Used to £6.95 at my local in Cottingham. Nevertheless we both ordered Turkey roast although my wife ordered a small portion.Our food arrived promptly and the meat was really good ,cooked beautifully. The vegetables of parsnips , carrots and sprouts were also nicely cooked, not over done, however I thought my sprouts from my allotment were much tastier.There was also three roast potatoes which again were really nice. The food could of done with more gravy and the yorkshire was light and flaky, too flaky for my taste.Mine was washed down with a nice glass of Sauvignon.
Overall my score was 7.1 , [my mum] declined to score.
My Dad is much funnier in person. Funnier than me, though I guess whether that actually means anything is up to you. Some of you laugh, for sure, but you probably laugh at Eastenders too. I did ask if they had a photograph but I was advised that it wasn’t their generation. Barely mine either. Also my Dad’s sprouts are ace.
OK, my roast
Today is a new debate, I mean, today is a new day, I have a bit more motivation to finish this thing now.
Except I wrote that last sentence yesterday. But today is now a new day.
The broccoli didn’t seem new. It seemed like it was boiled some time ago and was rather mushy.
In fact, the rest of the vegetables were pretty mushtastic too – especially the carrots and green beans which were notably bland.
The mange tout kept a bit more structural credibility and the parsnip batons were nicely sweet so it wasn’t all a total miss – though I stress the overall theme was blandness.
Alfred Hitchcock where are you?
I don’t know what your thoughts are on new potatoes on roast dinner. I’m not sure I know what mine are either.
I guess there is an argument in favour for when a restaurant doesn’t have any ability to roast shit – but these were roasted new potatoes.
Maybe they were trying to be inventive. Maybe they just decided to avoid failure – let’s face it, it isn’t exactly as if I have been overburdened with excellent, crispy roast potatoes over the previous 130 roast dinner reviews.
And they were good. They seemed relatively freshly roasted and had a bit of bite to them. Though they were not roast potatoes.
At least they were advertised as new potatoes.
For the gravy was advertised as proper gravy. And guess what?
Pissy watery nonsense with brown bits. It didn’t look like gravy, it didn’t act like gravy and it sure didn’t taste like gravy. It tasted similar to burnt red wine.
Bring back Wonderbra adverts
The lamb was OK. Sufficient in quantity and the meat itself seemed a decent cut – however it could have done with a bit more care in cooking, the flavour hadn’t come out and it was a little tough to cut – though perhaps the fault of the knife. Slow-roasted and it would have been the dream – as it was, it was acceptable.
Oh it was also cold. In fact, the whole meal wasn’t exactly overbearingly warm.
Finally – yes I know I’m going in the wrong order but for some reason I wanted to finish off on a positive. The Yorkshire pudding was pretty nice – freshly cooked, fluffy yet structured. Shame there wasn’t any PROPER GRAVY to go with it.
So I’m still not a fan of roast dinners in the evening hours. Perhaps this would have been a bit better during the day – the vegetables might not have been so bland, the gravy might not have been burnt from sitting in a pot all day. Maybe. Maybe not. I can only review what I receive.
And this was thoroughly disappointing. It was a pleasant occasion, the wine was nice, my guests enjoyed our company – if not their English food. I liked the venue, I fell in love with a waitress for 20 seconds too.
Only one of my Hungarian guests had a roast dinner, and he rated it a 6 out of 10 – with particularly disdain for the lack of spice. Erm…something else he didn’t understand about a roast dinner.
My regular guest scored it around a 5 – I’m scoring it a 5.15 out of 10. I feel like I have scored worst roast dinners a little higher, but my fuckedoffness about being promised proper gravy and receiving an abomination as far away from being gravy whilst still being vaguely the same colour just tipped me over the edge. Tony agrees.
Next Sunday I’m going to a nightclub. Is it possible that I simply don’t understand what proper gravy is?
Stoke House, Victoria, Central London
Tube Lines: Circle, District, National Rail, Victoria
Fare Zone: Zone 1