Tapping The Admiral…in Kentish Town…a place that is many miles away from where I live. I see your stasi eyebrows raised wondering whether I have gone full on Dominic Cummings.
Welcome to the inaugural Roast Dinners In London Delivered To Lord Gravy review. My most regular accomplice took pity on me and decided seeing as that loathsome wanker controlling our pretend Prime Minister could do whatever he wanted, she would deliver me a roast dinner.
Whoa did you just draw a line under that?
Granted, this is now in the rules so I’m not as cool as I like to think that I am, but I did used to smoke weed at university occasionally and read the life story of Howard Marks, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
In fact, the rules are now so relaxed that I can chillax and toke a doobie with 5 other people in my local area, Harrow. Except I don’t know anyone in the local area, apart from my housemate, my landlady, my landlady’s brother and my landlady’s elderly mother. One of them does smoke weed though.
There have been some dark times in Casa Gravy – at some points I never thought I’d get to see a burnt Yorkshire pudding desperate for triple the amount of “extra” gravy that I’d just paid £2 for ever again.
And it’s one thing not being able to get a roast, but I’m also starved of cute waitresses. I went for a walk to M&S the other day, and saw a fabulous bum wiggle on the way home – all the more glorious for being possibly the first vaguely attractive woman that I’ve seen not on Pornhub/Tinder in over two months. It really was a damn fine bum wiggle, even my homosexual friends might have appreciated it or at least understood my perspective.
There have even been moments where I had considered giving up completely. Closing the blog and transferring my effort and talent onto something else – that could still happen depending on how onerous the logistics around roast dinners become.
After all, it is very easy to see a situation where pubs with beer gardens reopen, but how many pubs do you know in London with sufficiently large beer gardens to meet the expected demand? And with use of public transport still socially unacceptable for social use, I could be stuck in Harrow for some time. And fuck wearing a mask for 1.5 hours on 18 different tubes each way.
So when my most regular and effective accomplice offered to go to Tapping The Admiral to pick up a roast, and then drive 40 minutes to my house for an eye-test and a socially distanced roast dinner, I jumped at the opportunity quicker than you can say Dominic Cummings is a wanker and the reason I want him sacked is absolutely nothing to do with Brexit because I am totally over that.
Oh there’s that line drawn under it again. Hmmm.
OK it does have a lot to do with Brexit.
So for the sum of £12, you could either have a lamb roast, a chicken roast or…nah you wouldn’t be interested.
I should possibly elaborate, lamb shoulder and stuffed lamb breast, or chicken with lemon, thyme and bacon stuffing. Oh yeah. And for just £12 – in the whole years that I have been reviewing roast dinners in London, I’ve had just 4 roasts for that price or less – two of which were abominable.
Collection was smooth – I should probably apologise to anyone without access to the area between Harrow and Kentish Town as you won’t be getting any reviews of roasts in other areas of London for some time! And who knows whether this will ever be repeated anyway…every time I write a review I wonder if I’ll ever write one again.
The roast was actually still warm upon arrival, despite the 40 minute drive. This doesn’t always happen on the walk from pub kitchen to pub table.
There were even two sizeable tubs of gravy – the majority of one tub is in the freezer, which may perhaps give you a clue as to whether I appreciated it.
Except the parsnips were undercooked and rather tough to cut and chew – they were so white that they really should be apologising for their priviledge.
Despite nearly 3 months without going to a pub, I haven’t thought of any new ways to describe carrots. They were carrots. They were fine, a bit of a crunch to them but nothing off-putting. Allegedly honey-roasted but I didn’t notice it, though this could be user error.
Courgettes on a roast doesn’t go down too well on Twitter, but I was comfortable.
Most importantly, it is wonderful to see some appreciation for my taste in crockery. I did think about buying this plate off Ebay but I missed my opportunity. Gutted.
Licking the gravy off the plate would take on a new dimension of concupiscence.
Anyway, courgette on a roast. Not everyone approves and they probably wouldn’t approve of the spring onion either, but I was content and it provided a nice summer-like balance. There were a couple of small broccoli florets for those less open to new opportunities.
From a takeaway roast dinner, I would have expected the cauliflower cheese to be the part that fell apart easier than a eye-test alabi. Yet it was good – cauliflower not too soft, sauce nicely thickened with a hint of cheese.
The roast potatoes were a respectable effort though arguably the most diminished item from 40+ minutes in a takeaway carton. Kinda crispy on the outside and kinda soft on the inside, though the larger of the 3 roasties definitely needed a few more minutes in the oven.
Respectable – verging on the good, though would have been much nicer with another 5-10 minutes in the oven AND IN A PUB. What’s the odds Boris opens the pubs this weekend when I’m fucking on call? We know what happens when I try to go for a roast dinner when on call.
I was expecting a Yorkshire pudding – alas this did not arrive, though I’m sure many were expecting £350m a week for the NHS that Dominic Cummings promised them on the side of a fucking bus. Who knew that Dominic Cummings was such a lying, conniving, cheating wanker? Well, I did. I predicted it on my blog. Who’s the fucking genius now Dom?
Nothing had massively hit the spot so far, it was just an enjoyable roast dinner, made all the better given the long drought. However, the star of the show was the lamb.
Loads of it, for a start. Both shoulder which was arguably marginally overdone for personal preferences but was hearty and soft, and also rolled breast, stuffed with…stuffing, which itself was glorious.
Lamb breast is normally a tad fatty – on the chewy fat side, and there was some evidence of this, but it is to be expected, and was really quite minimal. The crispy outside had gone a bit tough and tearable – but one assumes the journey did for that.
I also enjoyed the gravy. More than sufficient gravy, a little watery – the journey unfortunately didn’t thicken it, but otherwise a proper meat stock kinda gravy, the type that even a leftie would lick off a Margaret Thatcher plate.
It’s good to be back, isn’t it?
Takeaway roasts are not going to be easy to score and keep in context with all the pub/restaurant roasts, but I have decided not to compensate and to stick to scoring as if this is exactly what I would receive if dining at Tapping The Admiral. Yet if I had received exactly this, on a plate in the pub, then I’d still be pretty satisfied. Easily one of the most generous portions of meat and I loved the effort that went into it.
Only the parsnips were disappointing – sure, there are other improvements available but broadly this was pretty damn decent.
I’m scoring it a 7.45 out of 10. I guess that Tapping The Admiral would probably score in the high 7’s or low 8’s were it a proper roast in a pub.
This might happen again. I’m not quite ready to draw a line under roast dinner reviews in London just yet. We are vaguely alive.
Who knows whether I’ll be back next Sunday…actually I do know because it is already next Sunday now as it has taken me a week to find the motivation to finish this and I can confirm that I had seabass for lunch. What you going to do about it?
My destiny is out of my hands, though a repeat should happen at some point. You could say that I am unable to take back control. But at least I can carry on this sorry enterprise for a little while longer. One final line?
Tapping The Admiral, Kentish Town,
Where now, sailor?
Random roast review: The Grocer, Spitalfields