Just think, this could be the last roast dinner review that you read before football comes home. Damn, now I’ve put pressure on myself to finish it before the semi-final on Wednesday. Anyway, this week it is from Thatched House in Hammersmith.
But our booking got cancelled.
At first we were really disappointed and a little offended – was it something I said? I’m normally super nice to everyone and their shitty roast potatoes. But then we read that they’d had a fire. Hopefully they’ll be back up and running soon enough…and hopefully it will be as good as I expect.
So it was another spin of the random number generator, taking into account my arrival from Taunton where I’d been attending a heavy-metal non-wedding by the Church of Dude (at least that’s what I heard him say…Dudeism is apparently the slowest growing religion in the world) – and Hammersmith seemed reasonably close enough to, erm, Taunton.
Though to be fair, the Metropolitan line was closed all weekend (shocker) and my back-up Piccadilly line ended up being closed for a few hours – so coming from Taunton was actually easier…well…until I got to London.
Wiggle it, just a little bit
So, we have a semi. Yes, I know my sex life is so bleak that I even get turned down by Japanese sex robots, so any time where I can claim to be partaking in a semi, I am going to thrust this at you.
What’s that face for? It’s not often I get to enjoy a semi…they are about as irregular as crispy roast potatoes.
Speaking of which, shall I put my semi away and talk about the roast dinner? There’s only so much you can flog a semi before it fades into obscurity…sigh…but at least I’m not quoting Margaret Thatcher to you. One of the heavy metal guys at the non-wedding had a jacket full of badges from the likes of Metallica…and one with a Thatcher quote.
So Margaret Thatcher’s House in Hammersmith is somewhere that I’d never
come across heard of until someone sent me a list of recommendations last year – my to-do list is finally under 100 but I want to get it to a much more manageable level before the lockdown after the irreversible restrictions are fully relaxed, so I’m generally pretty wary of adding to it. However pubs that are under an hour to get to (in theory) from Harrow are pretty useful.
Still, I knew nothing else about the pub. I gather it is (or attempts to be) a community pub, it doesn’t have a thatched roof, it does have both a normal kind of pub area and a restaurant (ish) area, along with a garden out the back and a small pocket garden which used to be part of the road at the side. It’s probably not on your radar, unless you live in or around Hammersmith.
As a blogger, I should really only be reviewing popular places that you’ve heard of so I get more likes and whatever else it is that is supposed to give me a semi…but you already probably know that I’m a dreadful blogger and my attempts at semi jokes will definitely have confirmed this to you. Not to mention the fact that I actually pay for my meals too. Ex-Tory scumbag.
I wanna see you wiggle it
The roast dinner menu at the Thatched House looked decent but unremarkable – a bit like the pub itself, which had some nice touches like pots of fuchsias on the garden tables, but then had plenty of TVs – it seemed to be trying to please many bases at once.
As it was with the roast, with all 4 usual meats covered, beef sirloin, half a chicken, lamb and pork belly, all priced shockingly low for recent London standards (have they not heard of post-covid inflation?) between £14.50 and £15.95.
I went for the chicken – partly because I think I’ve only had it one other time since we were granted freedom that apparently isn’t freedom, and partly because it could be the last time I’ll ever be able to pay under £15.00 for a roast dinner in London.
I should mention that the beer choice was unremarkable also – with Camden being the best of a boring bunch of beers. Our roasts took around 20 minutes to arrive.
I’m going to start with the red cabbage this time, which I don’t really like and others on the table dislike enough to remove it from their plate – I’d already asked for no peas so was concerned about not having any vegetables to remove so I didn’t quite go that far – my dislike of peas is to the level of phobia, speaking to a waitress with an exceptionally small head in Somerset this weekend she doesn’t feel comfortable taking plates to customers that have peas on. So it isn’t just me that has a pea phobia. Fuck that meal in Somerset was basic.
Anyway, the red cabbage tasted like it had been soaked in sambuca which was an interesting choice – I’m sure it was more likely star anise and cider, or something along those lines but I just couldn’t help singing Atomic Kitten songs as if I was back in Boxpark doing a shot per goal (ignoring that that game finished 0-0). I kind of liked it, but would have been happier with less.
Just a little bit
Broccoli was just broccoli though it seems to have made a reappearance in recent weeks into London – it was nice but not much else I can say.
Carrots were soft and nicely roasted – though with a light touch. Parsnips were similar, a tad too soft and squishy – but that doesn’t especially matter. Both were enjoyable.
Two types of potato were supplied on what was already an exceptionally generous portion – the mash was fairly soft and fairly creamy, I thought I detected both a hint of fennel and pepper, and was an appealing addition.
The roast potatoes looked good but were, shock horror, the most loathed item between the group. I actually seemed to loathe them less than others did – some people didn’t even eat them. Mine were crispy on the outside (granted not freshly crispy), but inside were nearly as dry and soulless as Priti Patel looking at your semi.
The Yorkshire pudding was fine, I guess. Quite soft yet quite tearable in texture. Though it didn’t offend me, it was utterly pointless – I’d have much preferred a ball of stuffing.
We’d had all the meats around the table, those eating beef and lamb were complimentary about it without being ecstatic, my friend eating the pork belly was served a slabhead proportion of it – most places wouldn’t even give you a third of the massive lump that they served. The pork itself was a bit too bouncy when I tried it (if that makes sense) though the crackling was apparently very nice – too nice for me to be able to steal.
For my chicken I was satisfied. Half a plump chicken, featuring crispy skin, a herby glaze, generally fairly juicy chicken though the depths of the breast was a bit dry – but nothing overly notably dry and definitely not offensive.
I feel like the gravy was a good metaphor for the meal in general. Plenty of it, and I enjoyed it at first – but I tired of the gravy somewhat as I went on – like I tired of the whole roast dinner somewhat. The gravy kind of tasted of tomato, which always worries me as gravy shouldn’t taste of tomato so I always assume my taste buds are fucked. Nice at first, but wasn’t so keen on it by the end.
As it grooves
Overall I thought the Thatched House provided a respectable Sunday roast, and one that will definitely appeal to those who rates their roasts based on volume of food or value – and people do exist like that.
Nothing really stood out as being especially good or especially bad. Perhaps the chicken was the best part, especially the skin with the herby rub. Actually the roasties were notably dry inside and disappointed more because they actually looked like they would be good…so yeah, the roasties were crap and the flavour of the gravy grated on me after a while.
My accomplices were a bit all over the shop on rating it – 6.50, 7.00, 7.20, 7.50 and an 8.00 (hungover rugby player so we can probably assume that he likes lots of food).
I’m scoring it a 7.13. Like the rest of the pub, it was unremarkable and inoffensive, yet it was decent enough. Oh, and I can confirm that I still find heavy metal exceptionally traumatic.
I’ll be back next week. Get wiggling.
And enjoy the semi.
Thatched House, Hammersmith
Station: Ravenscourt Park
Tube Lines: District
Fare Zone: Zone 2
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Possibly the last time I'll pay less than £15.00 for a roast in London - lots of food too.
Loathed: Roast potatoes dry on the inside, gravy tired on me - but nothing too bad.