Well an albany appears not to be a thing, but there are two small cities in America called Albany and a river in Canada with the same name. I guess neither pub is named after a river in Canada – so I’m as clueless to the nomenclature as I am to TFL’s inability to provide an acceptable service most weekends.
Yes, this week they decided to cancel my tube station, so I had to walk to the next one – not a major hassle in itself but, believe it or not, Twickenham isn’t especially easy to get to from Harrow and required 3 tube trains and one proper choo choo train.
My tube station wasn’t the only thing to get cancelled this week – IKEA, Kopparberg, Grolsch (I’m only 20 years ahead of you there, yuck), Open University, Nivea, Octopus Energy – like, why the hell are left-wing people trying to cancel an energy company that specialises in renewable energy? If I walk into a pub and they have GB News on in the corner, am I supposed to walk out? Will my 10 readers boycott me for reviewing a pub which shows GB News?
Fuck cancel culture. Except for Wetherspoons, of course, because I agree with cancelling Wetherspoons.
Cancel wanky jus
It was actually one of my few regular readers that cope with my trash talking that recommended The Albany to me:
Other than that, I didn’t have too much in the way of expectations when I left my house around 8 hours before heading to Twickenham – and, of course, one man’s amazing gravy is another man’s wanky red wine jus.
Is that a flat roof pub in the distance?
You know, we could just arrange ourselves into separate cultures and we wouldn’t need to cancel anything. You can have your Wetherspoons, Argos and Strongbow – I’ll have my Fuller’s, IKEA and well…availability of Kopparberg. We might have to share some things like motorway service stations, but you can use the Dyson hand drier, I’ll use the Mitsubishi hand drier. Obviously the “you” is probably not you as I doubt I have any Brexiters reading given the slating I gave it. But I’m sure you…they…have their own roast dinner reviewer moaning about woke remoaners on their separate right-wing internet. I would check 4chan…but my woke internet provider is watching.
I did actually write a proposal to solve the Brexit crisis in 2019 which involved two separate societies in the same country – Brexiters wouldn’t have to pay import duties on Australian beef – remainers wouldn’t be allowed Australian beef but we’d have cheaper French wine. Remainers would keep their EU passports and be able to enjoy the short queues, Brexiters would…well they’d have no Europeans in their longer queue. Remainers would still have to click cookie consent buttons, Brexiters would…still have to click cookie consent buttons but maybe one day might not need to.
And you thought Boris Johnson’s deal was bad.
Cancel Brex…oh too late
Chicken, British (phew) beef and lamb shoulder was on the menu at The Albany. All priced less than £25.00 – can you believe it? Actually, all priced less than £20.00. What kind of place was this? Flat roof, though.
I actually quite fancied chicken before I arrived, though seeing lamb shoulder on the menu twisted my arm. Arm. Shoulder. I should be a comedian.
Our roasts took around 20 minutes to arrive.
Starting with the carrots, which were nicely roasted, with a slight crunch and plentiful in volume.
The green beans were a bit squeaky which isn’t endearing to my NHS managed teeth, but otherwise fine.
And the broccoli was just broccoli. I assume boiled or steamed – perhaps more likely the latter, there was again a tiny bit of crunch to it, but on the good side of crunch. Broccoli feels ordinary but it is so rare on a roast that I really do appreciate it.
Also as a vegetable offering were the parsnips. I’d suggest too thinly sliced as they became a bit crispy, though otherwise really good – like as good as finally having a news channel that represents right-wing views because Nigel Farage was never on Question Time or The Daily Politics every other fucking Friday speaking to…Andrew Neil. Oh no. And fuck me, just how much of a bastion of communism is Sky News?
Cancel preparing roast potatoes the day before, please.
Guess what? The roast potatoes were actually freshly cooked. This might not sound like it should be a shock, but it really is a shock nowadays. Soft and fluffy on the inside, quite crispy on the outside. Small, but close to perfectly formed.
We also had mashed potato. On a roast. In the south. I’ve reviewed so many roast dinners in London that I no longer know whether mash is actually acceptable on a roast – but this was more than acceptable. Like…sensational – really creamy, really peppery – and just added that extra flavour to the roasties and parsnips that were laid on top.
And then another surprise – a Yorkshire pudding cooked on the same day too! Large, crispy on the outside, soft on the bottom – how is this so difficult every week?
Too many miracles, I feel that I need to have a lay down, maybe pour myself a glass of wine. Another miracle is that I’m actually writing this on a Sunday evening – sober enough, motivated enough, and still enamoured enough about the roast dinner – and I haven’t even got to the best bit yet. And there are some topless hotties coming up too. I see your eyes rolling.
So the lamb shoulder was really, really nice. Nothing too crazy in terms of flavour, just hearty lamb but sliced in a slightly pulled way, with tiny bits of fat moistening the meat, the texture was just glorious and every bite was yum.
And finally, remember what my follower said about the gravy? He was right. For perfection, it would have need to have been a bit thicker, and extra gravy did come in a Londonesque thimble. It was a proper meat stock type of gravy, I did get talking to who I assume “Babs” was afterwards (my friend decided to introduce the anonymous roast dinner reviewer…thankfully after we’d eaten) and I don’t remember exactly what she said, but I feel like she said it was made from the knuckles of the bones…or something like that. I wish I remembered…I wasn’t even hungover.
Anyway, onto the second paragraph for the gravy – I’ve said it before, but proper gravy that is really tasty can really improve a roast dinner, and this is an excellent gravy, improving a very good roast dinner. Yeah, you would have to go to Twickenham…but it is close to the station. You can do it.
Cancel the Metropolitan line…oh…again
Well I actually didn’t have to get the Metropolitan line this weekend, but you know what does need to be cancelled?
Victoria’s Secret. I got excited when I heard that they were bringing back their Angels show, alas, they are apparently going to aim towards women rather than what men want to see. Where am I going to get my soft porn fix from now? Oooh, how about my local shop?
Pretty sure retail premises are supposed to discourage smoking? And yes, topless men lighters too…I think about you all.
So The Albany does a great roast. It was a slightly odd pub, like it was going through a decade-long transformation from 1960’s office block to modern pub – and was halfway through. Part-restaurant on the side, part pub, a garden at the front with a view of a car park and a very 1960’s office block vibe if you go downstairs to the toilet.
Yet it does a great roast. I guess if you are going to criticise, then the vegetables were fairly ordinary – too ordinary for a very top score, and squeaky beans are not my cup of tea. On the flip side, The Albany feels like the first place that has got both the roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding right since a virus definitely didn’t leak from a Chinese laboratory – and freshly made too. Lamb was really, really nice and the gravy was sensational. Ooh and the creamy mash.
I was pretty enamoured by the roast dinner, as were my guests. One is even harder to please than me but this was her perfection and scored it a 9.50. Another scored it an 8.50. I’m scoring it an 8.38 – which makes it the 14th best roast dinner in London, out of 165, at the time of writing. Quite something.
So it’s going on your list, right?
I’ll be back next week – it’s going to be another low-key pub, in a lesser-travelled area. Maybe it will be great also – but maybe very much not.
The Albany, Twickenham
Tube Lines: National Rail
Fare Zone: Zone 5
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Gravy was sensational - worth travelling for. Really tender lamb, freshly cooked roasties and yorkie.
Loathed: The vegetables were a bit ordinary, extra gravy came in a thimble.