And there it was. The last roast dinner adventure of 2020 was upcoming and what could be more suitable then going to the place that I failed to get to this time last December – The Beast of Brixton, in Brixton.
It was one of the best roast dinners of 2019 and I missed it, thanks to being on call and actually getting that dreaded automated robot from California telling me that going out for a roast dinner was no deal.
You know this post was supposed to be my “no deal” special? Boris has ruined my blog post.
That said, I nearly managed to not book The Beast of Brixton – on my first attempt I booked the wrong amount of people, so I cancelled then booked with the correct amount of people but wrong date, so then cancelled but on the third attempt the system said, “no meal”. Thankfully it relented when I tried a week later.
And then Tier 3 loomed (gosh this post has aged quickly). Would it be possible that a second visit in a row to The Beast of Brixton would be scuppered by circumstances outside of my control? Would it be ecsta sí or ecsta no deal?
And there was me thinking that the only Spanish contribution to music culture was Las Ketchup. Aserejé ja de jé de jebe tu de jebere seibiunouva…yeah let’s not go there again. EVER.
The Beast of Brexit
Given the impending metaphorical rectal split from the European Union, I thought I should do some research on the possible benefits of doing so – in the same way that I research the potential benefits of veganism.
What? I did eat tofu last week. Yeah it was as horrid as I expected, but at least I tried. So I bought a book on the benefits of Brexit:
Now, I have quite a lot of books with words in that I will never read, including an 854-page book on Gorbachev, sat on my bedside table mainly so I can impress the hot Spanish women that I will never bring back. Impress them with my intelligence. OK? I’m not exactly GQ magazine material.
Anyway and however, this was not so difficult to read – I include sections on the economy, healthcare and living standards which all seem to have been thoroughly researched and are easy to read:
Apologies if the images are blurry – for some reason my phone cannot pick up the detail too well. Just took a naked selfie though – that came out clearly, hairy beast chest and all. Yeah, I’m currently naked. Well, I have a towel on. Wanted to know that didn’t you? Wonder which one of my zero Tinder matches from the last 10 years I could send it to?
Gosh this review is taking me so long to write that no deal actually now seems to be back on. LOL.
The Beast of 2020
You could argue that 2020 hasn’t been the best year in the history of Britain. I’m not sure 2021 will be that much improved. But I thought it important to finish on a high. Well, finish my roast dinner adventures on a high – The Beast of Brixton really was the only choice – this aberration of my duties needed correcting. Yes, I made it to south London in a mask for the first time since lockdown. Granted I got off the tube halfway for a 30 minute oxygen break. Fuck – I even used an escalator for the first time since lockdown. OMG. Definite metaphor there…
Brixton itself felt notably busy – an amount of people that I haven’t really felt except when I went out for the final pre plastic-lockdown meal in SoHo.
The Beast of Brixton is a small venue, split on two levels with more of a bar feel downstairs and a restaurant upstairs – there are not many tables, maybe 6, maybe 10 on each level – I try not to look around nowadays in case I catch covid.
We had to pre-order our meals which is now where I wonder how I can show you the menu. Hmmm. Found one online though from 2018 – I assume the prices are out of date.
I know I chose the beef and I think I paid £18.50, with cauliflower cheese being £6.00. I think. I spent a hell of a lot on wine though. My bill came to £90 in the end, and then we had another round after. We did have a very substantial meal though. Oh the glory days of arguing about what a substantial meal was.
One minor quibble is that it did take a while to get drinks at first – I had to be pretty proactive in flagging down our friendly waitress (yes she was cute, before you ask) to order beers – Mangoes To Brixton beer which was ace. And the red wine that we ordered didn’t turn up until quite a few minutes after our roasts arrived…in my humble dining opinion the wine should arrive shortly before the food, but hey, it isn’t exactly as if I’m perfect.
Speaking of the roasts. BOOM.
Yes, you see baby sweetcorn on a roast dinner. Yes, any form of sweetcorn on a roast dinner is as wrong as getting your willy out at a funeral. Any sort of willy.
Speaking of which, why the fuck does my recently viewed items on Ebay include a pink dildo?
So the carrots were few but really nice. Kind of reminded me of the buttery Hawksmoor carrots – that kind of nice. As did the small amount of spring greens.
The parsnip puree I mistakenly assumed was forced condiment, so didn’t touch it until after the meal when I was asked why I didn’t like it by my associate. It was sweet. But puree.
The real toast of the vegetables was the leek and bacon mix – perhaps with a bit of onion too. This was very tasty – you could have made a small meal out of this and I would have been very happy.
The roast potatoes weren’t great. They just felt a bit old and tired – I’ve definitely had worse. I really am running out of ways to describe tired roasties. Do you think David Cameron still has his wind turbine?
Alas, the Yorkshire pudding wasn’t anything special either. A little too crispy and aged, but there was more than enough gravy to soften it up, and it did make a decent accompaniment to the beef. Thankfully small – as I am sooooooo over giant yorkies.
Back on form now – we have the cauliflower cheese.
Oh yeah. Creamy, cheesy, sticky and gooey. A really nice grilled glaze to the top of them, with a hint of rosemary. Fair to say that these were pretty damn beastly.
The beef of Brixton
What do we have left to write about? The beef, the thing that isn’t a scotch egg, the gravy and probably a bit more Brexit.
There was more than enough beef – the roast as a whole at The Beast of Brixton was generously portioned. Quite rare, nicely tender – worked well with the gravy and the yorkie. Very good.
Yet the star of the show for me was the thing that wasn’t a scotch egg. According to the menu from 2018, it is an ox cheek beignet. So a beignet is apparently a type of deep fried pastry. Who knew? And the ox cheek inside was just glorious – so soft and luxurious. This was a ball of heaven – a bit like I wish hot Spanish women would say to me after seeing the Gorbachev biography next to my bed.
And the gravy was very good too. Could have been thicker but that is the same for anywhere serving gravy to a northerner that isn’t similar in consistency to cement. Very flavoursome, quite rich but not so much – daubed in red wine flavour (daubed – check me out).
And that, folks, was the end of 2020. Well, there’s still enough time for another lockdown. Yes I did write this part before the announcement.
The Beast of Brixton
So I met the owner after. He’s sound as fuck yet hopefully my review isn’t too biased. I mean, I did pay for everything bar the shot of Cafe Patron at the end.
My accomplices went last year (without me, did I mention that?) and scored it an 8.88 and a 9, respectively – yet still complained about the roast potatoes and yorkie. How drunk were they?
Yep, the roast potatoes were definitely bad. The yorkie was forgettable and fuck having sweetcorn on a roast dinner – worse, they have peas but thankfully I remembered in time to ensure they were not involved.
However, everything else ranged from very good to dreamy gorgeous. My number one highlight was the not a scotch egg thing – oh ox cheek you can get in my mouth and stay there. Cauliflower cheese was excellent, I loved the bacon and leek combo – the gravy was very good too – muy importante.
There wasn’t really any average. I cannot score it high 8’s without good roast potatoes, though the heart does want to.
My accomplices this time scored it an 8 and an 8.2. I’m scoring it an 8.26 out of 10, which does make it the best regularly available roast dinner in south London, that I’ve had so far.
Yeah I rated this place. This is going on my list of places to go back to – though they don’t seem to do main meals any other day, but a toasted sandwich and a few cans of Mangoes To Brixton will suit me just fine. I suggest that you put it on your 2021 list (unless you are reading far in the future…lucky fucker). And do feel free to tell me what should go on my 2021 list in return. Assuming that we are ever allowed some freedom from the NHS technocracy.
I will be back.
What a beast of a year
Fuck knows when I’ll be back but I’ll be back some time in 2021. I’m not really expecting to be sat at a table in a pub or restaurant until April – I advise you to keep your expectations low also! I wish you all a…Christmas and a…New Year – Boris, if you are reading, maybe skip the New Year’s message for 2021.
Actually, I’ll do the message.
I just want to give a big shout-out to everyone that has served me this year. The bar staff, the waiters, the waitresses – those that have cleaned the toilets and turned a blind eye to my accidental mask non-wearing on the way out once or thrice.
And to those in the kitchen – well, most of those in most kitchens anyway, as I have had many very good roast dinners this year – a higher standard than normal I feel. And finally, to those owning, running, managing and having to struggle through the clusterfuck that is 2020. I don’t know how you cope. Nuff respect, as they say in DA HUD.
Did I miss anyone? Oh yeah, my readers. You have shared my blog recently and told all your friends about it? Right? Love you all. Thanks for reading, commenting, sharing and just being the reason this blog still exists and didn’t wither a death back in 2017, or just become another dull Instagram account desperately trying to blag freebies.
Oooh, and don’t forget there are the roast awards for 2020 to come. It could be worse. At least you haven’t seen my nob. Well, most of you haven’t.
The Beast of Brixton, Brixton
Tube Lines: National Rail, Victoria
Fare Zone: Zone 2
Loved & Loathed
Loved: The ox cheek thing was sexy, cauliflower cheese gorgeous - lots of highlights, staff friendly also.
Loathed: Roast potatoes were tired and old. Yorkie was a bit dry - but gravy helped.