Please note that due to Copyright Trolls, all images have been removed until I can manually review them, one by one, and ensure credit is appropriately displayed. So if the story suddenly makes no sense, then...well...soz.
This is a long process, so please bear with me...it will likely take until the end of 2024 until all images are reviewed and displayed correctly. Sigh.
Welcome to the hunt for Red October. Sorry, I mean welcome to the hunt for John Redwood’s intellect. Sorry, I mean welcome to my roast dinner review of The Bird In Hand, in Brook Green. It’s near Hammersmith. Ish. Somewhere you can actually get to.
Want to play a game of hunt for a bank holiday Monday roast?
Well you already know I had one as I tweeted about it on the Monday, and I’ve had to write the name of the place in the first paragraph to chill out my SEO plugin.
But let’s pretend that you didn’t read this, and whilst we are at it, let’s bath in the stupidity of one of the bastards:
Oh. There are queues at Dover? And not at Calais? Well, how mysterious. Also mysterious is the rumour of bank holiday Monday roasts. I often go away on bank holidays, especially Easter, and then see some places – not many – offering bank holiday roasts on the Monday.
This Easter, myself and my accomplice decided that we’d try to find one, for our arrival back into King’s Cross after seeing our parents. OK, she’s my sister. You’ve probably worked that one out. I know someone who probably isn’t quite clever enough to though:
Bird, Bird, Bird, Bird Is The Word.
I AM SOOOO SORRY ABOUT BEING RIGHT ABOUT BREXIT. AGAIN. Then again, maybe it is me and all the ultra remoaners that have learnt to drive lorries in our spare time when not undermining the war effort in Ukraine by saying nasty things about Boris Johnson’s disregard for his rules that we lived by.
And we’ve all parked our lorries in the way of Dover. If I search John Redwood’s tweets long enough I’ll find something like that, won’t I?
Anyway, speaking about searching for a long time. I searched Twitter. I like Twitter, or I do until Elon Musk buys it and turns into a “free speech platform”, by which I assume that he means a consequence-free forum for planning the overturning of democratic elections. Anyway…again…you can actually search for things on Twitter. They have a working search function. Yes, looking at you, Instragrim.
You can search for “Monday” and “roast” and you’ll get an output of tweets including both those words. How genius.
Alas, the only roast I could find was at The Spread Eagle in Homerton. Not only a bit of a mission from King’s Cross (and then back to Harrow) but also “London’s first 100% #vegan pub”. Apparently it only has “the best vibes” but vibes are not going to replace protein. At least not for me. At least not yet. I mean, maybe one day we’ll all be vegans. We’ll all be vegans riding our bikes. Maybe not John Redwood though.
Onto searching on Instagrim. Have you tried using their search facility? Search for Monday roast and you’ll get either an account called Monday Roast, or some other search term in a hashtag like MondayOff.
How has a website with such bad user experience become so popular? Yeah I use the Instagrim website. Remember those?
Bird, Bird, Bird, John Redwood’s A Turd.
Anyway, by Monday we’d found a few. None anywhere near King’s Cross. The only one on my to-do list was the Cadogan Arms – but I think that’s going to be very good so I’m saving it.
The most convenient one was The Prince on Brompton Road – a proper Instagrimmer’s venue, with bouncers on the door on a Monday afternoon. Exactly what are they expecting?
People selling shady things? Well, that could be my thing. I could be persauded.
I would rather have had a bank holiday Monday roast – but when we arrived (two tubes and a 10 minute walk…oh and a 3 hour journey from Hull later), we were advised that we had to order in advance. Two days in advance.
But maybe I should have done my research:
If only John Redwood had done his research on what ending free movement had meant. And if only I had done some research on their roast dinner ordering process.
I was about to give up and go to M&S (probably to find it had closed early), when my sister then remembered another place that she’d seen on the ‘Grim, The Bird in Hand, kind of near Olympia. We got an Uber. Yes, we were actually accepted by an Uber driver. We were welcomed into The Bird In Hand. They still had roast dinners. We were their only customers. Oh, and the kitchen was closed. But only for a few more minutes.
Did you like the story?
Bird, Bird, Bird, There’s No Bird On The Menu.
There were twice as many options on the menu as there was the week before at 12:51 – beef sirloin or pork belly, priced at £20 and £18, respectively.
The Bird In Hand is a Mediterranean focused place (alas not overwhelmed with hot Spanish women), and you could also have ordered tapas or pizza – once more customers arrived as they did shortly after we had, we then saw some very fine pizzas go past, likewise with some padron peppers and what looked like croquetas – and who doesn’t love a croqueta?
Of course, I was on duty so I went for the pork belly, mostly because I’d had beef the week before (of which I had no choice over) but also because I fancied pork.
I guess our roasts took around 20-30 minutes to arrive – and yes it does look a little short of vegetables, though that is my fault as I insisted on a lack of peas.
However, we were promised grilled Mediterranean vegetables, and in the end this was just grilled aubergine. Aubergine on a roast dinner, I hear you exclaim. Get out of here…and go to Rwanda, I hear you think. Ahh but the plan to send refugees to Rwanda is only for people with dark skin. I do have a sun tan though. I might move to Spain. Except in summer.
Anyway, I officially declare aubergine an acceptable vegetable on a roast dinner. Seriously. It was a little crispy, had a slight and pleasant charred taste, and yes, worked. Suck on your Daily Mail.
The cabbage was fairly ordinary, steamed and sufficient. I’ve little else to say.
Bird, Bird, Bird, I Need Another Heading
The Yorkshire pudding seemed a bit too perfectly constructed to not be from a freezer, however it was actually pretty good. If it were a pre-made yorkie, which is my suspicion, then it was of higher quality than Aunt Bessie – the softness on the bottom did make me question my original suspicion.
Either way, I much preferred it to these overly huge and overly cooked Instagrim yorkies that are everywhere. Keep your yorkie small, folks.
Next we had the roast potatoes which were respectable. I was half-expecting the roast potatoes on a bank holiday Monday to have been cooked on the Sunday…or in the case of Young’s establishments, on the Saturday. I do wonder about bank holiday Monday roasts – are they just a way to get rid of what was cooked on a Sunday but unsold?
Not in the case of The Bird In Hand. They were fairly freshly made, soft inside, a tad crispy on the outside – a fair way from excellent, but actually pretty good roasties. On a bank holiday Monday. At 5pm.
Let’s start with the downside of the pork belly, and that is that the crackling wasn’t crispy – it was a mix of gooey solid and a hint of crunch. However, as a whole, the pork belly was actually pretty delectable. It was really soft, gooey, and just pulled apart – the uncrackling on the top tasted gorgeous even though it didn’t have the texture that it should. Bravo.
Finally the gravy. It was pretty good once more. A meat stock gravy, it had some consistency to it, it had reasonable amounts of flavour to it – though it didn’t scream pour me down your throat.
Bird, Bird, Bird, The Bird In Hand.
Before we summarise, we must discuss this upholstery.
It’s fabulous, huh?
Part of me was disappointed that I hadn’t manage to tick off somewhere on my to-do list, but on the flip side, I actually found a rather very good roast dinner at 5pm on a bank holiday Monday.
I liked the venue and the decor – it was more Mediterranean restaurant than pub, yet you can very much tell that it once was a pub.
Service was good but in a perfunctory way, the place was clean, it had some outdoor tables – and had a half-decent pale ale on draught too.
Downsides of the roast? Well, a reliance on peas which meant my vegetable offering was limited, Mediterranean vegetables were only aubergine, roasties can always be improved and the same goes for The Bird In Hand’s, and the yorkie, whilst preferable to the now-standard over-sized crap, was probably pre-prepared. Oh and the pork belly hadn’t been crisped on top.
Yet the pork belly was delectable, the roasties were better than average, the gravy was good and aubergine – well, hello and welcome to roast dinner plates.
My accomplice scored it a 7.95 out of 10, and you know what? I’m just going to agree with her. There’s imperfections here – but there are not problems. Well, except peas.
I’ve actually had 3 very good/excellent roast dinners in a row. It’s like London is trying to welcome me back after my trip to USA. Can I make it 4 in a row? I’m not sure…I shall be going for a roast with my vegan ex-boss, and we are going somewhere proper wanky. You can probably already work out what borough of London it is in. And yeah, I copied that last sentence from my previous review.
Also, Twitter cannot find everything, you know.
The Bird In Hand, Brook Green
Tube Lines: Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, Piccadilly
Fare Zone: Zone 2
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Pork belly was delectable and aubergine - hello and welcome to the world of roast dinners.
Loathed: A reliance on peas which means not many vegetables for me, roasties can always be improved and pork belly wasn't crisped on top.