Another Sunday, another roast dinner and this time I headed to The Bridge in Barnes. After running a half-marathon to keep up my superior fitness levels because I am mostly a sex god.
Oh fuck I might have lied to you in the opening paragraph. Though I did go to The Bridge. And it was in Barnes. Well, maybe it was in Barnes but Google seems to think it was in some place called Castelnau, but that sounds way too foreign so I’ve decided to rename it after John Barnes.
Speaking of footballing intellect, here’s another one.
Someone really needs to invent a flu vaccine one year.
And you wondered why he was never picked for England? Speaking of morons…
So we found out last week that Boris Johnson lies. Revelation 2.16 of the book of Tony. Oh wait…we actually found out this week that the people who serve me roast dinners on probably little more than minimum wage, will have to pay extra National Insurance so that old people who own most of the housing, campaign against new housing being built so they can keep their view of the church spire 5 miles away and insisted on enforcing Brexit on us, can have more money spent on them.
Though to make it a little less painful, their extortionate triple-lock pension of 8.5% that they demanded this year – 4 times current rate of inflation – will be reduced to 2.5% this year.
Ah but maybe the Brexit dividend can pay for it? Surely we should be getting richer by now? What’s that? Three are joining O2 in re-introducing roaming charges?
And PayPal are introducing 1.29% charges for business payments between the EU and UK? Bit by bit, we are getting poorer. Not to mention the extra tariffs, £700m of extra bureaucracy, a fall from being Germany’s 4th largest supplier to 11th, shit in our water, produce unpicked from farms, a £13bn tax rise, shortages in supermarkets, mobile phone roaming charges, worker shortages in key industries and an estimated £870 a year cost for every household through the depreciation of Sterling.
I know that you are waiting for the bus. I was waiting for a tube. No Metropolitan line this Sunday gone so I had to rely on the Pick Your Willy line. Which after nearly 10 minutes of waiting, just sailed past the platform. I do prefer TFL to Brexit. Just.
Cue another 10 or so minutes of waiting and wondering which pill I had taken, and before too long I was in Barnes – which was the easiest roast dinner to get to on my to-do list when the Met line is totally closed.
The Bridge felt quite empty on arrival, though plenty of tables were booked (and some tables inevitably seemed not to turn up) – but most importantly, it smelt of roast dinner.
A pleasant enough pub inside, suitable for families – I did very much appreciate the rowing boat which had been turned into a light fitting on the ceiling. A small-looking garden out back, though maybe it was much larger – peak wasp weirdness season means I tend not to bother with the struggle of dining outdoors by mid-September.
Beer choice was fine – they had a couple of Brixton beers on which is pleasing if not especially imaginative – something that I’d quite like my willy to be described as one day.
Last week I had forgotten to photograph the prices on the menu, this week I just forgot to photograph the menu – thankfully it was online:
There was nothing I especially fancied so I asked the waitress for her advice, who recommended the chicken and the lamb shank. I do like a lamb shank, so I went for that at £18.50. My accomplice went for the beef – despite the other two roasts being recommended. We ordered a side of cauliflower cheese to share at £4.75 also.
Our roasts took around 20 minutes to arrive – one of those put it together yourself roasts, and the cauliflower cheese looked especially impressive:
Starting with the carrots, these were very, very soft – almost as if they would turn to puree with a bit of a breeze. I’m not sure they were roasted – perhaps boiled and warmed on a grill (which seemed to be what we could see) – they were tasty though, quite herby, plentiful and well seasoned.
The parsnips had also gone through this ultra-softening process. They were crying out for crispy edges – they tasted strongly of parsnip despite the extreme softness yet there was an oddness that I couldn’t quite work out too.
Not much I can say about the cabbage, seasoned and softish. However, I could say something more about Brexit…
Onto the cauliflower cheese and this was a bit of a cheese sensation. Unlike last week where the cheese was an afterthought, this was absolutely central to the dish – a sticky, creamy sauce, fairly soft cauliflower (they do like things soft at The Bridge…old people?) but again I must insist on how cheesy this was. Like Ann Widdecombe’s…elbows. Yes, elbows.
The two roast potatoes which looked crispy, were not crispy – and a tiny bit rubbery. The one which didn’t look crispy, wasn’t crispy either – but was soft and fluffy inside. Despite being texturally insufficient, they did taste really nice – again really well seasoned and tasted like they had been cooked in goose fat or something vaguely more exotic than Ann Widdecombe’s…knees.
I didn’t enjoy the Yorkshire pudding. I ate it, but I’ve no idea why. It felt dried out like it had been under a heat lamp for half a day like Andrew Neil’s toupee. I’ve had worse – you know that – but this was below par.
The lamb shank was really nice – the star of the roast. Quite an oily feel to it, but I’m fine with that at my stage of obesity, nicely roasted on the outside, soft and succulent on the inside, and a good quality cut too.
Alas, my accomplice’s beef looked like my mother had cooked it (love you) – it looked overdone and cheap. My accomplice’s words to describe it were something like, “a bit crap”.
Finally, the jus. It’s been a while since I’ve had my gravy substituted for posh watery nonsense – of all the things that seem to be getting worse in Britain, I do seem to be getting proper gravy more often (this is my influence – right?). For a jus, it wasn’t bad – watery, quite a strong red wine ish flavour but nothing too overpowering. I’d always prefer a proper gravy on a roast dinner, but for a jus, well, it was fine.
Can you believe that the NHS is such a disgrace that its already spent that £350m a week extra we are giving it and now needs more money that we are pretending is going to social care but is really going to cut short-term waiting lists to ensure that the Tories get a majority in 2024? But hey, I’m sure house prices will come down soon. They will, right?
It’s a bit all over the place this post, isn’t it? And suitably, so was the roast dinner. The softest vegetables ever without becoming puree – yet that isn’t an especially major crime, a duff yorkie and the malaise of jus constituted some disappointment.
Yet there was plenty of flavour, plenty of seasoning, the lamb shank was seductive and the cauliflower cheese was a cheese superstar – possibly the best cauliflower cheese of the year, at least that I remember. Note to self – start making notes for Roast Dinner Awards 2021.
Service was good, I did get a very nice glass of Malbec, prices were respectable.
I’m scoring it a healthy 7.33 out of 10. My accomplice, who didn’t like her beef but enthused about the rest of the roast a tad more than I did, scored it a 7.40 out of 10. This is the 4th roast dinner that I’ve had in Barnes – and the best of the 4.
I’ll be back next week – I shall be meeting a Twitter follower, which is almost as exciting as eating a roast dinner.
And finally, I have found a Brexit dividend – we won some tennis! Go Britain! If this isn’t a Brexit dividend, then I doubt I’ll ever be able to find one.
Priti Patel is soooo getting sacked for letting her become British.
The Bridge, Barnes
Tube Lines: Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, Piccadilly
Fare Zone: Zone 2
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Lamb shank was glutinously great, good seasoning, very nice Malbec.
Loathed: Vegetables super soft, yorkie been under a heat lamp for half a day.