It’s National Yorkshire Pudding Day! I bet you woke up with almost as much excitement as you used to for Christmas Day, at least before it became all about enhancing your shower gel collection (I got 5 different ones this Christmas) and learning old racist phrases.
I woke up with a craving for pizza.
Which is nothing unusual, I have been craving pizza of late and unusually for me, I have not sated my desires. Actually quite a few of my desires go unsatisfied…but that is a story for another…paragraph.
This week the random number generator had chosen another venue that had recently changed name, The Chelsea Pig – previously known as The Pig’s Ear.
Which is in Chelsea, just off the King’s Road – a road populated with people that actually buy things from John Lewis as opposed to just walk around looking at the price labels, and also full of beautiful people…and those trying to be beautiful. And me not even trying to be beautiful.
Speaking of me and my questionable beauty, not to mention my near-inverted and barely used willy (I should name it), it is that time of year again where I offer one lucky and hopefully beautiful youngish lady to go on a date with me. Yes, Valentine’s Opportunity 2019 is here. Read and weep, with an emphasis on the latter.
The Chelsea Pig is a slightly less salubrious venue than every single building within a mile – and also located very close to the world’s smallest roast dinner, shudder, at Rabbit. It didn’t have much to do to become my favourite Sunday roast in Chelsea – Rabbit is its only competition so far.
It was definitely more an upmarket crowd (or at least credit-card maxed pretending to be upmarket crowd), with some trustafarian types doing downmarket in the same way someone from Slough would be doing upmarket at a Toby Carvery.
Relatively but not especially busy, we were pointed to our table on arrival – one that I’d had to issue a pre-authorisation for when booking, assumedly due to selfish fuckwits who cannot be bothered to cancel reservations they decide against attending.
Having walked from north (ish) London to get there, I was quite thirsty upon arrival. Maybe I was being impatient, but I had to flag down the waitress to get her attention and propose the idea that we might actually be wanting to drink something in a public house.
Words About The Menu And Stuff
It being National Yorkshire Pudding Day, it was ironically appropriate that only the beef came with one, though you could add one, with gravy, for the princely sum of £1.50 – probably the cheapest item for sale in the whole of Chelsea. I did try to advise the waitress that it was National Yorkshire Pudding Day (definitely going to be my SEO keyword I reckon) but she didn’t understand. Oh well, at least the economic renewal after Brexit will mean more English people to work in pubs instead of manufacturing cars.
On the menu was beef, chicken breast, lamb shank or pork belly, priced between £15 and £17.50. I chose the pork belly and ordered a Yorkshire pudding – well, it is National Yorkshire Pudding Day (Google is so going to love this post).
Oh yeah, I was talking about the pub itself earlier. Under new management, apparently, it does seem like it needs a new look in places too – there were some quirky old touches, but also some pretty shabby bits on closer inspection – it definitely has more of a shabby look, in a going for a piss on the way to the football kinda way…yet trying to be a restaurant.
Dinner Arrived And It Is Still National Yorkshire Pudding Day
It took around 15 or so minutes to arrive, and my first thoughts were “what the fuck is that dried cow pat on the plate?”. On National Yorkshire Pudding Day too. At least the gravy part turned up, albeit again a grand total of around 5mm of liquid. Of course, we had to ask for extra gravy as the amount on our plates was barely visible without a microscope.
There was a cylindrical slop of what tasted like carrot and swede, and appeared to have spent some time in a food processor to get the combined grainy feel. It was slightly buttered and acceptable enough – but I’m a whole food kinda guy.
A medley of green vegetables were supplied. A combination of green beans, cabbage and mange tout – all slightly on the tough side, particularly the mange tout but enjoyable. They were heavily peppered – I enjoyed these more than my guests.
After around 5 minutes, I noted that our request for extra gravy had been completely ignored/forgotten, with the gentleman now working behind the bar, but I caught his eye and asked for more. My accomplice’s Rioja took quite a while to turn up too, I think she had to chase that from memory, and wasn’t the one she asked for…instead receiving the one that was 50% more expensive, of course.
The roast potatoes were shit. 3 small roast potatoes, the kind that might have been good before they spent hours sat around a kitchen, though I doubt these would even had been good then. They seemed quite a cheap potato – certainly not Maris Pipers, and were a brighter yellow than expected. Tough and rubbery was the order of the day.
I’m Getting Good At Headers
The Yorkshire Pudding, as you may have guessed from the photographic evidence was even worse than the roast potatoes. Visibly resembling a cow pat – this was suitably the worst Yorkshire pudding that I have eaten in London – a reminder of my beliefs that Yorkshire puddings are pointless.
It tasted like stale, burnt, over-floured pizza dough (yes I was particularly craving a pizza by now), it was tough to cut and felt like it had been left in a cardboard box on top of the fridge for the last week. Utterly, and truly dire – this really should not have been on a plate, no matter what day.
According to our waitress, nobody else has ever complained about them – she seemed quite surprised about our mentioning how bad they were. And uninterested in the fact that the wrong, more expensive wine had been brought over (we only realised that at bill paying time).
Thankfully the pork belly was tasty. It did also have the feel of something that had been cooked a while ago, and seemed to be visibly reducing in size – also the crackling was more a soggy tough than a crispy delight. However, failings aside, it was tasty. Quite fatty – I do like my fat, possibly not the highest quality piece of pork belly ever, but despite it’s shortcomings, I enjoyed it. I’m told the beef was respectably good, though not amazing.
The gravy was also respectable enough, what there was of it. Far too thin and even more lacking in volume than Boris Johnson is lacking in empathy – but a pretty decent crack at a meat stock gravy. No points for viscosity but some for flavour.
What did you think of it all, then, Lord Gravy?
The meal was a mixed bag – part average, part kinda good and part absolutely fucking dreadful. I’ll remember the greens as the tastiest item on the plate (does this make me a vegan?), and I’ll remember just how bad the cow pat yorkie was.
Service needs improvement. People serving us were polite and friendly, but at the same time we felt a bit ignored. Good service can be similar to good football referees (a ha ha ha Bournemouth 4 – 0 Chelsea) where you don’t often notice when a referee is good. However, there were numerous points were we all questioned the service. Yes I was still charged £1.50 for the abominable yorkie, despite our Britishish complaints. Mentioning that the wrong wine had been brought over was ignored/forgotten, as were our initial requests for extra gravy.
And I’m still hungry, wondering whether to order a pizza…or maybe just stick a couple of Aunt Bessie’s in the oven.
I’m unable to recommend The Chelsea Pig. Normally I can find some redeeming qualities about a venue even when the roast dinner isn’t all that, but sadly, there is no reason to recommend a visit here.
It could easily have been worse, and on the law of averages we were due a bad Sunday roast.
I’m scoring it a 5.93 out of 10. It really was quite a disappointing experience. My accomplices scored it a 5.8 and a 6, respectively.
No idea what I’m doing next Sunday, but I’ll be having an adventure somewhere that is not made in Chelsea.
The Chelsea Pig, Chelsea, West London
Station: Sloane Square
Tube Lines: Circle, District
Fare Zone: Zone 1