The Claddagh Ring, Hendon

World War 3 is apparently breaking out, but all I wanted was a roast dinner at The Claddagh Ring in Hendon.

World War 3, at least according to the anti-vax bedwetters on Twitter who seem to believe that they are the equivalent of Huh Edwards, albeit without reporters or facts. Those of us with sufficient wisdom will be well aware that World War 3 is 10 years away – for that is how long we have TO SAVE THE WEST, as anyone reading the book of a similar name by the visionary Elizabeth Truss will be well advised of.

And what exactly are we saving The West from? We’ve already saved ourselves from Liz Truss, or at least the deep state quango morass of The Treasury, The Civil Service, James O’Brien and Neal’s Yard.

Hang on.

I’ve not had a roast dinner in West London yet this year.

Is that what the book’s about? I truss someone reading this has already read their preview copy and can enlighten me? Should I write a book in response? “10 Years To Save Gravy”. You’d buy it, right? How about roast dinner Christmas cards? Jigsaw?

Ring a Ring o’ Roses

Outside The Claddagh Ring, Hendon
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The Claddagh Ring is one of those places that has been on my to-do list for time. Like, before any of us ever considered wearing a mask outside of Halloween kind of time. I once wore a Nigel Farage mask and went to a Halloween party full of oblivious Europeans (some really hot Spanish women also), most of whom live in growing economies now like Spain. Don’t worry – I had a mask burning ceremony afterwards.

Quite a few people recommended The Claddagh Ring to me, including someone recently who promised that it was a “a friendly Irish pub in the community” – the barman was indeed mighty when I asked him of his health in return.

There was quite a range of beers – I always have Irish pubs down as shit beer pubs, but actually the Brixton Pale Ale is just about interesting enough for me – and it tasted like they actually look after their lines. There was a round of lamenting the demise of the Irish pub a few years ago, but you have to move with the times if you are any sort of business – and a lot of Irish pubs seemed stuck in a 90’s vibe. Apparently the days of youngsters spending all their money on going out drinking are long gone – some, perhaps, but Instagram is apparently more appealing to those half my age than tequila and gutters. So I am told.

Yet there is still space, especially in certain parts of north London, for a community-led Irish pub, which from the 90 minutes that I spent there, and various recommendations I’ve had over the last few years, is what The Claddagh Ring feels like. There were two large groups in there, plus there was this kind of vibe of a very large extended Irish family where everyone seemed to know each other. Possibly our imagination – but it seemed like numerous times people came in and greeted people on other tables.

Booth with screen showing football at The Claddagh Ring, Hendon
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It’s also set up for sports (don’t get excited, my name isn’t Alex, you haven’t worked out who I am) with lots of booths with individual TV screens – we were there for the precious moment of seeing Klipp Klopp’s mentality melts hand over the chance of winning the league to Man City or Arsenal.

Too soon, Martin?

Meme about Klopp only winning as many titles as Ranieri, Mancini and Pellegrini
Just a meme.

Running Rings Around Liverpool Defenders LOL

One thing I didn’t expect from an Irish pub was roast dinners well into the £20 land.

Regular readers will have seen that I have no issue with paying well into the £30 land for a roast dinner, so £24.95 is ducks off a buffalo’s back (or whatever the saying is). I was just surprised that an Irish pub in Hendon was into this price bracket.

Options on the menu were intriguing, rib of beef for £24.95, leg of lamb, or chicken, ham and stuffing for £23.95. Plus they had a special menu which had turkey, ham and stuffing. The higher than expected prices gave me some re-assurance that maybe they knew how to cook beef – I rarely order beef unless I think the chef might have some proficiency, yet some vaguely warm words from the barman around the beef, plus it being rib of beef swayed me that way.

Also on the specials menu was desert of the day, which I guess in keeping with the World War 13 theme (ask Nadine, hard to keep count of the amount of World Wars announced on Twitter in recent years) would be the Negev Desert. Possibly with a side of cucumbers fired from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, with their laughable 8 hours to arrive drone. Hell, I can get to Enfield and back in the time it takes for an Iranian drone to arrive. Twice.

Iran's army firing cucumbers
Just a meme – don’t sue me.

Imagine if they fired their drones at London…even Temu would deliver faster.

Yeah I know I probably shouldn’t take the piss out of the idea of World War 3 breaking out imminently, but if I’m wrong nobody will know I’m wrong until around 2,145,900 years into the future when giant ants that worked as archaeologists in Dallas finally work out how to use a computer server.

Gravy Smuggling Ring

Beef Sunday roast at The Claddagh Ring, Hendon
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Our roasts arrived fairly quickly, say 10-15 minutes after ordering – I quite liked how the moon plate almost could be attached to the main plate.

Don’t panic gravy fans – we didn’t even need to ask:

Gravy boats at The Claddagh Ring, Hendon
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So the side-plate vegetables were all pretty ordinary looking. Carrots were boiled/steamed with some pepper on, nice enough but nothing stand-out. Broccoli was just broccoli – but I like broccoli.

The parsnips were spectacularly white, somewhat undercooked yet soft and flavoursome – I grant you there are some contradictions in my description.

The orange ball you can see is swede mash – well, mostly swede though I think a little carrot in there too. Again, nothing out of this world – but like your mum would make, which is very much the theme of this roast. In my imagination there is a collective of Irish mothers in The Claddagh Ring kitchen making these roasts.

Roast potatoes at The Claddagh Ring, Hendon
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Only two roast potatoes and I was somewhat conflicted – one tasted dry, deep-fried and out of a bag – yet the other was really nicely crispy on the outside, if not especially the freshest potato in the world. I couldn’t quite work out what was going on, neither could my accomplices – but at least I had one rather enjoyable roastie.

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You may note that there were only two roast potatoes (large) – but what you cannot see is that at least half the plate is covered in 1.5cm thickness of mashed potato – which in total would probably make it up to approximately 102 potatoes. Nobody needs this much potato, and come Monday morning I was still not hungry. Of course, I ate it, and it was nice mashed potato – very soft, a little creamy – not even the tiniest bit of coarseness.

Beef roast dinner at The Claddagh Ring, Hendon
© Copyright – Roast Dinners In London 2024

There was no chance that the Yorkshire pudding wasn’t out of a bag for it was too perfectly formed and cardboard-y – but as far as Aunt Bessie’s style yorkies go, it was decent enough.

As I mentioned, normally I wouldn’t order beef unless I was at a fairly high end place, but this was fairly good if fairly well done. The beef itself was rather on the coarse side – it fell apart wonderfully yet had a bit of graininess to it. Lots of it, minimal fat and it felt hearty.

Finally, the gravy. Like the rest of the roast it caused me some contradictions – yes it was a hearty meat stock gravy, but also there was the salty aftertaste of granules, I assume used to thicken it – for it was gloriously thick. And yes, I drank the remainder from the gravy boat. Didn’t seem to make me part of the Irish family though.

The Claddagh Ring

There’s definitely a theme when you go to an Irish pub for a roast dinner – Ganley’s, The Boot and now The Claddagh Ring. BIG amounts of food.

It’s very much a mother’s roast dinner kind of vibe here – great for watching the football, I suspect good for hosting events like birthdays, etc, semi-decent beer choice (craft beer snob here in case you don’t know). It’s not somewhere I feel naturally at home in – I’d prefer to be in a dive bar on Hackney Wick, or in some grotty underground basement in Peckham – but neither of those will give me a solid mother-style Sunday roast. Ketamine, yes, roast dinner, no.

Plenty to like about the roast dinner but there were always buts – good beef but a bit grainy, good gravy but a bit granule-y. Soft mashed potato but too much of it.

Nothing bad per se – fairly basic vegetables, but nothing burnt, nothing undercooked, nothing re-heated from the week before – a very respectable BIG roast dinner.

One accomplice scored it a 6.00 (though 5.00 is her average – I work on football player ratings where 6.50 is average), my regular accomplice a 7.40, and I’m going for a solid 7.38 out of 10. I think you’d be very happy if you were a local and regular, and part of the extended family of The Claddagh Ring.

Oh, and guess how much a pint of Brixton Pale Ale was? £4.00. Seriously. £4.00. No, it isn’t 2014. Inflation happened, Liz Truss happened but somehow I had a decent pint of beer for £4.00.

No plan for the coming Sunday yet.

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The Claddagh Ring, Hendon

Station: Hendon Central

Tube Lines: Northern

Fare Zone: Zone 4

Price: £24.95

Rating: 7.38

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Loved & Loathed

Loved: Seemed a welcoming place, beef fell apart, gravy was thick and hearty (if with some granules) and LOADS of food!

Loathed: Yorkie was from a bag, too much food, vegetables a bit basic. Nothing wrong per se though.

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