So my teleportation device finally worked and I made it from Vienna to north London in a matter of seconds, enough to get a Monday Roast…I mean, Sunday Roast at The Duchess of Kent, in Islington.
Yes, he of all things cultured couldn’t resist finding a way so that he could not only educate you with some art, but also excite you with new scientific boundaries being broken – though alas science has yet to find a way to ensure pubs made a good roast potato.
I didn’t have an awful lot of choice as to where my teleportation device would take me – it was pretty limited and it wouldn’t allow me to go to anywhere on my to-do list. Not exactly helpful, but hey.
I had to make do with the Duchess of Kent, which I guess is similar to how Waitrose must feel when they need someone famous to open a new store. Fun fact – the Duchess of Kent, is not only fucking miserable looking, but also gave up royal duties to become a music teacher in Hull. I guess there is a joke in there somewhere.
[photograph stolen from The Telegraph but I voted Tory last year so that should be ok. Made it smaller just in case.]
Alas…or thankfully, I was not eating with royalty but at the Duchess of Kent in Islington. It was very quiet upon arrival – yet it had a kind of modern, open front-room feel to it. Nothing particularly of note about it, it seemed a respectable enough neighbourhood pub.
Beef, chicken and pork loin were all on the menu, priced between £15 and £17, along with some vegetarian wellington thing, or if you really hated vegetarians they had some form of mega roast with all 3 meats. Which if I recall correctly was £25. I chose the pork loin. I don’t know why.
Starting with red cabbage – never my favourite but this was disgusting. Second only in vileness to that putrid gravy the other week at the Islington Townhouse…not entirely that far away, in distance anyway. This really was quite bitter. My dining companion took a while to come to my understanding. Worse – the purple juice infected the gravy. Can all chefs reading stop this nonsense. Serve red cabbage if you have to – but make sure this purple alien juice does not infect the gravy.
There was, of course, the potential that my teleportation device had mucked up my tastebuds. Thankfully the spring greens with possible hint of leek was just very ordinary. I struggled to discern much flavour, but it was just more of a relief after the red cabbage. There was rather a lot of it too.
Also in large quantity were the carrots. Both yellow and orange carrots (bloody Dutch turning our carrots orange…yeah it happened). One of the yellow carrots I had to sacrifice to dam the flow of purple juice into the “real gravy” (I’ll be the judge of that, thanks). Otherwise the carrots were good – 5 half vertically-sliced carrots, the yellow ones especially tasty – with an almost fruity glow. If they had been roasted just a tad longer then personally I would have been happier, but hey, I’m lucky to get a roast on a Monday…I mean Sunday, thanks to my newly-working teleportation device.
Cauliflower had been on the menu, but clearly something went wrong during the teleportation process. Maybe the cauliflower ended up in Vienna. Fuck, maybe when I teleport back to Vienna, I might end up with some form of cauliflower head. Or worse, cauliflower nipples. Ooh but if it was Romenesco cauliflower…having Fibonacci sequence nipples might get me onto First Dates. Or having a cauliflower for a brain might get me on Love Island.
The roast potatoes were quite rubbery and very much had that kind of cooked quite a bit earlier in the day texture and feel to them. Or maybe cooked yesterday as part of their Sun…sunny day roast potato special that they may or may not have been doing.
They even sent us a bowl of extra roasties, and normally I would have devoured the extra roasties that were supplied but I really wasn’t interested.
I am becoming more of a fan of small yorkies than large ones nowadays. Sure there is something to be said if you can get a large yorkie right, and it isn’t a crispy, crunchy, flaky mess – but small ones seem to have a more consistent production. These were allegedly double-egg (ie I cannot be bothered to make large yorkies but lets make up some marketing bullshit), possibly actually double-egg from taste and texture too. Nice and fluffy and might have even been made on the same day.
The pork loin with crackling that was on the menu came out looking suspiciously like pork belly – which made me wonder if I had some kind of time-shifting capability within my teleportation device, or maybe they had just run out of pork loin from the Sunday roasts…I mean…oh fuck it.
Look, OK, I’ll tell you the truth – I no more have a teleportation device than this crockpot of a non-government has amazing trade deals ready to sign when/if we leave the European Union. I lied. This was a Bank Holiday Monday roast. For a few places, special or otherwise, do Monday fucking roasts. Or do leftover Sunday roasts. It’s a SPECIAL. For you. Think of it like a…a customs partnership…one you ain’t getting out of any time soon.
Especially if you have signed up to the newsletter. A ha ha ha ha ha.
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So the pork belly was good. Tender and tasty, fatty in a good way – the crackling part on top was nowhere near crispy enough – nowhere near what it should be, and actually became softer the more towards the other end I ate. Like the rest of the meal, good marks for quantity.
And the “real gravy”? Well, it wasn’t jus. But it was thin, watery and uninspiring. Which with memories of a truly cretinous gravy in another Islington venue still close to hand, despite filling hotel bathtubs with potatoes whilst wearing my ex-girlfriends bra and whilst on copious amounts of drugs, I can accept uninspiring gravy.
Which is a metaphor for the whole roast really. Uninspiring but generally good enough. And too many potatoes.
One if you like large quantities but I wasn’t overly excited about anything. Sure, the pork belly was good – yet the red cabbage was disgusting.
I’m going to give it a 6.81 out of 10. It was a reasonable roast dinner but I really wouldn’t go out of your way to go here. Even by teleport.
Next Sunday I shall be back on duty, and I shall be going somewhere cheap. I may have over-consumed in Vienna. Oops.
This may or may not be a life sculpture of me. Don’t think that I don’t love you.
The Duchess Of Kent, Islington, North London
Station: Highbury & Islington
Tube Lines: Overground, Victoria
Fare Zone: Zone 2