Choo choo! It’s all aboard the Lizzie Line to go…oh hang on…it isn’t running on Sundays. It wouldn’t help me get to The Duke in Wanstead either.
Wanstead? Yeah, I told you that you wouldn’t have heard of it. It’s 1 hour’s walk from Walthamstow. Or 10 minutes walk from…Toby Carvery.
Wanstead is so far away from central London that we actually walked past a Toby Carvery – all the way into the nether regions of the Central Line. 3 more stops and you are in Essex.
So were you excited about the Lizzie Line opening this week gone?
I was. Excited that I might save a few minutes here and there on my roast dinner adventures. When it starts running on Sundays.
Alas. Apparently I am so well connected with the Metropolitan line that I only save time if I’m going to Woolwich or Abbey Wood. Guess how many roast dinners are on my to-do list in those areas?
The Pervert Duke Of York
Gosh, imagine if our Dear Leader had launched Crossrail when he was mayor – we’d all have to call this the Boris line. Though as the cable cars, Boris buses, Boris airport, the garden bridge and the bridge to Northern Ireland prove, oh don’t forget the Northern Ireland Protocol, Brexit and various marriages also, I’m sure it would be a cracking success.
Guess I’ll have to wait until Crossrail 3, the imaginary Harrow to Peckham line, until I can save some time on my roast dinner commute. Though by time it even has planning permission I will probably have reviewed 5,000 roast dinners. And maybe we’ll finally have self-driving cars – we can all be driven around in circles by robots, blasting out techno, drinking prosecco and showing our nipples. King Harry’s jubilee weekend will be my kind of jubilee weekend…nah…month.
Ahhh the dreams. Can we now say thanks to Lady Thatcher for her wisdom and insight once more? DON’T HIT CLOSE. OK, I’ll talk about roast dinners. Don’t mention The Thatcher. Chill out, Londoners.
My first thought was that the beef was the cheapest cut – which raises suspicions. And it was topside. I’d eaten lamb the week before so my choice was between the pork belly and the soy-free half-chicken, both priced at £19.50.
Soy-free? What is that about? Well, according to, erm, internet sources, soy products are a vast left-wing conspiracy designed to emasculate men and turn their bodies estrogenic, “…men with high estrogen take on feminine traits. They find it harder to handle stress. They become less assertive. They become low-energy. Their voices get higher, their genitals shrink.”.
So The Duke are protecting my genitals? How kind of them. “After you’re done drinking your little juices, you’re ready to go out and have a baby. You’re ready to put makeup on. You’re ready to wear a short skirt….You’re ready to put lipstick on.”.
Well that explains my urge to put lipstick on every time I eat chicken, I guess.
He Had 10,000 Girls
Given my previous emasculation, I went for the soy-free chicken so I could be manly once more. Our meals took around 20-30 minutes to arrive – it felt longer than it probably was, as I’d only eaten an apple that morning, and done 15,000 steps as I’m trying to be healthy…for a week.
And then the world’s largest chicken arrived:
The one carrot that you can see was fresh and sweet, the other two were shrivelled as if they’d been cooked (in soy?) multiple times – but they really packed some flavour.
We had some parsnips which are a pleasant surprise in late May, also nicely roasted with their flavour coming out well.
The spring greens were pretty ordinary – crying out for some seasoning or something. A tad too crunchy in my view, but I appreciate others like their vegetables to have a crunch.
Three roast potatoes were supplied, and with a touch of miracle were actually quite good again. Two weeks in a row! Actually, it’s quite a few weeks since I had bad roast potatoes. Are chefs finally taking notice? Or is it because I’ve not been to a Young’s pub for a while? Hmmm.
Anyway, these weren’t perfect, but they had some crisp on the outside and were soft in the middle. Kind of 7.5/10 roasties.
He Marched Them Up To The Top Of Jeffrey Epstein’s Mansion
I don’t really remember much about the Yorkshire pudding, it was blissfully small, I remember it being unmemorably decent enough.
I do remember the chicken. The chicken was so huge that you could have measured it in furlongs. Oh what? That imperial measurement shit again?
Oh I didn’t realise that I was supposed to be driving at 70kpm on the motorway. Why didn’t anyone tell me everything in this country had been forced to be metric by the EU. They did tell me? Johnson did, you mean? Oh was it a lie? Does it also still say “pint” on a bottle of milk? Tosser.
Anyway, the chicken was huge. So huge that I thought it was one of those 4-legged chickens that used to roam the world before we started feeding them soy. And it was actually plump and juicy. So often the breast can be dry – but no, it was proper juicy. The wing was good, the thigh was gooey-good, the leg decent.
I was stuffed after eating the equivalent of 3 Nando’s half chickens. And yeah I don’t drive but you get the point. Lipstick and short skirts though…especially now my genitals are smaller thanks to all that soy chicken I’ve been eating.
Finally, the gravy. It was one of those red wine gravy affairs that do seem more popular in the home counties…and we were near Essex. It was…fine…a bit tiring after a while, but it had some consistency.
And I Should Probably Say No More.
So The Duke served up a pretty good roast dinner.
It is improvable. Red wine gravy isn’t to my tastes but that’s possibly just a personal thing. The spring greens really did need some seasoning. Roasties and the yorkie were commendable but not show-stopping.
What was show-stopping was the chicken – given that it took up almost a whole plate. A huge portion and also really plump.
Two of my accomplices, who were new to roast club, didn’t pick quite as well. One had the pork belly which was apparently a bit dry – though he raved about the crackling. His score was a 7.50 out of 10. Another accomplice ordered the beef which she described as rubbery – and scored it a 6.50 out of 10. Always be suspicious if the beef is the cheapest option.
My regular accomplice had the chicken – we actually swapped chickens as mine was slightly smaller – and scored it a 7.90 out of 10. My score is a rather plump 7.62 – had the gravy been to my liking then it would be squeezing into the low 8’s.
There is more to compliment about The Duke – the toasted sandwiches look fabulous on their ‘grim, they had a decent choice of beers – even Leffe on tap which is unusual. Service was also good – plenty of staff which feels unusual post-pandemic.
A commendable effort at a really rather good independent pub, and if it isn’t too much of a ballache to get to Wanstead, then well worth a trip. If it wasn’t so far away from where I lived, worked and socialised, I’d definitely be back to try their main menu – or those toasted sandwiches.
Next week will probably be a Jubilee special because I’m sure you won’t be sick of reading about Jubilee nonsense several days after the Jubilee weekend. I still haven’t decided on a plan…is this all the soy I’ve been eating?
Sorry I meant ahh cute.
The Duke, Wanstead
Tube Lines: Central
Fare Zone: Zone 3
Loved & Loathed
Loved: A huge portion of chicken. Decent roasties and carrots.
Loathed: Red wine gravy tired after a while, the spring greens craved seasoning or something.