It’s roast dinner review 175 and we chose to head Camden to celebrate at The Farrier.
Camden is one of those spots in London where I’ve had surprisingly few roast dinners compared to the amount of establishments in the area – I barely even visit Camden nowadays, which is probably something to do with living in London.
The scruffy Camden Market has been replaced by a modern container market since I last walked past. The area where The Farrier is located feels like it has also been totally unshitholed, though it must have been a good 5-10 years since I have been right to the far end of the market.
And The Farrier itself is new, having opened only a few months ago. Situated opposite posh twat shops like Teddy Boy and A Dandy In Aspic – if like me you are wondering what aspic is, apparently it is “a savoury jelly made with meat stock, set in a mould and used to contain pieces of meat, seafood, or eggs.”. OK.
Do you want to know what a farrier is? They are specialists in equine hoof care. Neigh. In Camden Stables Market. In the building which used to be a horse hospital. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Yes, it’s a pretty dress, isn’t it? Something else I learnt this week, and boy is this blog post in danger of becoming as educational as a Media Studies degree, is that apparently you can wear the same dress twice.
Anyone for Molly?
Yes, someone called Molly Mae Hague, who apparently isn’t just an influencer any more (though I cannot say that I have previously been influenced by her), came out with these strong words, “I’m a strong believer in wearing the same dress twice”.
Fucking hell. Some of my t-shirts are into their second decade. Well, they would be if I was a size medium like I somehow happened to be when I went to nightclubs a lot 10 years ago (great exercise) rather than the extra large size I am now I go to pubs a lot, but you know, the intention is there. I definitely have pants from 10 years ago.
I guess I’m just jealous after spending my life-savings on a Dolce & Banana wedding dress for my future lesbian wedding once I’ve had a sex change and found a beautiful Spanish lesbian. Not sure which is less likely to happen, but I am wearing the wedding dress every time I go to the gym to get my money’s worth.
Want to see an artist’s impression of my future wedding?
She kind of looks Spanish right? Though I’m even less likely to have my hair that short than get married to a Spanish lesbian (or even non-lesbian). Granted that’s a bit of an in-joke to those who have met me. We can be friends, if you want? I’m quite normal. 4 of the people that came to the roast dinner on Sunday I met through having this blog. None of them Spanish, though two did live in Spain.
I am actually tempted to move to Madrid for a year…well…maybe a winter, to try to find a Spanish wife. Once I’m not obese. You know, there are surprisingly few men in wedding dresses photographs on Google. Guess they also follow Molly Mae Hague’s wisdom.
Anyone seen Molly?
Speaking of things only to do once (at least this summer), maybe I should start writing about sitting in the sunshine.
Arriving very early at The Farrier, I was shown to our table – situated inside but near the large open sliding doors, with the sun blazing straight at me. I had a stonking hangover too. Roast dinner + hangover + hot sunshine in my face = bad. You don’t need to be a Spanish lesbian mathematician to work that out.
Yet as it was the first time that I’d seen the sun in 7 weeks, I decided to cope. Some seats were in the shade or less in the sun, at least with their backs to the sun – there was 9 of us in total, due to a birthday – which, of course, was second priority to celebrating roast dinner 175.
The Farrier looked and felt very spacious. A brick built building and that was fully taken advantage of in the design, with a fair-sized outdoor seating area too – though almost all in the shade due to the low angle of the sun at this time of year.
Beer choice wasn’t amazing, a Goose Island Midway (I think) sufficed (I think) – oddly I was told that it was bar service only when I arrived, but once all the guests had arrived then it became table service.
The kitchen was open so you could see the chefs at work – and my walk past to go for my miniature hangover wee was sufficient to persuade me that I needed to order pork. But let’s see the menu anyway.
Anyone seen the prices?
Oh good, I didn’t photograph the prices. Look, I had this mysterious yellow ball shining in my face, OK? So the beef sirloin was £24.00, pork loin was £20.00, chicken breast I think £18.00 and vegan £17.00. I think.
Yes, I’m mentioning the vegan roast. Two vegans joined me for dinner. Well, they joined the birthday celebrating accomplice for dinner, but I also like them – part of the reason that we chose The Farrier was because they had a vegan option.
Except when they ordered, the waiter apologised and said that the menu was wrong, but they do have celeriac steak.
Are you converted to veganism yet?
Our roasts took around 25-30 minutes to arrive, I think, and we’d also ordered some sides which I think were around £6.00.
Starting with what presentationally looked more like a hangover turd from Halloween (big plans this year FYI for a Halloween roast), and thankfully for that comparison tasted pretty much of nothing. Yes a pile of tasteless orange mush, which also leaked a little fluid so covered almost half the plate. I assumed that it was butternut squash. There was far too much of it. 100% too much, but maybe 10% of what was supplied might have been an intriguing touch.
The parsnips, which you cannot see because after 175 roast dinners I still haven’t worked out that I need to photograph what I’m writing about (the sun was in my eyes, OK?), were small, roasted and I thought reasonable in terms of texture but not especially flavoursome.
Yeah you cannot see the kale either. Hang on, maybe let’s do the second photograph now.
Cool, you can see the kale now. Unlike the other vegetables this had flavour. Around 8 lemons worth of lemon juice per portion of kale with some garlic too. It was not far away from eye-wateringly tangy…why do this? Did nobody taste this before it left the kitchen?
Gosh I’ve been craving the opportunity to excoriate a roast. Oh this feels good. Or is it the sunshine that feels good?
Anyway, so one of the roast potatoes was really good – crispy on the outside, soft enough on the inside. Some others on the table also reported one really good roast potato.
I want ketamine.
Alas, the other two roast potatoes were tired, chewy and felt like they’d been made the previous Sunday. The perils of cooking roast potatoes in advance are almost as much as confusing ketamine for cocaine.
Opinions on the Yorkshire pudding were varied around the table, but mine was notably chewy, especially but not exclusively away from the bottom. Really not enjoyable at all, though for some reason I ate it. Blame the sunshine. Blame the hangover. Blame the lack of ketamine.
INCOMING VEGAN SECTION.
INCOMING VEGAN SECTION.
INCOMING VEGAN SECTION.
Wait…don’t leave, you’ll want to read this too. Honest. As we had two vegan friends, I promised them a vegan section as they would like to indoctrinate you.
I need ketamine
I was supposed to be getting some words from my vegan accomplice – let’s just say that she was so unamused that she asked for her money back, and at £17.00 for two slices of celeriac “steak” plus some veggies and some vegetarian gravy (was it vegan?!) I don’t blame her.
Well I hope that persuaded you to become vegan. Here’s an artist impression of what a vegan might think of that roast dinner.
With fairly insincere apologies to our vegan friends, everyone raved about their meat and said it was the highlight of their meal. The corn-fed chicken was apparently one of the best portions of chicken that one accomplice had, the beef looked proper sexy and was complimented by all beef eaters.
I had the pork loin, which looked the part and was juicy, tender and reasonably generous in quantity.
Just to clarify that is gravy being poured. My nearest accomplice said it was bland, and sure it wasn’t the tastiest – but gravy doesn’t need to taste of too much to be good – the thickness of the gravy meant it was good. Sure, I’ve had many a better gravy – but also many a worse one, including when chefs make the gravy flavour overpowering. Better a lack of flavour, than too much uncomplimentary flavour.
For me and most others, the gravy was good.
I got regretamine
Well I guess you could call the roast dinner at The Farrier, regretamine. And fuck you, Elon Musk, for pretending to create MY word that I’ve been using since watching people make roast potatoes at Sunday morning afterparties.
Yeah, there’s as many problems with the roast dinner at The Farrier as there is with my idea of marrying a Spanish lesbian. The watery mush was just blandness de perfection, the kale was so overpowering in lemon and garlic, the yorkie chewy, two thirds of the roasties seemed leftover from when it was previously sunny and I can barely even speak Spanish. La cuenta, por favor.
Gosh I just realised that I didn’t mention the sides that we ordered, at around £6.00 each.
The creamed leeks were weird – weird bad, like wearing a dress three times. 4 large chunks of leek, but tasting of flour – I’m really not sure where the cream came into it. I had just one of the 4 chunks. I paid £6.00 this. Possibly £5.50.
Cauliflower cheese also had a lack of cream (Brexit?) and the cheese was hit and miss. Get a bite with cheese on, and I did more than other’s did, then it was tasty. Yet the cheese was used sparingly, not helped by the lack of cream, so much of it was just ordinary cauliflower. For £6.00. Or maybe £5.50.
What else went wrong? Well, the beer choice was uninspiring but acceptable. The bottle of red wine we ordered tasted quite cheap – and they didn’t charge us for it. Normally I will own up when undercharged – I’ve done it soooooo many times this year (check out my halo dot com), but I’d had sufficient disappointment to assuage my guilt.
Je ne regretamine everything
Yet it wasn’t all disappointment. The meat was fairly delicious – they are at least getting that very right. It really was top quality meat, cooked perfectly. The gravy was good, and one of the roast potatoes was very good.
Also they suggested not to charge for the shambles of a vegan roast that they served up – which was appreciated. Service was mostly fine, and the venue really has potential.
I’ve just read that The Farrier is run by three fellow Yorkshiremen, so I do hope that if they read this, they at least take a look at the roast potatoes they are serving. It isn’t actually that far away from being a good roast dinner – sort the roasties out, go back to basics on the vegetables, add some seasoning – this probably could, and should be really good.
There was quite a range of scores around the table, the lowest was a 5.00, the highest an 8.00 – others were 7.10, 7.00, 6.80 and a 6.00.
Sadly, the more I write about it, and the more I think about it, the lower my score gets. I’m scoring it a 6.61.
I’ll be back next week. I’m on call, going sober and there’s no Met line, so it will be wherever is least inconvenient.
See you at my wedding. I really am a pretty little thing.
The Farrier, Camden
Station: Camden Town
Tube Lines: Northern
Fare Zone: Zone 1
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Pork was gorgeous, gravy was good. Nice and spacious venue.
Loathed: Bland mush, overpowered kale, tired roasties, chewy yorkie...yeah quite a lot.