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WARNING. There are images in this roast dinner review of The Gladstone Arms in Borough, that readers of a sensitive nature, may find offensive.
It’s been a bit windy, huh? Granted this comment will (hopefully) make no sense if you are reading in July, however after the deluge of social media posts from people using 2004’s internet joke (I mean 2014, obviously, if Nadine Dorries is reading) of a wheelie bin having blown over and therefore having survived Storm Eunice…wait…the Met Office named the biggest storm in years after my feelings towards the European Union? How nice of them. How EU nice.
Though according to the internet experts, the storm didn’t exist. It wasn’t real. It won’t damage anything, it’s just a little wind. It is all mainstream media making it up. Bill Gates created the storm to stop you going out. It’s my right to do what I want in the storm. It’s my right to be injured by flying debris and expect the NHS to protect me. How dare you take my freedom away by telling me to close my windows.
So from windier to India. Tell me you are impressed with my segue there. Maybe I should tell you why I am segueing.
The Gladstone Arms, or Pegz N “Frazes” as it was nearly renamed to in 2017 (and you thought the idea of Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister was ridiculous), is a different type of pub.
Firstly, they have live music. Yeah, live music in a pub. Bands and stuff. Personally I like to talk to people in a pub, or at least moan about Boris Johnson to people, but I think some people still like live music. It is rarer nowadays, it feels? Or is that because over half of my socialising happens on a Sunday afternoon?
Anyway, the other unusual aspect is that they offer Anglo-Indian cuisine. Which includes an Anglo-Indian Sunday roast.
Aren’t You Glad Of The Existence Of This Blog?
I know, two weeks in a row without watery jus nonsense. What am I doing to you? I thought carefully before adding The Gladstone Arms to the to-do list. I’d heard they did really good food, hence my consideration…but then does it count as a roast dinner if there isn’t gravy?
My thinking was that if somewhere was serving new potatoes rather than roast potatoes then I’d still go…and give it a slating. If somewhere didn’t offer Yorkshire puddings then I’d still go…and probably be delighted. So The Gladstone Arms are offering roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings…but not gravy. Well, I decided to review it anyway. Sue me. My blog. My life. My Sunday.
Choices were chicken or lamb, priced at the exceptionally affordable amounts of £13.90 and £14.90. Or to be more exact, Smoked Delhi Butter Chicken Supreme, or Railway Lamb Chops. As much as the lamb chops sounded delicious, I fancied chicken more.
Our dinners took around 20 or so minutes to arrive, whilst we admired the cacophony of decoration in The Gladstone Arms – which is a proper pub by the way. You know, those proper pub feeling places – downstairs was very small, maybe 8 tables though I didn’t count. Stuffed full of decoration on the wall. There was an upstairs and a roof terrace – though was a bit windy for eating outdoors. But everyone who died in the storm had comorbidities anyway. My hairdresser told me that people who were told to close their windows and tie their trampolines down are now having heart attacks.
Oh and The Gladstone Arms is named after a Prime Minister. A Liberal Prime Minister. Yes, we actually had liberalism back in the 19th Century. Anyone fancy bringing it back some time soon please? According to Wikipedia, Gladstone was known for his moralistic leadership (hey Boris) and his emphasis on world peace, economical budgets (hey Boris), political reform (hey Boris) and efforts to resolve the Irish question (hey Brexit).
Ahhh but don’t worry, Johnson, I’m sure someone will name a pub after you somewhere. Maybe Tim Martin will, anyway. Oh has Brexit caused some more Wetherspoons pubs to close? Oh but won’t someone think of the staff. Yeah, I’ll think of them as they find much better employers to work for. Not sure Brexit is actually to blame but lies are the new statistics so I might as well join in.
Aren’t You Glad Of The Educational Spirit Of This Blog?
This is where I should start talking about carrots, but there weren’t any carrots and I’ve decided that we need to find out if any recent Prime Ministers have had pubs named after them.
Oh hang on, Londonist did an article on this only a month ago. Winston Churchill is your answer. When am I getting free publicity in return, dear Londonist editor?
I did find a Gordon Brown Outdoor Education Centre, named after…oh… a famous scientist.
Fine. Well the broccoli was damn nice, though a day or so past its best. Sure, ordinary broccoli but it is really an underrated vegetable in my book. Topped with what seemed to be spiced onions, it was a sharply enjoyable opening salvo.
The roast potatoes were actually roasted. Sure, they came spiced with, I think, cumin and garam masala – though that could easily have been from the
gravy sauce. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside – and about 10 of them! Granted some were closer to Christmas chocolate coins in shape, but these were easily some of the best roast potatoes for a long time.
Guess what? The Yorkshire pudding was really good. Made with some form of Indian spices, again I want to guess cumin and possibly mustard seeds – though maybe they are some other form of special Indian seeds – of which I probably have stuck at the back of my kitchen cupboard that I used once. How am I supposed to know? I review the same meal every week. I’m not used to all these flavours.
Anyway, the Yorkie was soft and fluffy – superior to most yorkies I’ve had in terms of flavour and texture.
Aren’t You Glad That You Told All Your Friends About The Genius And Wonder Of Lord Gravy And His Blog?
The chicken was some of the plumpest and juiciest chicken that I’ve been served in ages. Perfectly cooked, I think seasoned with chilli, if not more spices, and a really good quality of chicken breast, with a little bit of thigh meat to the side – the best part of a chicken in my not very humble opinion because I am right. What is going on? Why is this so good?
So I guess we reach the point where you are saying, “this still ain’t a roast dinner”. Fine. It comes with sauce rather than gravy. Take off the sauce and replace with a gravy, and you have a roast dinner. But take off the sauce and replace with bland, watery gravy, or a wanky red wine jus, and you’ve just ruined a really good dinner.
You probably won’t be too surprised to hear that the sauce was really good. Kind of buttery yet spicy – it only had subtle kicks to it, it was really complimentary to the whole ROAST DINNER.
Urgh British voting public again.
Time To Be Glad Of The Gladstone Arms?
Well, this was either the best roast dinner of the year so far, or probably the second best not a roast dinner I’ve eaten out all year (New Year’s Day’s meal at Gunpowder was wow).
Anyway, what the hell am I doing asking you if this is a roast dinner? I’m the Lord of the manor, I’m Lord Gravy. If I tell you this is a roast dinner, this is a roast dinner. This is a roast dinner. You just get sauce instead of gravy.
And everything was very good or excellent. Crispy roast potatoes, fluffy Yorkshire pudding and the plumpest chicken I’ve had in ages. Not to mention the gorgeous Indian flavours throughout, and the sauce.
And. And we paid just £13.90 for this. 10 minutes walk from London Bridge station, which is almost central London by my definition. Service was fine – standard pub service at the bar, it’s a proper pub feel, the beer choice looked really good (ahhhh Dry February) and the food is excellent.
What more do you want on a Sunday? Gravy? Ah. Well, come on a midweek night and have one of these gorgeous-sounding Anglo-Indian pies instead. Pie and a pint for £14.99. Ridiculous. I will endeavour to find an excuse to go back.
My hungover accomplice scored it an 8.20 out of 10. I’m scoring it a whopping 8.47 out of 10. You could even argue for a higher score – but I remain wary of having it too high in the league table for all the “but this ain’t a roast dinner comments”.
The food at The Gladstone Arms is seriously excellent. And if the images of sauce on a roast dinner offend you, then come here for the pie menu on another night instead.
One word of warning though is that they had run out of roast dinners on the Sunday by 2:20pm, assuming we overheard correctly.
Next week I’m going to have a proper roast dinner. A proper pub, a proper roast dinner, with proper gravy…well…maybe.
There won’t ever be a pub named after Boris Johnson, will there?
The Gladstone Arms, Borough
Tube Lines: Northern
Fare Zone: Zone 1
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Everything. Plump, juicy chicken, crispy roast potatoes, fluffy Yorkie and tons of flavour. Indian flavour.
Loathed: Well. Is it a roast dinner? It comes with a spicy sauce - not gravy. Your call I guess.