Well, can you believe it. I’ve finally made it to roast dinner number 150. A milestone that should have been reached in April, has been made in September instead – which was a bit like the delayed milestone of my football team being relegated in July instead of April. I chose to celebrate it at The Grazing Goat in Marylebone.
These milestone roasts don’t always go smoothly. Hawksmoor was number 25 and was well below expectations. The Pig & Butcher was number 50, which so many people raved about. It was very good – but no more. Eat Lagom was number 100 – but was more like Eat The North Sea, it was so, so salty.
The Grazing Goat was chosen by myself, on my to-do list for a little while from at least a couple of recommendations. The random number generator has been half-retired as I’ve only been doing roast dinners that are relatively easy to get to from Harrow, and this will likely continue for as long as we need to pretend that masks actually protect people from covid-19. Or someone decides that they want to drive me to south or east London from Harrow. Yeah, see you after the pandemic, south London. Also, how can Piers Corbyn afford to get arrested so often?
Last week wasn’t the most joyful of weeks, was it? Two scientists decided to present made up scary figures on Monday, Boris then decides to make up policy from the made up figures on Tuesday. The hospitality apocalypse is upon us, the most pointless, evidence-free 10pm curfew has been imposed and then they take the piss by making us wear masks when going for…a piss.
We still do “follow the science”, right?
So everyone seems to have a cold at the moment, everyone seems to blame everyone else for spreading covid-19 and everyone thinks either these measures don’t go far enough or go too far. My loathing of humanity gauge is reading quite high. And then autumn has finally arrived. Whilst I really enjoy rain, I also really quite like the light nights. Do we have to have darkness?
Not to mention the change in clothing – out goes the PROTECTOR GYM BAND for my 6-pack with matching pants, in comes the bum-warming t-shirt, perfectly designed to stop that chilly winter wind making my willy even smaller than it already is.
And it does feel like a very long winter is ahead of us. At this rate I’ll be your only joy for the next 6 months that doesn’t involve self-pleasure. By the way, have you considered sticking your finger up your bum whilst reading this?
Our politicians are goats
These reviews are always much easier to write if I have something to moan about, but I feel that I overindulged in covid ranting last week, and I’m yet to have a bad roast since lockdown ended.
I did actually cope with the mask thing. Upon arrival at The Grazing Goat I scanned the QR code via the NHS app, advised who I was (do you know who am I? I really hope not as these are supposed to be anonymous reviews), was sent upstairs and asked to wear a face covering. Fine. I complied. I don’t like it. I really don’t like it and don’t agree with it. But I do it for you, and your need to know where the best roast dinners in London are. If I didn’t wear a mask then maybe I’d only get a thimble of gravy. Oh that would be normal anyway.
I arrived upstairs, grunted my name to the waiter and we were shown to our table for two – well spaced from all other tables in what was already a very open feeling gastropub, on one of those cute Marylebone streets with the super exclusive delicatessens.
Our hospital surgeon…sorry…waiter was very professional and welcoming. You know, the “proper service” kind of waiter, the kind you expect in a proper restaurant though The Grazing Goat did seem to have a bit of an identity crisis – pub or restaurant? I’m sure I’ll describe it as both, quite interchangeably. He seemed to have good command of the food and drinks, was kind and considerate, willing to have a little chat about the whole scenario we are in. It was a proper waiter’s welcome.
No goat to eat
So I said that this was an upmarket gastropub and the prices of a roast probably exceed the expectations of many.
The lamb was £21.00, pork belly £23.00 and rib of beef £24.00. Oh and I nearly forgot about the trio – which was £27.00.
Marylebone is an expensive area of London and this is one of the more upmarket gastropubs that I’ve been to – though very much still a pub and not quite a restaurant. And it was roast dinner number 150, so I was happy to pay a little extra…I wanted a trio and I wanted one now. Not one, not two but three meats innit.
Yeah I’ve been waiting for 149 reviews to be able to use that 1980’s reference. With apologies to my American readers who won’t have a clue, but you know, Chris Grayling also.
Our roasts took around 20 minutes to arrive, time in which we indulged ourselves with a good moan about the whole situation and the bullshit over the curfew and masks – but I won’t bore you further. Here’s the roast dinner instead:
Before you ask, there was plenty of gravy – it’s in the later photographs, and I have no idea what that little pot of sauce is…perhaps mint sauce but I’m a one-condiment only kinda guy, faithful to the love of my life, gravy. Well, gravy and Margaret Thatcher. Don’t ask me to choose. I’d probably go for gravy, pending clarification on Thatcher’s modern views on leaving the EU.
Pump up the goat on your toast
So the carrots had been well roasted, to the point of being charred – though we are not talking burnt, actually tasting like more flavour had been brought out than normal. A mixture of orange and purple carrots, and plenty of them…though thin and floppy so perhaps only half a carrot in total!
Some heads of broccoli were supplied. Broccoli is pretty magical yet ordinary, these had a bite to them but not too crunchy.
And that was the end of the vegetables. They had some sides that we could have ordered but I didn’t realise this until after the roast. Plus I’d already forked out £27.00 for a roast dinner, so I was happy not to extend this.
I’ve been moaning about the lack of crispy roast potatoes for weeks…months…well, nearly 4 years. Though it has been especially notable of late.
These actually were crispy, but sadly they were very much tough and crispy on the outside. Too crispy but in a tough way. If you can get over them being too tough, then they were decent enough and quite fluffy in the middle – closest to good roasties for a while, but not good. And one had enforced apple sauce on.
The Yorkshire pudding was decent, one of those pot kind of things. With the beef and gravy, it was pretty sexual but I’ll cover that later.
So the lamb was pretty banal. Nice enough, I’d have been happy had I cooked it, but it didn’t really stand out in any way – which is why I normally don’t have the trio, trieeeeeo.
Hang on, we need a photograph of Shaun Goater, don’t we?
Gosh its a good job I’m not famous or some leftie university lecturer would be unpacking my photograph of Shaun Goater to explain my subconscious bias towards a white cisgender normative agenda and why I should therefore be cancelled. I don’t think me going from 19 weekly readers to 0 would be much of a cancellation culture coup.
The pork belly was much more in line with expectations, it seemed like quite a small joint had been used, it was a very succulent piece of meat, with the crackling mixing a little chew and a little crunch. Alas, it had enforced condiment on it – with apple sauce plastered on top. Pretty much the only thing I’ve had to complain about so far…bar the roasties.
The best meat by some way was the rib of beef – I really wish I had gone for this instead of the trio, trieeeeeeo. A bit of crisp on the outside, beautiful rareness on the inside, some fatty bits to just add extra flavour – so sad that I only had one slice.
Finally the star of the show was the gravy. Well, hello. Proper, glorious, thick meat stock gravy in a large jug – the waiter suggested that he’d bring me a pint of gravy but he’d need to see me drink it.
This is exactly how gravy should be and one of the very best in London out of the 150 that I’ve had…and boy I’ve had some wank jus gravy shite over the last few years.
Goat home or go to The Grazing Goat?
There isn’t really anything significant to moan about from this roast dinner – sure the roasties weren’t great and I don’t like enforced condiments.
I do feel that for the price of £27.00, there perhaps could have at least been more thought on the vegetables. Broccoli and roasted carrots is something I’d expect from my mother’s respectably decent roast dinner (assuming she doesn’t attempt beef). Whilst nice, they were very ordinary and perhaps I’d hope for something a bit more cheffy for the price I was paying.
On the flip-side the roast beef was close to exquisite – yes I very much should have stuck to ordering roast beef instead of the trio, but I don’t regret it per say, I just would have enjoyed it more. And the gravy was seriously superb.
My accomplice rated her roast an 8.20. I’m a little behind with my score, which is a 7.98 out of 10. Very healthy scores, a very good roast dinner, really nice establishment, lots of space and it felt very safe like most venues that I’ve been to.
I think it’s worth a goat.
Urgh, sorry, I’ll get my…goat
I should be back this Sunday. Table is booked, it’s a lesser known venue so hopefully it won’t already be on the radar of 1,000 other roast dinner Instagrimmers.
Unless, of course…
The Grazing Goat, Marylebone, Central London
Station: Baker Street
Tube Lines: Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee, Metropolitan Line
Fare Zone: Zone 1
Loved & Loathed
Loved: The gravy was the star of the show - glorious, thick meat stock gravy in a large jug. Gorgeous beef too.
Loathed: Vegetables could have had more imagination, and don't like enforced condiments - apple sauce should not be decided for me!