This week the random number generator asked me to go to The Honor Oak pub in Honor Oak. A suggestion for which I had no enthusiasm at all, though mostly because it was the opposite side of London from where I live.
This nearly didn’t happen as my accomplice was going to pick up some empty cardboard boxes from me (cool story, bro), so we were going to go somewhere less inconvenient. But she called in sick. So I went back to my original plan.
Also part of the reason for my lack of enthusiasm is because we are well into the season where my shrivelled penis almost has as much appeal as my roast dinner blog. Yes, my demands for attention are barely any more successful at this time of year than my right-swiping of non-obese women.
Seriously, who cares if it was hot for one day? You still need a Sunday roast. Sunday roasts are not just for winter, you know.
Honor Oak. Honor Oak. Honor Oak.
My lack of enthusiasm meant that I was hoping to have a swift roast dinner transaction – get there, order, 5 minutes of microwaving, 6 minutes of eating, then get the fuck home and write my review.
Alas, things don’t always go smoothly – this time I had Google Maps to blame for giving me an impossible train to reach…had I run up both escalators at London Bridge underground then maybe I would just have made it in time. Fat bloke running in summer? Yeah. No.
After a 10 or so minute walk to the Honor Oak in Honor Oak, I arrived into one of those kinda trendy pubs made for almost middle-class south London types (the rung below Clapham types) – it was notably quiet with even plenty of free tables in the garden out the back.
I was pointed to my reserved table for one, and a menu was brought over.
I was quite impressed with the font of the menu, which may or may not have led me to choosing the leg of lamb – always an appealing cut of meat. I did actually vaguely consider the vegetarian option but I was suffering from enough lack of enthusiasm already, plus it was suitable for vegans and I have enough trouble attracting readers as it is at this time of year.
So I went to the bar to place my order. The barman seemed a bit unsure as to whether to allow me a roast dinner, went to check with someone else, then advised me that I had to wait 10 minutes to place my order as they had just taken quite a few orders.
Come back in 10 minutes, we don’t want your order
Imagine going to a supermarket, choosing a handful of items, getting to the checkout queue and someone says, “sorry, there are a few people ahead of you, come back in 10 minutes”. Or perhaps you arrive at your tube station tomorrow morning, there is a queue for the barrier and someone says, “can you come back and use the ticket barriers in 10 minutes”.
Maybe take my order, advise me there is a longer wait than normal, like what would happen at most establishments. Why was it impossible to take my order?
At least I got half a pint of apple juice for free. Woo. Celebrate good times.
As I said, I had a lack of enthusiasm and after traversing half of London, via Oxford Street to buy a shirt that isn’t fucking slim fit for my new job tomorrow whilst still having a fucking mild fever – anything stupid like “we cannot take your order for 10 minutes” was easily going to rile me. Especially when dining solo. I mean, I just wanted one solitary roast dinner.
I couldn’t even work out where these mass of orders could have come from – there were few people in the pub. I noted one table of six – could they have overwhelmed the ordering system?
10 minutes passed whilst I watched someone read a book entitled, “The Left’s Jewish Problem” and I managed to order my lamb roast dinner, served by someone with even less enthusiasm than myself. Is “Ohhh Jeremy Corbyn” still a thing?
30 minutes passed and it arrived.
Worth waiting for?
Starting with the spring greens which were disgustingly salty – pretty much inedible. I’ve had few worse sides over the past 108 roasts, this really was disgusting.
There was definitely a little smidgen of celeriac puree polluting the gravy, though too little to be able to construct an opinion of it.
A few carrot batons were supplied, which were fine.
Then there were three large chunks of parsnip – aesthetically anaemic and tasted substantially under-cooked, though technically edible – they didn’t offer much resistance to my knife.
You will be forgiven for wondering whether those under-cooked parsnips were actually under-cooked roast potatoes, as I thought myself at first. Until I realised that I simply had no roast potatoes on the plate.
So after my extra gravy arrived, I then asked for some roast potatoes too.
It didn’t take a genius to work out that the roast potatoes would also be under-cooked and my expectations were duly met. Four balls of misery (hmmm that gives me inspiration for a good opening line on Tinder), all quite tough and rubbery – and seemingly a cheap choice of potato. That said, I haven’t had decent roast potatoes for weeks so maybe it is a seasonal thing…though from my experience at the Honor Oak, I doubt I’d get a decent roast potato ever.
Would I have scored higher had I just ignored the fact that they had forgotten the roast potatoes?
The lamb was actually good. The culinary highlight to this point was the carrots, described as “fine” so I was relieved to actually enjoy part of the meal that I had spent over 3 hours travelling to and from, 30 minutes waiting to arrive plus 10 minutes waiting to order. Tender, plump and juicy with ribbons of succulent fat around the edge. If you are only going to get one thing right, then I guess the meat is the place to achieve greatness…well…goodness.
It certainly wasn’t great, but it was good. Thank fuck I didn’t order the vegetarian.
Normal service resumed for the Yorkshire pudding, large but suffering from heatlampitis, all dry and brittle – rather chewy too.
Finally the gravy was pretty much brown water with bits in it. Bits like dead herbs. It held minimal appeal but on the bright side, it didn’t offend like much of this roast dinner did.
Same shit, different roast
If I had a tick-list of all the things that most often go wrong in a roast dinner, then they were pretty much all ticked here – watery gravy, shit roasties, anaemic parsnips, brittle yorkie – tick, tick, tick and tick again.
Had the lamb been to the standard of everything else, then we could have been talking a bottom 5 roast. It rescues it enough to make it a 5.23 out of 10. Maybe I am being too generous, but all the roasts below it in the league table were definitely worse.
Why the fuck do I do this? I think my cancelled accomplice possibly had the better deal, being ill. Maybe she had too much 5G?
Just e-mailed them to let them know I had 5G of ket this weekend and was pretty dizzy.
Next weekend I am probably going for a better roast dinner than this one. Though only by the law of averages. The random number generator’s choice is hardly a thrilling one.
Though maybe I’ll realise reviewing roast dinners is a stupid fucking idea by then and just stay in. Or maybe my new employer will sack me in my first week. Or maybe those 5G rays will scramble my brain and send me loopy. Pass me the tinfoil, I’ve got some new science that you are too thick to understand.
The Honor Oak, Honor Oak, South London
Station: Honor Oak Park
Tube Lines: National Rail, Overground
Fare Zone: Zone 3