The Kennington, Oval

Please note that due to Copyright Trolls, all images have been removed until I can manually review them, one by one, and ensure credit is appropriately displayed. So if the story suddenly makes no sense, then...well...soz.

This is a long process, so please bear with me...it will likely take until the end of 2024 until all images are reviewed and displayed correctly. Sigh.

On Friday I went to Lord’s and on Sunday I went to Oval…The Kennington to be precise. Howzat for an opening?

Alas, no thanks to the RMT who were delighting in attempting to stop working class folk from attending their £110 seats at Lord’s to watch a day’s cricket. Well, two thirds of a day’s cricket. And OK, I willingly spent £8.90 on a beer last Sunday, so maybe I’m not working class either.

But victory was mine! Power to the workingmiddle…wannabe middle classes. Yes, thanks to the RMT deciding that they’d strike because TfL wouldn’t share them documents from the government marked CONFIDENTIAL, I had to go on a rather elongated journey to central London. And boy, was I ready to give the striking RMT members a middle-class wag of my finger when I saw them at the picket lines.

Alas. London Euston – no picket line. Great Portland Street – no picket line. Surely a picket line when I walked past Baker Street? Nope. Not one single smoking, rusty oil drum with blokes stood around with fat 80’s moustaches, waving socialist dream placards in sight.

Oh man…you thought I was a leftie, didn’t you? All those posts slagging off Brexit and Boris Johnson…just wait until I start getting excited about Liz Truss’ Going For Going For Growth:

Oh, wrong moron.

Though channelling my (exceptionally well-hidden) inner Scargill, in a roundabout kind of way the strikes might help me afford to buy a house, as pay rises will feed into higher inflation and I am so desperate to be paying more than £10 a beer next year, which also means that interest rates will have to go up much further, which then makes mortgages less affordable, more people/banks desperately selling houses and then maybe house prices might crash by…oooh 4% or something equally whopping.

At least the RMT haven’t gone on strike on a Sunday. AND DON’T FUCKING THINK ABOUT IT.

Circle

Nobody reads this anyway and just in case you yet convinced to hit that close button, I used to have a Margaret Thatcher mouse mat. But nobody needs a mouse mat now. Did we ever need mouse mats? Or screen savers? Were they all a con?

Going For Gold poster

Still here? Wow. I haven’t even started boring you about carrots yet.

Anyway. The Kennington. Another random number generator pick from my to-do list, albeit after overruling everywhere over £25, places I’ve vaguely planned to go to and places not selling roast dinners in summer. I think maybe the 5th randomly selected place. My blog. My rules. Fuck Brexit.

RMT - vote to leave the EU.

Anyway. The Kennington. I feel like proper writers probably don’t start almost every paragraph with “anyway, “but”, “however”, etc. But, however, I don’t care. The Kennington is an independent pub, at least from what I can tell. Kind of nicely done inside, at least in terms of paintwork and furniture, but then also some naff 90’s kind of touches.

It was pretty quiet inside, so I didn’t feel like I was being too creepy in taking a photograph of the pub.

The Kennington, Oval

Worryingly quiet, really. But was it quiet because people are starting to cut back on unnecessary spending? Not that Sunday roasts are unnecessary, but times are tough out there. Or was it quiet because the weather was still pretty nice, and people were outside?

Or was it quiet because the Sunday roasts aren’t very good? That was my concern. Anyway. But. However.

Two menus this week to make my photography look even crapper than normal. Firstly was the main menu, featuring beef rump, chicken breast and pork belly roasts – priced between £17.50 and £18.90. I was about to go for the beef, until I saw the leg of lamb on the specials menu, also priced at £18.90 – when did I last have lamb?

Pentagon

Our roast dinners arrived pretty damn quickly – our waitress asked if we wanted our wines immediately after ordering or when our meals arrived, which was a nice touch, but given that the roasts took less than 10 minutes to arrive, it didn’t really matter.

Some places, you say, “can I have a red wine WITH my meal”, and they bring it out immediately…and shock horror…you need another one by time the roast dinner finally arrives. Wouldn’t happen if we nationalised pubs and gave them all to the government to run. Yikes. Government-run pubs. Maybe I’ll leave that train walk/bus/cycle of thought for another blog because my fingers are about to go on strike. Typing. Not fingering.

The Kennington, Oval, Lamb Roast Dinner

Let’s start with the carrots which you cannot see, but I like to show you how the meal was presented so maybe blame The Kennington. Granted I could start with the Yorkshire pudding…

Nah. The carrots were decent enough. Roasted. I have nothing else to say about them.

The seasonal greens were a mixture of savoy cabbage – which was fairly nice, and two tiny bits of broccoli, which were rather nice. Appreciate my description is a bit bland, but so were the vegetables – no hint of seasoning or butter, or anything else to assist with elucidation. But it was nice enough.

The Kennington, Oval, Lamb Sunday Roast

It may look like there are six roast potatoes, but sadly there are only three. We were actually advised that we could have extra if we wished, and the sadness is more due to the parsnips themselves, which were tough, undercooked and tasteless. The worst parsnips for quite some time.

Hexagon

On the flipside, the roast potatoes were actually OK. Only one nearly-crispy side amongst all three potatoes, so maybe they were more roasted potatoes than roast potatoes, but there was nothing wrong with them per se, and they tasted alright. Which is almost a compliment – especially when compared to half the crap roast potatoes in London.

And the Yorkshire pudding wasn’t bad either. Freshly-cooked…I know – the shock of it…fairly soft though again fairly bland. Respectably decent.

The highlight of the roast dinner was the lamb. Two slices of a decent thickness – steak thickness if you glued them together, a tender texture, a little fat and tasted heartily lambish.

My accomplice had the beef rump, which was nowhere near as good as the lamb from the bite that I had, but she enjoyed it.

The Kennington, Oval, Beef Sunday Roast

Finally, the gravy. I didn’t like it. Which is kind of a problem when there’s actually enough gravy on the plate already. It wasn’t horrendously bad, but it did taste a bit burnt – rich and a little burnt, like it had been left on the stove for too long. Yacky but not totally yucky.

Oval. And The Kennington.

I should probably finish the review here and not give you the final part, just to represent the England cricket team and their success in losing so quickly that I only got two-thirds of a day’s play for the £110 tickets that the RMT tried to stop me attending.

And fuck me, the Met line the next day, after the strike, when I went to go show my mum around the dead flowers at Superbloom…well…if you made it this far then you’ve probably seen my thoughts on the Metropolitan line before. Quite how it is still a disaster at 9pm, due to the strike the day before, I can only imagine.

The roast dinner at The Kennington does need some improvement, I’m afraid. The parsnips need cooking properly, the gravy needs to be on the hob less (at least this week’s did), and the vegetables could do with some seasoning…or herbs…or some enlivening.

One aspect which was notably good, was the lamb – so they got arguably the most important thing right. But then again, you could argue that the gravy is the most important aspect…I do…and that did taste a bit burnt.

Service was perfunctory and pleasant, the glass of Malbec was pleasant too – they had Brixton Pale which was about as exciting as they got for beer, ie not very, but better than mass-market crap. They did have some cask beer on too, if that is your cup of tea.

My accomplice’s score was a 6.90 out of 10. My score is a 6.71 out of 10. I wonder if in 40 year’s time, people will have Liz Truss mouse mats?

No plan yet for this Sunday. Might be a solo-dining mission…we shall see.

Though maybe I do need a new mouse mat…

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Summary:

The Kennington, Oval

Station: Oval

Tube Lines: Northern

Fare Zone: Zone 2

Price: £18.90

Rating: 6.71

Get Booking

https://www.thekennington.com/

Instagrim

Loved & Loathed

Loved: The leg of lamb was very nice, flavoursome and cooked gently.

Loathed: Gravy tasted a bit burnt and yacky, parsnips were tough.

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