Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me…yeah whatever.
It’s my birthday. So why the hell should I be the one doing the work, the one constructing the weekly elegant linguistic masterpiece ON MY BIRTHDAY?
So I invited a collection of my weirdest and most wonderful friends to come and join me for a Sunday roast at The Little Blue Door in Fulham, and advised them that they would be writing my review for me.
Oh and as it is my birthday, I have included some pornographic images. I’ll let you decide which you think most closely resembles myself.
Which means that it is not safe for work.
Not safe for work.
NOT SAFE FOR WORK.
[I may need to narrate]
Venue – my speciality [said accomplice runs a venue], I was greeted by a giant blue door – this is the first challenge when you question yourself am I really at the right place? Welcomed by a polite and jolly staff member and directed to our table which was set in the ‘kitchen’.
Instantly loved the feel of the place. If you didn’t already know the venue is made to feel like your home, designed around different rooms you may have at home and all very well elaborately decked out. Very big fan of the prosecco vending machine, the toilets confused me but great monkey wallpaper! Would appreciate the palm tree in my bathroom too. The ‘living room’ has a cosy feel with clusters of tables and scattering of cushions. The main bar is also located in here. The games room was great, pool table, N64 and a dressing up box, what more could you want?
[Good start – nothing much to add here, though a disappointing lack of feather boas and bras in the dressing up box].
[There were 12 of us around the table – the deal being that they bring the food over on serving platters, a mixture of chicken and beef – the vegetarian is plated up separately – yes I do have a vegetarian friend, yes she does still speak to me, no she does not read this blog].
As an experienced roast club member i felt the price was reasonable for London. I had 2 x red wine, 1 x small beer the mega roast and dessert and with service charge it was £44. I genuinely have no idea of the actual roast price! Yes there is a reason I do Instagram and do not write reviews!
[£16.50 per head – you can check the menus here. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about Brexit.]
[Dinner took a while to arrive – though I think more our fault than theirs, as we were waiting for 2 late arrivals. They’d advised me that food is served on the hour, so with the last two people arriving around 14:10, we had a while to wait. I was happy to wait – though some did comment.]. [Full stop on the outside or inside of square brackets?]
[After the charm of the venue, there was some consternation when roast dinners for 11 people came out on one serving platter. What the fuck? The member of staff bringing the food seemed pretty surprised himself, and this led to some difficulty and wrangling as people didn’t know how much they could have – how do you divide 10 carrots between 11 people, for example? And not everyone had a pig in blanket. Hmmm, it seems that I am doing far more writing than I planned. This is going nearly as well as you know what, isn’t it?]
Oh yeah, porn:
Carrots, carrots. What can I say about Carrots?
Great! I thought on the day, I’ve got loads of material on carrots.
Turns out, I was being highly optimistic and in the harsh reality of writing this review… I don’t really have that much to say on carrots. I mean, who does?
[Welcome to my world, my dear]
What I will say, is that when I was little I used to steal carrots off my dad’s plate… couldn’t keep me away from them apparently. So because of that, I like to think myself as appropriately qualified (and slightly humbled) that I get to write this part of the review.
Anyway I didn’t steal any carrots at this meal, however I did enjoy them. Whole, skin on and cooked in what we think was an orange jus (pronounced joo – yes, you have to read that in a french accent), they went down a storm. Much glee was expressed as the citrus-y surprise lifted our spirits. The friend opposite me even exclaimed “these might be the nicest carrots I’ve ever had”.
So there you go folks, turns out that carrots cooked in orange juice is a winner. Go forth and joo.
I think that’s all I’ll say about that.
[The carrots really were awesome. Best carrots ever?]
Best vegetarian roast in a long time, especially the cauliflower cheese which was delicious. Parsnip puree was interesting – prefer parsnips cooked in oven and honey-glazed.
[Not sure what to say here. I hadn’t asked for any comment on the vegetarian roast. There was nowhere near enough cauliflower cheese to go around all 11 of us, but the vegetarian got more – and about 11 carrots to herself too. My limited cauliflower cheese ended up on my parsnip sludge so I’m not really able to comment but both seemed pretty decent. There was also some buttered greens which were delicious] [Fuck the full stop]
[Looks like I am going to have to talk about the roast potatoes myself. They were respectable, small in size with a feeling of cooked quite a bit earlier but fluffy and decent enough]
[Brexit means Brexit]
Large, perfectly formed Yorkshire puds; crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside!
[This was probably the best Yorkshire pudding that I’ve had in London. Truly perfect]
The Chicken was perfectly cooked and very moist. I must say the quantity supplied was seriously lacking though. I may have burnt more calories walking round to the trough to grab my mouthful.
The Chicken reminded me of Brexit. A lot of promise and a pot of gold for some. But most people didn’t get a look in.
Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time for a second referendum on this. So I just covered it in gravy and ate it before it was taken back.
How moist was the chicken you ask? About this moist.
[Best contribution so far? Except for the capital letter on chicken, perhaps]
[No word on the beef. I enjoyed it – it was thinly cut and verging on the medium. There was a tad of gristle in places, and some people commented more on this than I did so I guess they had more gristle than I]
[Me again. I didn’t realise that we were getting both stuffing and a pig in blanket, so I hadn’t assigned this to anyone – not that it mattered too much as I’ll be waiting until Christmas for some of the contributions. The pig in blanket arguably could have been cooked a little bit more, but it was gorgeous in it’s pinky…porn?]
[Eeeeeee OK maybe that wasn’t the one. But yeah the pig in blanket was awesome. As was the stuffing – I love stuffing but it rarely impresses on a Sunday roast – either someone trying to be too imaginative and putting fucking fruit in it, or just pre-manufactured stuff. This stuffing was clearly homemade, large-sized balls, both the sage and onion came through clearly]
[Nope, I’m still waiting for the gravy input too. He has sent me (again) a video of his rather homoerotic exercise video, which is quite hilarious but obviously I cannot share for anonymity’s sake. Besides I really want to write about the gravy. Why? Hang on…]
[The gravy was fucking amazing. Thick gravy. In London. On my birthday. Seeeeeerrrrrious (in a Welsh accent please, but). It not only had a perfect consistency to it, but tasted amazing too – seemingly a white wine gravy, rather creamy, quite herby and just the perfect accompaniment to everything. I had to ask for extra on a few occasions – two jugs really wasn’t sufficient, but they complied to our demands, perhaps partly due to the embarrassment of the stupid 11 person serving platter.]
After finding the experience of dining at the Little Blue Door a little odd but thoroughly enjoyable curiosity kicked in as to what other venues might be out there that offered unusual eating experiences in London. Eating in the dark being served by blind staff at the Dans Le Noir, the Soho sex shop that’s a restaurant, dining while acrobats perform all around you or something I am sure Lord Gravy would appreciate – dining at the Basement Gallery tube train given his love of London Underground. However it seems these establishments do not do roasts so how about a roast dinner at HMP Brixton – the Clink, no wait – they don’t do alcohol so that will not work either. Looks like Toby Carvery is next up then…
[No, Toby Carvery is not up next. I have considered The Clink but an inability to take photographs has put me off – cameras and phones being contraband]
The service was excellent! Each person of staff with their own unique style (the hat didn’t go unnoticed!), all very polite and kind, cheerful and smiling, keen to help, and in on any kind of “banter” (as the kids say these days) we would throw their way. The food did take a little longer than expected to arrive, but when it did – what a spectacle! It didn’t help that they didn’t blame Brexit for the delay, by now I blame everything on Brexit; it’s in the Brexiters’ spirit of lies and twisted truths.
[Can you tell I didn’t have any Brexiters attending? I did invite a few.]
[Back to me for the summary and scoring. Birthday roasts always fill me with dread. Will people accept my invite? Will people attend who said they were going to? More importantly, where can I book that has a good chance of being impressive yet not too fussed if people don’t turn up. I thought Little Blue Door might meet my criteria.
Apart from the fucking stupid presentation, it was the perfect place to have a birthday roast – given that the table was set up for 3 serving platters, I was totally bemused as to why this was ignored by the chef. Drinks were on the pricey side – occasionally we’d have to go looking for staff to take drinks orders, but the platter and minor glitches aside, this was a very well functioning arrangement.
Yeah I’m bored of the square brackets now. And I’ve run out of porn.
The venue itself is a true delight, as the pictures hopefully capture – the games room an added nice touch, for somewhere to go chill out after dinner. And they had a pretty amazing chocolate dessert too, which I’m almost foaming about more than the porn, which was only £5.50. So often dessert menus arrive, and they are the price of a roast dinner (well, a roast dinner up north) – £5.50 is about the limit of what I am willing to pay for a dessert. And it was gorgeous.
You’ll have noticed that I’ve used a few words regularly here, “amazing”, “awesome” and “perfect”. The roast potatoes definitely could have been improved, the beef was fairly standard and the parsnip sludge was most certainly a downgrade from actual parsnips. However – arguably the best ever carrots, best ever yorkie and most importantly, best ever gravy (perhaps I’ve had better of all of these but very close to best if so) – with stuffing and pigs in blankets.
It’s therefore a very high scoring roast dinner. My accomplices rated it with a variety of scores from 7.75 to 9 – some were keener to lower the score due to the serving platter than others. I tend to rate mainly on food unless anything else is amazing or dreadful, so I am knocking a bit off the score due to the ridiculous way that it was served to us.
All withstanding, I’m scoring it a shockingly high 8.72 out of 10. My second best roast dinner in London EVER.
Next weekend I’m going somewhere a little more upmarket than normal – though not too much. Somewhere touching the £20 bracket for a roast. And probably £15 for a dessert. Shall I write this review myself?
I did put a photo of the roast dinner in, didn’t I?