This week’s roast dinner review comes sponsored by Thomas Crapper & Co Ltd.
Last week I left a rather ominous suggestion that I might not make it out for a roast dinner this weekend. See, I’ve put a shitload of weight on since April, and I have a festival to go to at the end of August, you know, sex, drugs and sausage rolls. Or weird foreign things that taste nothing like sausage rolls.
So I was thinking of having a healthy weekend. I’m crapping myself about how I am going to look with this massive pot belly whilst wearing my green sequin bikini, unless I lose some weight.
Though as the week went on, my lunchtime salads slowly grated on my soul, and I enlisted the help of the random number generator, you know, just for the sake of curiosity. It picked somewhere in south-east London – alas, TFL advised that I would need to catch 5 different forms of transport to get there, thanks to a bewildering amount of engineering works in my way. You can cut that crap out.
I also had nobody to go with…but I wasn’t going to try to find someone, in case I decided that I wasn’t up for it.
Then on Saturday, I attempted some poached eggs.
You’d have thought that I’d take the hint that maybe something was wrong with them, but no I just fried the remaining two instead. Several hours later began the first of many trips to the toilet, as my rectum began impersonating a Nigel Farage speech.
I can see you thinking, “what crap am I reading here?”. I am sure that there is a joke there somewhere.
My plumbing issues continued on Sunday, but my general feel was also not helped by the heat of my bedroom. I concluded that I needed beer and air conditioning. Alas, no Metropolitan line (yes I did travel on the Metropolitan line a couple of times last summer just to get some air conditioning and chill out), so I spent a good amount of time researching the easiest place on my to-do list to get to, and researching potential toilet stops along the way too.
My venue of choice was The Princess Victoria in Shepherd’s Bush, just two tubes and a 20 minute walk away. I do live in an arse of an area when the Met line is down.
Guess what I did first? Yes, checked the toilets out for safety. Alas, they were resembling a mild form of sauna – thankfully the pub itself was replete with air conditioning.
There was a beer garden out the front, with various almost cheap-looking picnic benches – though I rather fancied some air conditioning and a lack of exhaust fumes.
Inside, The Princess Victoria was unexpectedly spacious, with both an extensive bar area and semi-cavernous dining room at the back, replete with various large pictures of slightly unusual-looking insects. I was going to photograph the room, however there was a young infant wearing just a nappy in the way, and I’m not sure whether the parents would have appreciated a weird-looking man on his own, photographing them.
It wasn’t busy inside, and I was offered my choice of tables, both in the bar and dining area. This was far too challenging for my delicate state, given that I was concentrating on getting there and back without changing the colour of my ex-girlfriend’s knickers. I eventually just asked to be shown to a table, at which point I decided that I didn’t like the table and found somewhere else that I preferred. Solo-dining does require a good corner to sit in, I find.
Hang on…think I need to disappear for a few minutes…
I’m back. You wouldn’t get shit like this from a typical lifestyle blogger would you? Am I a lifestyle blogger too? Roast dinners surely are a lifestyle? I need a poll.
Am I a lifestyle blogger? #LifestyleBlogger
— Roast Dinners London (@roastdinnersldn) July 22, 2018
Where was I? Maybe I’ll just add my newsletter subscription link.
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So I was on the really quite annoying website for The Princess Victoria just before I left my house (try using their menu and you’ll see what I mean), and realised that it rung a bell. They have a sister venue…well they have a few sister venues (hi sis!) but the one I’ve been to was The Abbeville in Clapham, which is still in my top 10.
I really wasn’t arsed whether I had a good dinner or not, I was just going so that one of my dearest readers wouldn’t miss out, who actually relies on my blog. But my hopes were up.
Beef, pork belly and chicken were on the menu. Quite possibly a vegetarian thing but I cannot remember, my phone is still next to the toilet I think (sure I will pick it up soon) and I definitely don’t want to have to try to navigate that damn menu system again. Prices were around £15 – by time this is up on WordPress I’ll have a photo of the menu here.
My strategy was to go for whatever I thought my churning stomach would have least difficultly with, so I chose the chicken.
10-15 minutes went by, I still hadn’t been to the toilet, and my dinner arrived. With very little gravy and no Yorkshire pudding.
Starting with the carrots, which were quite on the crunchy side, but in a most acceptable way, plenty of flavour came out – a good sprinkling of thyme and perhaps roasted in honey…there was something sweet about them. Actually damn good carrots. Really damn good carrots.
A handful of parsnip batons were awarded, arguably a little anaemic-looking, maybe the time of year, but they had a pleasant nuttiness to them, even if they could have done with being roasted a little bit more.
Then there was a cabbage and green bean mixture. Lots of it – half of my plate seemed to be vegetables. The cabbage was fairly simple and I couldn’t taste anything over the gravy…there is something about cabbage which is really complimented by good gravy. The green beans were a tad on the squeaky side, but pleasurable.
We actually had proper roasted roast potatoes too. Or at least, I had proper roasted roast potatoes too. Alas, they had been roasted some time ago, the crispiness just had a hint of sog to it – the largest of the three roast potatoes was dry inside, the smaller two were still passable…maybe verging on the decent. Had I arrived for midday or 1pm, I reckon I would have been raving about them.
No Yorkshire pudding was supplied, which is technically the correct thing to do on any roast other than beef – then again it is technically correct that we would have been sending £350m a week to the EU but that politely forgets our rebate, and the vast economic benefit that being in the single market brings…ooooops danger of losing…no followers as this is not Roast Dinners in Barnsley. I asked after I received my extra gravy and was told that I could order a yorkie, but I only envisaged it arriving after I’d finished everything, so I declined. Plus it would have cost an extra £1.50. I wonder if the government are stock-piling Yorkshire puddings in the event of no deal?
I am fine with the idea of no yorkie, after all it probably is the least important part…does it have any nutritional value at all? However, could there not be a stuffing ball instead?! I don’t recall receiving the promised bread sauce either, but I don’t believe in condiments on roast dinners so who gives a shit. Well…
Sorry. The gravy originally on the plate had a kind of oily appearance, assumedly blending into the juice from either the chicken or vegetables. Once more gravy arrived, it protruded itself as something quite delightful, a healthily thick consistency, a good stock-based gravy with a heavy hint of pepper though arguably a tad too much salt. Which seems to be a running theme at the moment.
Overall a good roast dinner. Nothing at all crap about it – maybe the largest of the roast potatoes was verging on the unpleasurable, but overall a consistently good meal. The gravy was the highlight…the roasties the least enjoyable part of it.
Had I arrived earlier then I’m sure I’d be giving this a slightly higher score (ie fresh, crispy roast potatoes) but I can only review what I receive. I could argue that perhaps there wasn’t enough on the plate for a £15 roast dinner, maybe I’d be a little harsh there though. A good yorkie may have resulted in a higher score, though. Or some sage and onion stuffing.
There was, I shit you not, a 12.5% service charge for the honour of taking my order and bringing my meal. I am slowly accepting that this is a way of life, in the same way that someone in a corrupt country may slowly come to accept handing over money to the police to go about their daily life.
It’s wrong. But everyone else does it. RECTUM.
I am giving it a very healthy 7.79 out of 10. It’s a thoroughly good roast dinner, in a good pub. What more can you want on a Sunday? Except ketamine and fellatio.
For those wondering, I did make it home without incident, though the last stretch to my house was, erm, strenuous.
Next weekend I think that I am being joined by my BFF and I am under instruction to go to a “cool” part of London. Anyone know where I can get a roast dinner in Leicester Square?