This week the random number generator picked The Rose in Fulham. Yes, first sentence and I’ve already told you where I intended on going…check that out SEO gurus.
Maybe it is a sign of me becoming sensible, and writing mature, intellectual reviews.
Oh shit I’ve reached 800 followers.
Don’t you realise that I vote Tory? I’m fat, I’m ugly, I have a small nob, I talk shit about roast dinners. And bang on about Brexit.
Why are you following me? I don’t even have blond hair extensions (yet). Morons, the lot of you.
— Roast Dinners In London (@roastdinnersldn) October 7, 2018
Though I’m not quite sure how intellectual calling all your followers ‘morons’ is. Yes I did immediately lose a few.
So this week I had nobody to go with. Maybe I could have found someone if I had tried, but I’d had a super busy week, which even involved a day in the inspiring town of Luton, and was quite happy to spend the weekend by myself.
I tried to book a table for one person at The Rose, to receive the message; Sorry: We only take LUNCH bookings of at least 2.
I was so pre-offended. I was outraged. Racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, sexism, transphobia (oh it’s not a word apparently, according to my spell-checker, so that doesn’t exist) and solophobia all in one.
How dare they?
There was only two options. Either lie to them and book a table for two, turn up and say something like “oh my best friend was going to join me but his breast implants are leaking so he’s had to go to hospital”. Or go somewhere else entirely.
So I chose neither option and just turned up at 1pm and hoped for a table. I was in luck – there was one spare table. As long as I was finished within 1.5 hours when the table was booked for – and with a large family on the table next to me with a cornucopia of young children who became far too interested in me, singing happy birthday not long after I sat down, I was most certainly not intending on outstaying my welcome.
Earphones in, straight to the bar and ordered a chicken roast dinner at the very decent price of £14.00 – decent price for Fulham I thought, and The Rose was a relatively upmarket place – it didn’t feel stuffy or posh or anything – it was just very prettily curated, with posh light blue paint, and a really airy, open and bright space. It didn’t feel so upmarket that I shouldn’t be there, yet the local area was populated by people that clearly earned significantly more than myself, and the clientele were definitely middle class at a minimum – I did spy some proper posh totty too.
I did the whole magically disappear trick whilst standing at the bar watching staff members scurry around doing nothing and ignoring me before one realised that I was there – not the most imaginative beer choice either – I plumped for a pint of Camden Hells in the end, which seems ever so ordinary nowadays. Not quite the new Carlsberg, but on the way.
And when I sat down, I then read the menu properly and discovered that they had a ‘toad in the hole’ roast dinner with Cumberland sausages. For just £12.
Cue a sinking realisation of the mistake that I’ve made, the kind of feeling that you get when you kiss a woman and realise that there is a penis down below. Not that my sex life even gets to that stage of satisfaction nowadays.
There was also sirloin of beef available at £16.50 and pork belly at £14.50. Oh, I nearly forgot the vegetarian, which was…oh it came with mushroom sauce so therefore isn’t a roast dinner and should not be in the ‘roasts’ section. And whilst we are on the subject, please fuck off with your Vegan Oktoberfest, Vegan steak, Vegan bacon, etc. Get your own fucking names. Leave my manly meat-loving alone.
By the way, I’m not really gay. Or black. Well, I am black, gay, trans and female at heart. Not at the same time obviously.
My lunch arrived pretty quickly, maybe within 10 minutes. The portion and quality looked healthy, and there was even a bowl of gravy accompanying it – which threw me off balance and persuaded me not to order extra gravy. I’m struggling to think of an occasion where I didn’t order extra gravy after receiving my roast dinner. Down south. Hell, even my mother doesn’t always give me enough gravy (way more than a southern chef though). In other news – apparently there is a roast dinner tapas place that has opened…in Hull. Roadtrip anyone? Though there is a risk that your train may catch fire on the way to Hull.
Let’s start with the carrots for a change because I am not at all bored about writing about the same thing every week. Carrots are the cheapest vegetable available, aren’t they? These were nicely roasted, a phrase I seem to use every week, and yeah that’ll do. You aren’t that interested in the carrots are you?
Then there was some savoy cabbage. Cabbage has hugely grown on me (non-red cabbage) but I think I have worked out why – it is because lots of gravy can get trapped in there. This was very enjoyable, combined with my dwindling watery gravy. OK, I’m just a fat, straight, middle-aged white guy that doesn’t even own a sequin crop top. Yet. Pride 2019, baby.
This was followed by…well…I’m not really sure. My guess is some kind of squash, there were two different shades; vaguely orange and anemic yellow. Neither particularly impressed but the anaemic yellow, which did confusingly taste like weak parsnip I didn’t even bother to finish. Pointless.
Less pointless was the cauliflower cheese but I wasn’t overly convinced by it. Nice enough but more creamy than cheesy, and didn’t especially add anything. Wagwan.
Just two roast potatoes this week and they weren’t bad. Soft enough on the inside, more solid than crispy on the outside – though on one side also burnt, as if they had been finished off on a grill plate and someone forgot to take them off.
Also with a burnt side was the chicken – more of a shame as it meant the best part, the skin, had a charcoaled yuck to it. Otherwise the chicken was plump and plentiful, half a chicken and really very large in portion. Mostly nice, though just a tad dry for the breast portion…no major shakes, just imperfections.
The Yorkshire pudding was large and rather eggy – as if it was a double-egg yorkie but it wasn’t advertised this way. It had an oddly sharp edge around the rim, but was a pleasant accompaniment.
There was also a little ball of joy, a ball of sausagemeat which was very similar as to something that might go in a sausage roll. There’s a thought – why can you not have a sausage roll roast dinner? I’ve probably thought about that before. I’m surprised I talk about Brexit more than I talk about sausage rolls. I’ve not mentioned Brexit yet. Have I?
Finally, the gravy. It looked impressive in its deceivingly small bowl, however it was more just inoffensive and ordinary. And also very watery – why is so much gravy down here thinner than water? Just put some cement in it. I’m pretty sure my drug dealer does the same and I can still get high and rob pensioners for my next fix. And despite being so thin (not me – the gravy), I still needed to order more which involved me spending a short long time staring at staff in the hope one would acknowledge me and bring me some gravy.
Overall it wasn’t a roast dinner that particularly impressed – on the other hand, any gripes were pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.
Respectably priced for the area, and a pleasant way to spend 45 minutes or so. If you are in the area then I’d keep walking to The Dove in Hammersmith, but you shouldn’t be too disappointed with The Rose as a back-up plan. It was decent. But quite a way from excellent.
I’ve broken my league table so I’m not sure how to compare it to other roast dinners, so I’m going to give it a 7.08 out of 10.
Next weekend I’m heading south of the river and possibly into the Triangle Of Doom. Exact venue still TBC.
Oh my word, I have just solved Brexit. You know this whole fuss over the customs union and the Northern Ireland border, should we have a customs border 20 miles inland, in the sea, yadda yadda? There is a simple solution. Military invasion and occupation of Ireland. There would be no need for a border in Ireland then.
Why have we not thought about this before? It would solve all of our problems. Boris, where are you?
I’ll be back next week and hopefully I will have solved the Middle East peace crisis. Hey, Donald Trump thinks he can, so don’t rule me out. Oh my word, I nearly forgot – I was on the escalator at Earl’s Court and I was semi-flashed by a woman with really cute breasts, wearing what appeared to be just a half-buttoned jacket. Though she probably wasn’t flashing at me, per se. MAGA.