Hope you are well. This week I went to The Royal Oak, a pub in Marylebone. Hope you are well.
I hope you are well. I really like your profile and I’m keen to find out more about your expertise. I hope you are well! I came across your profile. I hope you’re well. I came across your profile. Hope you’re well and everything is going well at PeacockTV at the moment. I hope your well? I hope you’re well. What’s next for you, Joseph? Hope all is well! Hope you’re well!
Yes, I did the most dangerous thing that a software engineer could do, and clicked “open to opportunities” on LinkedIn.
A deluge of drudge followed, mostly recruiters trying to get me to work for the company that makes those awful fucking local news websites that constantly re-arrange adverts so that you cannot read the article about the latest sex pest in Middlesbrough.
Don’t worry, I’m safe posting this here as my boss is a vegan so he isn’t going to read this, and no, this isn’t going to be my first ever vegan roast dinner.
Besides, I’ll tell him what I’ve done. And then ask for another pay rise. And be like, “yeah, I’m going to leave”. I’m nearly leaving. I will be leaving soon. I hope I’m well. Yep, I’m really going to leave a job I really like. Yep, leaving soon. Might accept an interview. Then I’m leaving.
A royal remoaner
Oh fuck, does that make me the British government of software engineering? How are things? Hope all is well. Hope all is well!
So this week I was heading to Reading straight after my roast dinner to a pub with an outdoor toilet block, and Neck Oil at £4.60 a pint. Aha. Under £6.00. And an outdoor toilet block. Regretamine ahead.
I chose The Royal Oak because it was on my way to Paddington, though sadly it had just ordinary bog-standard indoor…bogs.
An early roast dinner, I was pretty much the only person when I arrived, and dining alone too. I do like The Royal Oak, I’d been here a couple of times and it is a good solid pub in an area more famed for upmarket nosh – not that The Royal Oak is slumming it, but it is more my level.
And weirdly, I had been here the year before, to the date.
A year to the date that I had my first post-lockdown public transport journey. A year to the date that I first tried to wear a mask, albeit not very well and not over my nose. Not breathing does get easier over time. I hope you are keeping well and had a good start to the week.
A royal hope you are well
There was a choice of rump cap at £18.00 or half a roast chicken at £17.00 – cheap for Marylebone. I went for the latter, knowing that I had a long day of drinking ahead of me, and thought chicken would be the lighter option.
And then this arrived:
Starting with the carrots which were sliced and had been roasted – I couldn’t quite work out the flavour, there was an oaky kind of taste, but otherwise these were fine yet uninspiring.
I couldn’t actually remember that I’d had cabbage the next day – I’m not sure whether that was because it was so unrememberable or whether it was because I was as pickled as calculator boy at Creamfields this weekend:
That is just stunningly beautiful, isn’t it? Alas, the cabbage was a bit mushy and forgettable. Edible but whatever.
The broccoli had a bit of a crunch to it, but also felt a tad past its best on a couple of the florets.
An unremarkable start as we head onto the roast potatoes, which are about as likely to be good as the Daily Mail are to call for a union with the EU. Wait, they did what?
Anyway, unlike the genius new-fangled idea of uniting with the EU to remove borders, the roast potatoes were nothing to write home about. A little crispy on the outside but a little tired too. Really rather middling. How are you? Hope you are doing well.
Now onto the good parts…
Oh by the way, in case you thought that I’d slipped my anonymity mask earlier – my name is not Joseph and I don’t work for PeacockTV. Some recruiters haven’t quite yet mastered copying and pasting.
So the Yorkshire pudding was large and good. Large and good. By time all the gravy had soaked into it, it was proper soggy on the bottom, the sides were the right level of crisp. This was actually good.
I hope your well
The half a chicken was huge – a Nando’s accountant would have had a heart attack if they sold chicken this plump…well, if they had any chicken to sell. Fucking EU, stopping us employing enough lorry drivers.
Anyway, so the chicken went on and on and ariston. I hope you’re well 😊. Plump, juicy – the breast meat wasn’t dry like it often can be, the skin was crispy and salty, the thigh was just glorious. This was an impressive piece of chicken.
And, erm, who the fuck is this?
I would just like to clarify that Yung Gravy is not me. Nor my child. Yes I do have a jacket like that. Yes I do like gravy. And yes I did like the gravy at The Royal Oak. Not only did I like it, but the waiter asked me if I wanted more – I didn’t even need to prompt him. It wasn’t an indecent amount in the first place, but the next jug was large.
I even made an action shot. Are you proud of me? I hope this message finds you in good health?
I know you get a lot of boring messages with “amazing job opportunities” every day so I decided to make a short video for you instead 🙂 Please watch my personalized message here.
Oh yeah, this was class gravy. Thick, seemingly infinite, a good level of stocky taste. Proper yum. Oh yeah, that action shot:
Time 4 a new role?
No, not if you cannot fucking use real words in a subject.
Well, the roast dinner at The Royal Oak was a bit of a mixed bunch. Partly very good, partly could be improved. Shock horror the roasties could be improved – nothing new there. But also I think their vegetable offering needs to be stronger, it felt almost an after-thought.
For the positives, the chicken was huge, super plump and juicy. I could happily eat that again. The gravy was thick, the Yorkie was soft and crispy in the right places – The Royal Oak got a lot right.
Service was attentive, though they didn’t have too much to be attentive for. Beer choice was good – they had a chorizo scotch egg with roasted garlic alioli on the bar snacks menu, which I really want to come back for. I must find an excuse. I will find an excuse – it is relatively convenient for me, as much as anywhere can be convenient on the Metropolitan line from Harrow.
I’m scoring it a 7.66 out of 10. The vegetable offering needs to be improved to take it from a very good roast to an excellent roast – but it is very much good enough to be worth a visit.
Next Sunday I’m going to a fairly newly opened pub – one with high prices and high expectations. The kind of place that could easily fail those expectations. As much as I’d prefer them to meet my high expectations, I am also keen to write a scathing review…it has been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to truly eviscerate.
I do hope that you are well.
The Royal Oak, Marylebone
Station: Baker Street
Tube Lines: Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee, Metropolitan Line
Fare Zone: Zone 1
Loved & Loathed
Loved: Huge half a chicken, plump and juicy too. Thick and proper gravy.
Loathed: Vegetables uninspiring, roasties a bit tired.