The Scolt Head, Dalston

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 will likely take until the end of 2024 until all images are reviewed and displayed correctly. Sigh.

It was the final officially scheduled Sunday Funday of 2022, and I was on the way to Dalston, to The Scolt Head.

Yet I didn’t really feel like having a fun day. Yes, I had a pretty whopping hangover…from Friday. The joys of being middle-aged…and still not being able to afford a house…but I can afford copious amounts of average IPA in plastic cups.

All I wanted on Sunday was a roast dinner, a couple of beers, to come home nice and early. Maybe even sit in the sunshine for a beer along the way. And to have the review written by the end of Sunday evening.

Alas, I’d arranged a roast dinner for 3pm. Aaaarrrrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhh.

Aaaarrrrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhh.  Is this the end of the Sunday roast headline in the Sunday People newspaper.

Aaaarrrrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhh. You know, one day this will be over. Not my life…well…it will at some point but hopefully not any point before the government ban blogging – but one day my mission will be over.

Maybe I will eventually conclude that mission is over. Don’t worry (or hope) – I’ve still got 54 places on my to-do list and at least 17 of them are “must-do”. So this isn’t any time soon.

Maybe the government will conclude that their priority is to “fix the internet” and follow through with the Online Safety Bill which will make having any form of website, especially one with any vague subversive nature, exceptionally unaffordable to run. I’d have to fucking just use Instagrim for my reviews. And they’d probably kick me off.

Or maybe I’ll finally become non-obese, fix my crystal meth teeth, buy an overpriced shoebox flat in London then move to Spain with my new-found Spanish wife? Roast Dinners In Malaga, anyone?

Tweet showing how damaging Brexit is.

COST OF LIVING CRISIS IS NOTHING TO DO WITH BREXIT. EVERYTHING TO DO WITH PUTIN. EVERYTHING. Putin’s not the only one looking to re-write history and facts, my friends.

Slight tangent…

Fuck Putin

Erm, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, Sunday. I’d stupidly agreed to go for a roast at the later than usual time of 3pm. I left my house early, hinting to my friend that I wanted to eat earlier – though The Scolt Head didn’t have any tables available earlier than that time. And alas, my friend lost track of time and was late for even 3pm.

However, I did find a nice little garden in a pub on the way, to enjoy a pint of Mangolicious, enjoying the dregs of the late summer sunshine and possibly the last time that I’d pay less than £6.00 for a beer in London.

Until I made it to The Scolt Head, where a Neck Oil (sigh) was £5.90 a pint too (yay). Maybe that was the last time I’ll ever pay less than £6.00 for a beer in London. It was certainly the last time on Sunday.

The Scolt Head is one of those pubs with potential – maybe it is a cracking pub during winter nights? Their garden, at the front of the pub was busy, but inside was quiet. There were dozens of empty tables, despite the online booking system suggesting that it was fully booked.

The Scolt Head, Dalston - quiet inside.

So the beer choice was dull as fuck – when Neck Oil is the highlight then there isn’t too much to celebrate – it is my base level of what I can cope with, like Foster’s might have been in 1998.

The table was small and wonky, the décor is a bit all over the place – photographs of Leeds Grammar School…eh? Plus it does look like it needs a little sprucing up.

Yet the staff were rather friendly – occasionally bursting into brief bits of singing or dancing – if I was in a really fucking miserable mood then I maybe I wouldn’t like it – but it was Sunday Funday and I was about to be persuaded to go to Hackney Wick and not stare at women in fishnet tops and leather straps, and men in skirts, lipstick and earrings. Oh and definitely ready to pay £10 for a beer. Over and over and over. Quite how I’m able to write this the day after…well…the day after the day after, I’m not sure. Passion I guess. Passion for roast dinners. Passion for my readers.

Fuck Johnson. See ya. And Fuck Putin a bit more. Loser.

The Scolt Head, Dalston, Roast Dinner Menu

Whilst I was waiting for my late-running friend for our late in the day roast dinner whilst I was capitalised letters kind of hungry, I decided to order out roasts. Though the guy at the bar advised me to wait…as they took only 5 minutes to heat up. Aha. I admire the honesty, anyway.

Options were topside of beef (nah…cheap cut), pork belly or chicken with stuffing. I decided to have the chicken, priced at £17.00 – the pull factor being the stuffing, and I wasn’t sure how good pork belly left from when it was cooked until 3pm would be. My accomplice chose the mushroom pie – which looked gorgeous and would make an ideal midweek vegetarian day dinner. But not on a Sunday. And not on a Sunday Funday. Well…unless you are vegetarian, like my accomplice is.

The Scolt Head, Dalston, Vegetarian Mushroom Pie Roast Dinner.

You know, I’ll probably have to have a vegetarian roast dinner one weekend before I can conclude that my roast dinner mission is complete.

And here’s mine:

The Scolt Head, Dalston, Chicken Roast Dinner

There was a plethora of lukewarm, roasted carrots. Not much else I can say after 219 reviews about roasted carrots, but they were decent.

I can still find things to say about red cabbage. This was…well…I don’t like red cabbage, mostly because of what chefs tend to do to it, and this was very fruity – almost as fruity as when my friend later announced, over the thud of techno-ish music in a bar in Hackney Wick, that some people had very large buttplugs with them. I had misheard…she had said backpacks.

Anyway, I didn’t mind the red cabbage (red cabbage fans I suspect would be enamoured), but I did mind that it infected the gravy, and it took forever to get to the point where I wasn’t eating fruity red cabbage flavoured gravy.

And I can still find things to say about savoy cabbage. Especially when it has un-advertised fucking peas hidden inside.

The Scolt Head, Dalston, unadvertised peas.  NO MORE.

Why do this? Some people hate peas and I am one of them. They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a plate. Let alone hidden inside savoy cabbage (which was alright itself, nothing special) and not advertised on a menu. Aaaaarrrggh.

Fuck Putin, Fuck Johnson, Fuck Xi, Fuck Assad, Fuck Maduro, Fuck Peas.

But to compensate, The Scolt Head gave me 5 roast potatoes. Guess what? Two of them were so under-cooked that they were inedible. The others were just ordinary levels of crap London roast potatoes cooked ages ago – tired, old, chewy – you know. Maybe just do mash if you cannot be arsed to cook fresh roast potatoes.

It actually gets better from here. And really, only the roast potatoes were actually bad quality – peas and red cabbage are just phobias and pet peeves, respectively, on my behalf.

The Yorkshire pudding was delightfully small (we don’t need that much dried batter, dear chefs), a bit too crispy on top but nicely softened on the bottom thanks to the plentiful gravy.

The Scolt Head, Dalston, Chicken Sunday Roast

It wasn’t the world’s largest or plumpest chicken breast ever – but it was pleasant enough. Some evidence of seasoning on the skin, which had a slight but pleasant crisp to it. Nothing especially great, but good enough, and it seemed reasonably freshly cooked.

I thought the stuffing was the highlight of the meal – proper sage and onion stuffing, none of this poncy sticking apricot or some dumb fruit in it nonsense. Just some herby goodness, a course texture in places though soft in other places.

Eating the chicken, stuffing and gravy together was pretty enjoyable really – as they all complimented each other well. By this point I’d got rid of the roughly two-thirds of the gravy that tasted of red cabbage, I’d found that it was actually a decent meat-stock kind of affair, with a good consistency. The kind of gravy I crave…alas without the red cabbage infecting two-thirds of it.

The Scolt Head. And still Fuck Putin…master strategist my arse.

The Scolt Head did a lot to annoy me, and some of the roast dinner was pretty dire too – those roasties were exceptionally shit, the red cabbage infecting the gravy was annoying as fuck, and…peas. Un-advertised peas. DO NOT DO THIS.

But actually, the rest of the roast dinner was pretty decent.

My accomplice was very happy with her vegetarian roast dinner – that mushroom pie did look quite beautiful. Her score was a 7.70 out of 10.

I think mine just squeezes about a 7 – were the roasties not abominable, and the red cabbage didn’t exist, then it wouldn’t be too far from an 8. It does seem that there is plenty that could be improved, not only about the roast dinner at The Scolt Head, but what the pub offers. There is decent potential there, maybe regulars can understand and appreciate it more than I did in my 90 minutes there.

I’m scoring it a 7.06 out of 10. Which I think is respectable enough. And much better than the last time I had a roast dinner in Dalston, at Jones & Sons.

And then it was time to go drink £10 cans of beer next to the river in Hackney Wick, desperately try not to look too long at the hot women in fetish clothes, and then endure a 2-hour journey home thanks to the mysteries of the Overground. It was a proper Sunday Funday in the end.

I should be recovered by this Sunday, and it could be a watery gravy special.

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The Scolt Head, Dalston

Station: Dalston Kingsland

Tube Lines: Overground

Fare Zone: Zone 2

Price: £17.00

Rating: 7.06

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Loved & Loathed

Loved: Great stuffing - flavoursome and a good texture. Gravy I think was good - but red cabbage pollution hindered significantly.

Loathed: Red cabbage pollution of gravy, unadvertised peas and those roasties were abominable.

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