Toot toot! Sunday was time to go tooting, and I don’t mean tooting on a crack pipe…the place deep in south London. Or at least the part of south London that can be accessed by tube, and hence most human beings.
The random number generator had picked The Selkirk in Tooting, and I had pretty high hopes for this one. I didn’t expect it to be the very best roast, but I was hopeful for at least a 7.5 out of 10.
I’m in danger here of getting straight into action without waffling a load of vaguely related crap that you are not interested in, but I do have something that I have to get off my chest – and not just my winter chest rug. Maps. As Martin Luther King once said, I have a map.
Map. Map. Map. Brap. Yes, a full working map showing the distribution of the best and worst roast dinners around London. I made the little icons myself. And I have some more exciting changes to come too, to help you find the best roast dinner in London that is suitable for you.
So I arrived at The Selkirk at 2pm, and was shown to our table. I had two new dining partners this week who had never joined me previously for roast club. They nearly did once before but alas, had to cancel due to a volcanic eruption, or something like that. You know that whole thing I did about waiting last week?
In the meanwhile I admired the pub. It was a fairly large affair, the main bar split into two, with a conservatory on the side – which I never ventured towards. Our (my???) table was in the far corner next to the gentleman’s toilets, and there was a whiff of toilet cleaning fluids at times. Can you tell that I’m two months into a detox with my renewed sense of smell?!
And then I noticed that they charged £1.00 for gravy. I shall just leave that one with you for a bit. You won’t be too surprised to know that we are going to come back to that subject. Did I ever mention that I’m pissed off about Brexit? And Hawksmoor?
The Selkirk had a really homely feel to it. Quite a lot of young families, youngish women bearing children wearing sparkly or sequined skirts that baby-less women would wear on a night out, but alas children mean that they don’t have a social life any more a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Then again, neither do I, and nor do I have any sequined skirts. Shoes on the other hand…
I won’t prolong the agony, my friends did turn up, around 45-50 minutes late – plus I was a bit early too. Not quite the wait for a roast dinner in Balham last weekend, but you know. Bloody volcanoes.
The choices on the menu were pork belly, leg of lamb, beef rump and corn-fed chicken. No cheap, ordinary cuts of meat here – quality on the menu. All priced between £13.50 and £16.00. Oh there was a vegetable wellington for £13.00 too, but yeah…that wasn’t happening. I chose the leg of lamb as it is my favourite cut of lamb, and a bit lighter on the calories than pork belly.
We sat down and waited – and boy I was ready for my dinner when it arrived.
Except, it arrived and then disappeared. They’d brought the plates to the wrong table.
TEASE! Just like I am with all the women desperately trying to catch my attention.
Ahhh. Yes, more waiting. Though it gave me chance to ask for some extra gravy.
Our dinners didn’t take much longer to arrive, I guess we were waiting around 20 minutes in total which is an absolutely acceptable time to wait. And our dinners arrived with a profuse and human apology for the mistake (service humanity on the opposite scale to last weekend), along with an apology about the roast potatoes and a free shot glass of gravy.
Yes, the extra gravy came in a double shot glass. Did they know me? I was most tickled. And why such a profuse apology for the unroasted roast potatoes – the thing I bang on about even more than Brexit (actually, not quite as much as Brexit, but to you at least – some reviews I don’t even mention it). My eyebrows were raised in suspicion. Nobody knows what I look like, do they? Do you? Granted I am not exactly the most inconspicuous person ever, even without sequins.
Time to make some re-arrangements for photographic reasons, and to get cracking.
Starting with the braised red cabbage. Not my favourite vegetable by a long way, this was very sweet and notably tangy – tangy in a good way, that is. Not quite sure what they had done with it – perhaps some nutmeg?
Then I got cracking on the carrot and swede mash, which was really, really good. It tasted really quite creamy and was the perfect compliment to the red cabbage. Really enjoyed this part of the meal.
The spring greens were fairly uneventful, fairly ordinary, there was little to say about them.
Good evening, how can I help you?
Oops, that was meant for a website visitor. Because there is nothing I enjoy more than after a hard day’s coding, to come home and spend 4 hours doing customer service on the web chat. Absolutely.
Shame my employers haven’t asked about my previous success with customer service (names changed to protect the innocent):
- Forgive my brevity, for whatever reason Lord Gravy has personality traits that would offend anyone, on and off for a long time now we find ourselves dealing with him and his disgusting approach to interacting with us.
- This guy is a disgrace to your organisation and I now want to raise an official complaint about him… this guy seems intent on destroying any relationships you have.
- This doesn’t address the attitude and level of service we receive from Lord Gravy. At no point has Lord Gravy or anyone else apologised for this ! Also as usual the confusion is down to invoices in dispute – again . I don’t see why we should have to deal with someone who is incompetent and rude !
- YOU IGNORANT ARSEHOLE. You haven’t replied to call or e-mails so stop sending me this fucking rubbish. You’re added to blocked senders.
- Please give me the head of your departments name and email. How dare you sent me such rude and un professional emails.
- I have just received a further communication from Lord Gravy, as stated several times we no longer wish to deal with Lord Gravy and ask that a new credit manager is assigned to our account – please confirm this by return and I will go ahead and process the payment as above.
- I repeat I do not want any contact from Lord Gravy.
- As expected form you, complete rudeness. You really should get a job you enjoy and be happy in life.
I did. And not just reviewing roast dinners – I am a web developer now and don’t have to speak to any customers. Except tonight. Where was I? Oh yeah, apologies. Not my apologies, unlike Jeremy Corbyn, I have not sold government secrets to the USSR, and have nothing to apologise for. Do I need to instruct a lawyer? Or look for a new job?
So the young lady who provided us with such excellently jolly service, was so apologetic about the roast potatoes. And these were not crispy at all. Something, I believe, to do with not receiving Maris Pipers when ordering Maris Pipers – her potato dealer could quite possibly make a good drug dealer by the sound of things. The roast potatoes were caramelised at best – soggy at worse. Yet they were the best uncrispy roast potatoes that I have ever had – cooked in either goose or duck fat, they had an elegance about them, and simply tasted really good.
The Yorkshire pudding was decent. Fairly large and well constructed, perhaps a tad dry but I’m pushing it there. It won’t stand out in the annals of history but it was decent.
And the lamb was good too. Leg of lamb, fairly tender – a little bit of it was too fatty…I like fat but it was tough stringy fat – but just a little bit of it. Overall the lamb was very good, had quite an earthy taste to it and was a decent sized portion. I tried a little of the beef too, which I enjoyed – it seemed a bit creamy…maybe my imagination.
Oooh someone just rated my chat good!
So the gravy. Onto the gravy. Amazingly there was enough on the plate, yet I had a free double shot of gravy that I had to do something with. Apparently the gravy takes 6 days to make, including a call to a local drug dealer on the Tuesday – hey…wait a minute…drug jokes are my thing. I tell the drugs in gravy jokes. Unless…they knew who I was?
You could tell that the gravy was a bit of a speciality of theirs, as it was complex yet not overpowering. It had enough consistency to it to keep a northern grunt like me happy, and tasted quite fabulous really. One of the best gravies that I have had since starting this – not quite up there with the sexual, Temper, but truly excellent gravy. You know – it probably is worth £1 for a double shot.
And I still had some left. To which I was offered a free Yorkshire pudding to mop it up with. Woohoo! Alas it wasn’t the best Yorkie – quite dry and brittle, but free food is free food.
I was a happy man. Not only had I got a job that I enjoyed, but I was now finally happy in life.
There were some really good parts to this roast dinner – the gravy in particular, and one could tell that the roast potatoes would have been perfect on another day. The carrot and swede mash was excellent – and overall there were some contrasting flavours. There actually seemed to be an unusually high amount of thought and effort put into this.
The service was great, I really, really like The Selkirk as a venue (if only I didn’t live 4 tube lines away).
I’m worried that I’m being too generous here, given the enjoyable occasion, but I’m giving it an 8.24 out of 10. The first new entry into the top 10 this year, the first new entry into the top 5 for a fair few months. This is one to go on your to-do list, for sure. Hopefully you get lucky with the roast potatoes.
The next day I received a message on Twitter from The Selkirk, “It was you!” with a face-palm emoji thing.
Next Sunday I’m going to Hackney. Though maybe I should keep this quiet given how I was sussed out this time, with barely a clue.