The Talbot, Dalston

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I neeeeded a roast dinner this week. As opposed to all other Sundays were I just needede a roast dinner. And here I was at The Talbot in Dalston.

Surely it will best last week’s abomination?

What a week that was. Last Sunday’s burnt pork belly was just the precursor – I had the most torturous visit to the dentist on Monday to start the week – well, it was started by receiving a text message from my doctors telling me that I have high cholesterol. Oops. What a jolly text message to wake up to.

And then they said that they needed me to book another blood test because they hadn’t done it properly…and a happy 75th birthday to you too you.

That was followed by going up north for a family funeral, and my train tickets being invalid so I then had to spend an extra £100 on new tickets that I’d really rather spend on roast dinners, but hey at least I got to listen to my distant family talk about fish. Oooh yeah that’s a big fish, oooh yeah that’s a very big fish, aren’t you manly?

Like, maybe leave them in the sea rather than hooking their mouths, dragging them out to pose for photographs to prove your masculinity, then throwing them back in half-dead. Get a blog. Or a golf club…oh and the fascinating conversations about iron sevens or whatever. And then do you want to see the choice of beer at the wake?

I mean I’m about to moan about Neck Oil being the best on offer at The Talbot, but if anyone wants to know why I’m spending £280,000 on a flat in Croydon rather than a 27-bedroom mansion in Hull, then check out the above beer choice.

The Tablet

Oh yeah. The solicitors sent me an updated statement with 2x £1,000 unexpected charges for apportionment retainment, whatever that is. Cool. I’ll just not go for a roast dinner for the next year and that should be funded then.

And then yesterday I spent £39 on a hair cut – I appreciate this post so far is very me-centric and you likely don’t give a fuck that I’ve had a problematic week as in the grand scheme of things me worrying about solicitors fees for a flat isn’t quite like some people worrying about how they are going to afford food for their belly, but there’s kind of a point here.

So the hair cut – I treat going to the barbers like going to the dentist – a necessary evil, though my barber provides me with beer. Alas, my £39 barber was a scaffolder back in January and clearly was pretty fucking clueless about cutting hair. I’m still finding bits of hair that are 5cm longer than the what he cut. 39 fucking pounds.

I lied.

There isn’t really much point to this.

Granted there isn’t much point to my blog any week.

Gosh was that two years ago? I wonder how he feels now? It was definitely a guy, wasn’t it? And he definitely has a blue tick on Twitter, doesn’t he?

I did need The Talbot to be a good roast dinner.

The Gary Mablett

So back to my week last week.


That’s what my grandma said at the funeral…oops I’m back into my life again, but anyway I was at the funeral of my grandmother’s brother, sat next to my grandmother (attempting to look after her), and she blurts out rather loudly, “this guy waffles, on doesn’t he”.

Cue my shame. And then she goes, “JOKE”.

I feel like I need a photograph of something to break up all this text, but I’m waiting to get to the menu bit, as I’m sure you are if you are still actually reading – your blessing is that you can scroll whereas I have to actually write this bilge.

We weren’t originally going to go to The Talbot – we were going to go to The Leyton Star, but “they’re having a summer break of roasts”, and offered if we wanted to go to their sister pub, The Heathcote And Star – but their food is done by the same people as the Lord Napier Star and fuck was I knowingly going to have uncooked parsnips again, after the week I’d had.

Anyway, my accomplice’s second choice (like since when do people get a choice when I have a to-do list, but hey) was to try the BBQ roast at From The Ashes, but guess what? Another summer break.

Is this a thing? Now, I’m not a Nazi…granted I did vaguely admit that I don’t pray at the alter of the NHS (that actually happened this week…a priest thing said prayers for the NHS…sorry, OUR NHS…because prayers will fix an over-bureaucratic, underfunded socialist system designed when people died around retirement age instead of needing 30+ years of health/social care)…GIVE ME A FUCKING PHOTOGRAPH.

Also not a Nazi. Anyway, I was saying, I’m not a complete Nazi, but I do question this trend of places not doing roast dinners in summer. This would not be allowed if we left the EU.

Send Ecstasy To Everyone With A Fucking Blue Tick

Gosh what am I going to be like when I’m 90? My filter will have gone and I’ll be like, “just privatise the fucking NHS”. “JOKE”. Obviously I wouldn’t dare even think anything like that now, especially with my London audience. Though some are from Twitter so maybe I could even get away with arguing only to provide healthcare to those with blue ticks.

I wonder if I need to filter any of this? Like, I rarely amend anything when reading through before clicking publish – spelling occasionally, but otherwise I just let the bilge cremate the internet – it is kind of cathartic. At least to me. Did I mention that I have the dentist again tomorrow morning? This time I’ve planned ahead and bought sausage rolls for lunch though.

On the menu was beef sirloin at £21.50, pork belly at £18.95 and chicken supreme at £18.50. I’d had pork belly last Sunday (kind of…bleurgh), and I’m going to be le rosbif next Sunday (any tips on Paris welcomed), so chicken it was.

I guess I could have had the vegetarian…why do they get to have sausages with their roasts?

It was kind of scattergun presentation, as if they’d dropped everything from height and the food just arrived in random places – you may have worked out that I quite like my plates organised – hence no peas. I was told the other day that apparently The Queen didn’t like peas, also due to their lack of discipline. I could probably run an empire, you know.

You cannot see it but there was a tiny bit of carrot – one bite’s worth. Lol.

Kale was scattered all over, and sadly too minimal – as were all the vegetables. It had quite a depth of flavour to it, was nicely blanched – or whatever the method.

Two tiny pieces of cauliflower tasted quite chargrilled – and were pretty ace, if limited in volume.

Alas, the most voluminous vegetable was a still fairly small parsnip, which seemed undercooked.

Tally Ho Tablet

We actually had two types of potatoes – and with the basketball shooting presentation, you cannot really see easily. And they were roasted.

First up were two roasted new potatoes, which were pretty top-notch, but then the large proper roasted potatoes were actually proper roast potatoes. WTF? Actually crispy on the outside, perhaps a tad too much for perfection but fuck me after the week I’d had last 258 roast dinners worth of often crud roasties, I’ll take over-crispy.

They tasted great, were pretty fluffy on the inside – they’d clearly actually been chuffed up as part of the process. Bravo to The Talbot! Arguably the highlight.

The yorkie couldn’t match such excitement and was suffering quite a lot from heatlampitis, though the bottom was soft enough to be coarsely edible.

I was magnificently jealous of my accomplice’s pork belly – especially when you compare it to my puny chicken breast. Just think – had I not ordered the burnt pork belly last Sunday, I would have ordered this pork belly this Sunday.


Have I told you about my week?

Another Heading To Keep SEO Happy But I’ve Run Out Of Things To Put For Headings

Oh yeah the chicken. It was pleasant enough, plump and juicy, with softened skin – but just look at that pork belly instead. My accomplice enjoyed it, though left the crackling. Guess what happened to the crackling?

The small round of stuffing was good too – they’d not tried to do anything wanky like infuse it with apricots or layered artichoke – just good old pork meat stuffing with a hint of sage. More than a hint, actually.

Finally…do you think I could do an Only Fans page where I attempt to lick gravy off my nipples? I did actually watch someone give himself a blow job at Manumission in the late 90’s in Ibiza. Impressive. Must have done a lot of yoga, I guess.

This was licking gravy. But I didn’t have much and for some reason I didn’t ask for any more. I’d just about finished eating when one of my accomplices poured a swimming pool’s worth onto her plate from her jug.

Let me show you our jugs.

Different sizes – and LORD FUCKING GRAVY gets the small one. The gravy was really good, proper thick gravy but yet again I had FOMO and wondered what could have been.

The Tablet. The Review. The Summary.

Well, we are back in the room.

I liked The Tablet…The Talbot as a pub – it felt quite homely, I get a bit horny over seeing food written on a black…chalkboard in a pub, the service was welcoming, the table was more or less sturdy, drinks arrived swiftly via table service, and it was very much a my kind of place pub. I might even go back to eat here another time – and this isn’t me doing the faint praise kind of thing, as the roast dinner was mostly very good too.

My only gripe about the pub is it offering Neck Oil – come on, it isn’t 2016 any more. You can do something else, surely? Their current menu has a ribeye steak and fries for £23.50 which seems decent, plus a passionfruit and white chocolate cheesecake – oh yeah, high cholesterol. Chill out, doc, I’m trying to lose weight. I even made a Greek salad last night. I actually had a craving for a Greek salad…how odd.

Not bad for my standards. Well, it tasted great.

Anyway, just to summarise the good and bad parts – in the happy corner was the roast potatoes, shockingly excellent, along with some proper gravy. Vegetables were all good (bar the parsnip), but just too small quantity-wise, also the yorkie was fairly dried out and duff.

We liked The Talbot and we liked their roast dinner. Both of my accomplices scored it an 8.20, as I would have done had I ordered the pork belly or beef sirloin, and had their size of gravy jug.

It’s a commendable roast dinner, and I’m scoring it a 7.82 out of 10. I may well be back for dinner on a non-Sunday. Though I say that a lot and…don’t. The thought is there though.

No Sunday roast in London for me next weekend, though the weekend after I have a very special plan…one which I had to book even further in advance than you have to book Blacklock. Nobody ruin it. Nobody break London. Nobody…oh wait…fucking RMT on strike. LOL. I’ll catch a sodding bus if I have to. Well…5 buses.

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The Talbot, Dalston

Station: Dalston Junction

Tube Lines: Overground

Fare Zone: Zone 2

Price: £18.50

Rating: 7.82

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Loved & Loathed

Loved: My accomplice's pork belly looked stunning, the roast potatoes were actually chuffing crispy and the gravy was spot on too. Friendly service too.

Loathed: Why did Lord Gravy get a smaller gravy jug? Parsnip was undercooked, the yorkie was suffering heatlampitis, and is Neck Oil really your best shot at modern IPA?

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