Where to start, oh where to start? My Search Engine Optimisation plugin would like me to put my keyword in the first paragraph. It can go fuck itself. Yes – that means you, Google.
I was wondering the other day if it would be possible to go a week without using Google. Citymapper replaces Google Maps. Gmail accounts can be auto-forwarded. Duck Duck Go is at least better than Bing, if not Google. And lists yours truly, much, much nearer the top of search lists than Google does.
In fact, Google barely sends me any traffic. Probably because I ignore SEO and write whatever the fuck I like and put pictures of men in stockings and suspenders on occasion. Don’t worry. Not this occasion.
Oh by the way, this is a roast dinner review.
Of The Woolpack. In Bermondsey – not Emmerdale. Emmerdale doesn’t exist. It is fictional.
The Woolpack is an interesting pub. It has a garden out back which looks cheaply made but somehow doesn’t feel cheap. The main bar area has plenty of booth-like tables – though I was far more interested in the beer options than the decor – I asked what craft lagers they sold, to be advised Hells and Estrella. Estrella is a craft lager now?
An ominous start.
We were seated upstairs in the uber-stripped back dining area, which was so stripped back that it looked like the effect had been painted on. Impressively it had a full-sized painting on the ceiling, with what looked like oak flooring, and some 70’s veltetish chandeliers – and a large flat-screen TV to finish off the look.
It was early dining, for London standards, because I was really keen to get home and do my monthly 4 hours of unpaid customer service, despite being a web developer – we were the only table occupied upstairs at first, though it was due to become busier with all tables booked for later in the afternoon.
Ordering was done at the bar – no table service, and thankfully no service charge too. It won’t be long before pubs start charging you 12.5% for the privilege of being able to order at the bar. There were chicken, beef and lamb options available between £14 and £16. There was also some form of mega-roast at £25, though with my recent calorie intake averaging 4,000 calories a day I decided that wasn’t necessary. And some veggie nut nonsense for whatever price is printed there. Fuck knows why any vegetarians would read this…I’m sure there are one or two closet readers that are reading every week, just waiting for that moment I review a vegetarian roast dinner.
Well, this is my 54th roast dinner in London and guess what?
I chose the mustard-glazed beef at £16.00. Because I like mustard. And beef.
Dinner took barely 10 minutes to arrive – I’d like to think that they were cooking it in time for my expected arrival, however it is rather possible that it was all made earlier and then heated up on order. Especially where the roast potatoes are concerned.
Shall I start with the roasties? A bit controversial, I know, but I like to keep you on your toes. Let’s face it, it is all I have. Most food bloggers get to review different meals every week. I have to write about the same fucking thing every time. At least let me change the order. Just this once. Those who are new to reading this are just going to be wondering what the hell I am on about – if they even got this far.
So the roast potatoes were probably the least pleasing element of this dinner, both aesthetically, texturally and tastily. Both? Fuck it. There were 3 fairly large roast potatoes, both of which…all of which had that cooked some time ago feeling. Somehow they made them both squidgy and dry. Not even a hint of a crispy edge, and I didn’t detect any taste of goose fat, though I have had a heavy cold and couldn’t smell fish in a fishmongers the day before.
You know, most food bloggers also get freebies and to take Insta-friendly photos of the restaurant with their new extensions which they can afford because they don’t have to spend money on roast dinners every week. I cannot afford hair extensions. This is yet another sacrifice to you, dear reader. FUCKING SHARE THE BLOG NOW!
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Carrots. Yes I write about these every fucking week too. I appreciate that this is turning a bit sweary this week, I have no idea why, but I used to live in Bracknell for a year – emotionally I am still not over it. You hear about people that have been tortured in jails in countries that we may or may not bomb many years later that have psychological problems for many years. I assume this is some very mild form of the same psychological condition.
The carrots were excellent though. Perfectly roasted, a sweet taste of honey. I couldn’t ask for any more.
Shit, I’d have to use Firefox instead of Google Chrome. Or Internet Explorer. 26 visitors over the last month used Internet Explorer. Who are you? What on earth would you put yourself through such a painful experience for? You probably eat at Wetherspoons too, don’t you?
Customer is always right. Calm down, calm down.
We didn’t get any of the parsnip puree that the menu stated. Neither of us realised until near the end. Neither of us were bothered.
The curly kale was respectable. It had a little crunch and went well with the gravy.
Holy crap. I’d have to use a fucking iPhone too. Only gays and girls use iPhones. And I am not gay. When I was 21 my grandmother rang me up, asking what I was doing for my birthday. She then asked if I was courting. I said no. She later asked if any girls were joining me for my birthday. I said yes, but not in the way you are hoping for. A while later she asked if I was gay. I said no. And later in the conversation she asked if I was on drugs.
Yorkshire puddings. There was one, a fairly small affair – a double-egg affair too. It was respectable. You’d rather know more about my grandmother than the Yorkshire pudding, wouldn’t you?
My grandmother doesn’t use Google. Though she has never used a cash machine either. She doesn’t trust computers and refuses to use them. Except her phone, her microwave, her Sky TV box, her DVD player, her TV, her answering machine…I think she voted remain though.
There is barely anything here about the actual roast dinner is there? I’m tempted just to call it a day and leave you with this pile of vaguely constructed bilge. I’ll try to stay on topic.
So the beef, sirloin beef, was pretty good. It was medium if not on the verge of well-done – had a certain toughness to it and a little inedible gristle, but overall I quite enjoyed it. The mustard taste was pleasant and not overdone – it did feel as though I was eating sandwich steak – it had that taste and texture to it.
I tried some of the chicken which was freshly cooked and tender. No heat lamp business.
And the gravy was decent. Nothing spectacular, although it seemed a little yellow in colour. It was notably thin in consistency, but I’ve had worse. My accomplice said it was bland – I was happy with an ordinary weakly-flavoured gravy myself. Though something a little more Brexity would have been nice.
I was thinking the other day, why is it racist to black yourself up, but not sexist to wear drag? Serious question.
Overall this was a respectable roast dinner. The highlight was the excellent roasted carrots – the lowlight the poor roast potatoes. I’m going to give it a 7.12 out of 10. I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to go here, but if you are here – you won’t need to fear.
We did bring up the missing parsnip puree when we were asked how our meals were, and were offered either free dessert, coffee or beer. Which replaced a very vague FOMO with a warm glow.
I’m going to Madrid next weekend to stare at hot Spanish women wearing coats, hats and scarves in hot sunshine, so there won’t be a new review (though maybe a special…ooooh). When I was 16 I did say that I was never going on another family holiday again but I’m skint, fat and old enough to accept free beer, free tapas, free flights, free accommodation, free breakfast, free sangria, free chorizo, more free beer and a free roast dinner in exchange for staying with my family for 3 nights in a foreign country.
You read that right, I intend on finding a roast dinner in Madrid. Es cierto. Oh and there’s actually a hot Spanish woman coming for dinner with us. Do not tell my grandmother.
By the way, I think your Neopet needs feeding. It is looking very sad.
The Woolpack, Bermondsey, South London
Station: London Bridge
Tube Lines: Jubilee, National Rail, Northern
Fare Zone: Zone 1