Ahhh Sunday. A day of roast dinners and going to church.
Without the church bit. As you may have worked out if you are mentally stable enough to cope with reading my ramblings more than once, I am not the world’s most religious person.
Fair play if you are that way inclined, horses for courses and all that, but I have enough difficulty in believing that I am going to get a crispy roast potato on a Sunday. Have I just compared God to a roast potato? Shit. Last week lying, this week blasphemy. Next week cheating on my wife with two hot Greek lesbians. Yeah, Greek – you read. Not Spanish. You’ve got to change your fantasies occasionally.
Moving on before the lynch mob, headed by my imaginary Catholic Spanish girlfriend, sets upon me.
Walthamstow. I really want to put an ‘e’ on the end. Walthamstowe. Doesn’t that look posher? Speaking of posh, I have just discovered who Georgia Toffolo is. I wonder if she wants to go on a roast dinner date with me? She’s a Tory apparently, which is why I discovered her. I shall have to instagram her. Apparently she is famous for promoting watches on Instagram. Yes, sister, I will eventually get around to opening an Instagram account, no you are not going to be an auntie any time soon.
Anyway, Walthamstowie is supposedly the next Peckham, or the next Brixton. Yesterday was my first visit. It seemed closer to the next Bracknell than Brixton, but what do I know? I even still go out in Shoreditch, on occasion – that’s how uncool I am.
It didn’t scream life to me. It didn’t scream joy. In fact, Walthamstowia looked almost entirely joyless. Almost entirely…
So, back to God. God’s Own Junkyard – for what is a visit to Walfordstow, home of Eastenders, without going to see a warehouse full of what Pat Butcher’s earrings would look like if vomited back to life in neon lights. This was equal heaven and hell – a joyous celebration, with a bar and some sexy looking cakes to boot. I reckon Georgia would be up for a date here, if she is into fat, ugly Tories.
Question now is, would our roast dinner be heaven or hell?
The venue this week was Ye Olde Rose And Crown Theatre Pub. As you may work out from the name, they have a theatre upstairs, and a proper 1990’s pub downstairs, replete with odious 1990’s soft rock faintly playing in the background. And 1990’s prices on the roast dinners – for £9.99. Or was it £9.95? I would recommend that you check the website but there is next to no information on there.
The menu had three options, beef, lamb, chicken or nut roast. We were advised chicken had run out when we arrived. Upon ordering and our barmaid having disappeared into thin air, we eventually found out that the lamb had run out too. So there was no option but to order beef, and our barmaid disappeared completely again. Ordering did seem a little confused – I wasn’t entirely convinced that we would get a roast dinner, another table seemed to have been waiting some time for theirs – we waited 20 minutes which I am most happy about. I really do despise it when one’s roast dinner arrives immediately after ordering.
I settled down to drink my bargainous pint of Camden Pils at just £3.50. Seriously. In London, near a tube station. £3.50 for a decent pint – and it tasted good too. This was clearly a real 1990’s pub that we were in – I could even add an award-winning pub, having won Regional Community Pub Of The Year either this year, or last. Or possibly 1995, as it is definitely in some kind of timewarp.
Yes I am banging on about money again. Time to bang on about carrots.
Carrots were thin batons – the kind that you get in mixed packets of vegetables from supermarkets. As of themselves, they tasted like carrots.
Little more I can say either about the green beans or broccoli. Both nice and fresh, both boiled/steamed to an appropriate degree, and both acceptable.
However, these were not only made more exciting by the gravy – more on that later, but also by the creamed leeks. Leeks are a rare and most welcome treat in a pub roast, especially when a little bit more effort has gone into them. The cream was slightly sweeter than you’d expect, I’m still trying to work out what else may have accompanied it – perhaps a hint of nutmeg?
Unusually for someone who likes to eat in order, leaving the best until last, there were still a fair portion of vegetables left by time I started the meat. In my cryptic service-charge denying tosser kind of way, that is a compliment.
The roast potatoes were not crispy. Not even a vague attempt to make them so. However, they were well-cooked, especially considering their large size – that would be 6 small (very crispy) roast potatoes if I were in charge, they seemed to be a good quality potato – I’d guess Maris Pipers or King Edwards, and were pleasantly soft yet stable inside.
Yes this is also a long-standing fantasy. Actually it is my life. Yeah. Honest. Would I lie to you, gravy?
The Yorkshire pudding was on the verge of being burnt…how many times does that happen? Thankfully, it was just on the good side, nicely crispy and well-structured. Small, but good.
Sadly the beef was fairly average, though taken in context of the price of the roast, it wasn’t something to overly complain about. One slice closer to medium, the other closer to well-done – it was tough and a fraction chewy in places. Acceptable, there was nothing wrong with it – just bog-standard topside of beef.
Possibly the cow I had just eaten.
Now, I say that I am not religious, but when it comes to gravy, there is little I worship more. Pleasingly, this gravy was worshippable. A very nice, thick consistency – it is a rare event that gravy in London meets a northerner’s approval but I was roastingly happy with the gravy – for a second week in a row, not only in terms of consistency but also in terms of a very nice, homemade meat stock flavour. I came very close to drinking the remainder of the extra gravy out of the jug – had I been on a date with Georgia then I would have done so.
I enjoyed this. I certainly wasn’t over-awed by it and the beef was a little disappointing compared to the overall quality – and meat is pretty damn important (unless you like tofu and similar anti-food). On the plus side, most of it was good or very good, and I doubt that I will ever find a cheaper roast dinner within London. And probably not a cheaper pint of decent lager.
This gets a very respectable 7.48 out of 10. You hopefully don’t need advising that it is out of 10, but a friend of mine runs South Coast Roasts and rates them out of 25. WTF?
So onto next weekend. There might not be a roast dinner review. I know I keep saying this but I am almost out of budget – though if TFL oblige with enough 15 minute delays for me to reclaim some more journey fees – and they have been very obliging with their delays recently, then maybe I can scrape enough money together.
If not, then I’ll be back the Sunday after. And that is going to be the most expensive roast dinner that I have ever eaten. I might even put a pair of fucking shoes on. Hell, I might even buy some shoe polish. I did message them to ask if I could wear sequin hotpants.
But I don’t have any. Yet.
Only joking. I’m a virgin. I only hired her to shave my back. It gets a bit hairy as I’m a bit neanderthal.
I need to stop writing. What the fuck have I even been going on about?
Ye Olde Rose And Crown Theatre Pub, Walthamstow, North London
Station: Walthamstow Central
Tube Lines: Victoria
Fare Zone: Zone 3