I would like to start off with an apology to my UKIP readers.
I decided that I would take an immigrant to dinner on Sunday, to try to impress her enough to want to stay here for the rest of her life.
Firstly we went to Slough for a walk around, to show her the cultured side of the Thames Valley. There was perhaps not as much to see as I expected, and apart from a Wetherspoons and a really dodgy pub named after the factory in The Office, there was nowhere to eat a roast dinner – plus Slough is perhaps slightly too far out for my readership.
So we headed back west, and after some careful research, I selected a place in the country – which had the magic g-word on the menu.
Plus it was somewhere highly recommended by a good friend last week.
Hidden in the countryside and rather on the quiet side, The Green Man in Hurst had plenty of olde-England charm, with modern touches, and it served food from midday until 9pm which was helpful given that we didn’t know how long we were going to be in Slough for (not long, you may not be surprised to read).
The options were beef, pork, chicken and leg of lamb, along with a nut roast. Will I ever try a vegetarian roast?
We both went for the lamb, and chose medium-rare. I’m not massively funny when it comes to roasts, except for wanting gravy instead of jus, but there is one vegetable that really disturbs me and that is the pea.
Those that have followed me for some time, and those that are my real-life friends, will understand that I do have a phobia of peas, and in particular their lack of discipline. So I asked for an explanation as to what their “mixed vegetables” were, the waitress was uncertain but would ensure that there were no peas.
I counted six fucking peas on my plate. Sorry to use the f-word but I could not have made it more clear how much they disturb me without disturbing the waitress when ordering. As I was accompanied by a young lady, I had to look manly and battle to overcome my fear, so I stringently searched my whole plate for any further little critters before placing them in the empty glass on my table.
Panic over, my heart-rate subsided and I felt able to start my dinner, after yet another quick safety check under all of the food for any more pesky peas.
It wasn’t the most generous portion ever. But it was priced at a lean £12.50.
Yes I ate the sugar snap peas. They don’t have a lack of discipline. They were rather on the sweet side – different but would much have preferred mange tout. I don’t actually mind the taste of peas.
There was also some sprouting broccoli, which was surprisingly tasteless and on the floppy side. A wasted opportunity.
The baby carrots were excellent. Perfectly cooked, with enough crunch but yet still tender, this scattering of carrots was very impressive.
Also on the impressive side were…drumroll…the roast potatoes. Only 3, of course, but sizable efforts and just about as close to perfection that I have come across. So crispy on the outside, yet so fluffy on the inside, and cooked in goose fat. Oh yes oh yes. So, so good.
However, the lamb gets more of a slow clap than a drum roll. I’m not quite sure why my dining partner received fresh-looking nearly medium-rare lamb, whilst I had dry medium-well done lamb, despite both ordering medium-rare.
Had it been the soft, succulent lamb I was hoping for, then I’m sure it would have had a much higher rating. Sadly it was disappointing. I did want to give a good rating to this place, given the look and feel it had, and that it wasn’t overly busy so perhaps all 8 readers would be inspired. The community-minded Tory in me wants to share the knowledge of lesser-known venues that do a really good job.
There was, at least, plenty of lamb. Unlike the Yorkshire pudding which just simply didn’t exist. Us northerners have Yorkshire puddings with any meat. I even had one with fish once.
The gravy tasted like gravy but it was exceptionally thin and almost jus-like. Almost. Certainly on taste, it gets the thumbs up.
I’m going to give the roast dinner a 6.5 out of 10.
Don’t worry UKIP readers, this wasn’t good enough to persuade my immigrant friend to stay forever. Likewise, I’m not about to emigrate in horror either.
There were clearly some highly commendable parts such as the roast potatoes and carrots. But had I turned up 30 minutes later, I suspect that I may have struck lamb-gold, and instead I was stuck with lamb-coal.
Not sure if I will get time for a roast this Sunday as it is the last day of the football season and I’m going clubbing in London straight after so I might not fit it in.