A couple of weeks ago, I started to get the feeling that I had had enough of average roast dinners. I enjoy my adventures and I really enjoy the writing. But time after time, the roast dinner itself makes me question why I am doing this.
Last week at Cau was an exception but the week before when I started to question the meaning of life, sorry, the reason for roasts, I was at The Little Angel in Henley. This week the random number generator picked another place in Henley, The Three Tons, which is also a Brakspear pub. I was not amused. I really was not amused.
There is more to life than roast dinners – and more to eating out than roast dinners and as such I would like to highly commend Kyrenia in Caversham. I had a really excellent dining experience there on Friday night, a gorgeous Kleftika (it’s a lamb dish), with brilliant service – this is an example of what a restaurant should be – yet too many people will just fill the Oracle clones every weekend.
Had it been a roast dinner – it would have scored 8.6 out of 10. It wasn’t far off being one with the vegetables, new potatoes and jus.
Anyway, Henley. It gave me chance to walk into Henley, along the high street, which was a pleasant and quaint English experience, complete with builder-types topless sunbathing on the high street benches. How upper class.
The pub itself was split into three sections – a small bar at the front, a smallish dining area further back, and a real sun-trap of a garden out back. I chose the garden – the whole place was almost entirely empty. I was tempted to judge this ominously but Kyrenia was quiet too on Friday night (hence me mentioning it!).
On the menu, as far as roasts were concerned were beef, pork and chicken – different to what was advertised on their website, though the website is out of date in more ways than one. I had planned to have the pork belly that the website suggested – I settled instead for leg of pork. And no wi-fi.
It took just over 10 minutes to arrive, one could hear the clanging of pots and pans in the kitchen close by. And as soon as it arrived, humans were soon outnumbered by flies. Last week I was battling docile wasps, this week I was flapping my arms around manically trying to get rid of a good 5-6 flies.
Perhaps I should have sat inside but it was too beautiful a day to waste.
My dining experience arrived on two dishes – a well-presented main plate of hidden roast potatoes, covered with ample pork and two pieces of crackling, and a side dish of carrots and broccoli.
The carrots and broccoli were nothing special, but nothing bad either. Seemingly steamed, the carrots were long, diagonally-cut affairs with a hint of butter, and the broccoli were…just a few florets of broccoli.
There were four roast potatoes – as usual they were suffering from the roasted some time ago affliction. No real sign of crispy edges, but at least they were cooked inside.
I was really happy with the amount of pork served – perhaps they were being kind given their lack of customers and still had a lot left to use. There were around 4 centimetre-think slabs of pork leg, all tender and pork-tastic.
The highlight of the meal was the crackling – or at least one of the two pieces was, as it had that crispy, salty texture but melted in my mouth. The other piece was tougher but still good.
Sadly the gravy wasn’t so appealing. There was only a dribble on the plate (presentation, one assumes) – plenty more was forthcoming but it became really tiring and the gravy monster actually wish he hadn’t put so much on his plate. It was a red wine affair and it just felt heavy with a slightly burnt taste. It wasn’t bad, but it’s a shame the simplicity of the vegetables couldn’t have been matched on the gravy.
It was a decently average roast. It was more effort than enjoyment for me, and I will rate it 6.4 out of 10.
I’m not making my roast dinner adventures easier by moving to Bracknell, though I am not ready to give up yet. And as such I will be celebrating my upcoming move with a review of a Bracknell establishment very soon.
There might not be a roast dinner review next week due to my house move – I’m not sure how much spare time I will have next weekend.
Oh if only I wasn’t just reviewing roast dinners.