To celebrate moving to Bracknell, I decided to go to court for the first time in my life on Friday. Can you believe it – a Northerner that has never been to court? It also seemed appropriate that I should have my first ever roast dinner in Bracknell on the Sunday, at my local pub.
Well, I say it is my local, however more accurately it is the pub closest to my house, that I know about, that looks safe to go in. The pub nearest my house is The William Twigg. It looks like the kind of place that up north would have its tables and chair bolted to the ground. Not to avoid theft, but so you don’t smash them over each other. Even the locals have told me not to go in there, albeit they are middle class. Middle class for Bracknell, anyway.
So says the common boy from up north.
The Green Man has been newly renovated throughout although the amount of tiling did remind me of a public toilet. I went clubbing once in a public toilet in Shoreditch. It was after the royal wedding, and it just seemed appropriate to go dance to some techno in a disused public toilet. It was actually a toilet converted into a nightclub. Bizarre place. Seems to have closed down now – not entirely sure if it was a voluntary closure.
Anyway, so the pub was newly decorated, with a very inexpensive menu – roast dinners were either £8.29 or £8.49. The choices were beef, pork, or chicken. I ordered the chicken, and they didn’t have any. So I have pork. You can download the menu here (opens as pdf).
We sat down, football in background. Yes – we. My regular readers will have noted that I was getting a little fed up of reviewing roast dinners, so I am endeavouring to make sure that there is at least one companion each time from now on.
After 15 minutes the food arrived, and it appeared as an endearingly home-made effort. Albeit with quite a noticeable disaster on the plate. I assume you can spot it. I will start with the vegetables.
Carrots. Fine. Broccoli. Fine. Both very standard, assumedly steamed. Yes I have totally run out of ways to describe them.
The cabbage seemed over-cooked. I cannot say that I am a cabbage aficionado, but it appeared to have lost quite a bit of its colour, and was very soft – to me, it really should have some crunch in it.
We each received a shocking 5 roast potatoes. Of varying sizes though I’m really not sure what they did to them as I had never had such soggy roast potatoes. They had clearly been roasted at some point earlier in the day then I guess they must have been put in a pan of water for they were inexplicably soft and soggy. They tasted normal though.
Oddly there was mashed potato too. Again just very standard with no imagination, but fluffy and fine.
Then came the real abomination – the Yorkshire pudding. Or Yorkshire pancake. A total disaster. Flat and spongey, albeit edible. Something went horrendously wrong here and surely this is the point that you reach for the emergency Aunt Bessie’s and stick them in the oven for 4 minutes? No…they still served it. I haven’t quite seen anything like it. I’ve messed up Yorkshire puddings in the past, there are many ways to get it wrong, but never as wrong as that.
On the bright side, the pork was a few slices of tasty loin, with a little fat on the edges. Possibly 3 or 4 slices and unlike my review last week, was on the generous side, especially considering the low price.
The icing on the cherry, was the stuffing for the pork. A stuffing ball was included (and with my friend’s beef dinner – unusual but appreciated). It doesn’t quite have the status of caviar, but it is a rare treat and fully deserved.
Then the gravy. An attempt at a meat stock gravy, with a reasonably thick consistency but overwhelmingly salty. It being so salty made the whole dinner on the salty side. Too much so.
I am struggling to judge this one as clearly quite a few things went wrong. But there was charm and endeavour – and a low price too at just £8.29. I want to rate it higher and I feel that I may have either got unlucky, or that once the pub is in the swing of things. And look at that plate – that is probably the best piece of crockery so far entrusted to me.
I am probably stretching my generosity at a 6.2 out of 10. I should also add that the service was pretty good too, for a pub.
I suspect if I go back in a couple of months, it will be much improved. Don’t let this review put you off going.
No review next week as I am up north, eating proper roast dinners. The week after I will not be eating a proper roast dinner as, subject to my friend’s health, I shall be visiting the chain pub that I threatened to a while back. If not then Cookham is on the cards.
By the way, I wasn’t the defendant.