I know, I promised you recipes but I’ve been far too busy to cook of late. Sorry about that! Instead I have another mini write-up for you.
Yesterday I took David to Wimbledon and made an awesome picnic which consisted of a mozzarella, tomato, basil & avocado sandwich and a parma ham, mozzarella and avocado sandwich, cherry tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, two types of cheese, more bread, and a bottle of Pimm’s & lemonade, but because I made it at 7.30am I neglected to take any photos. We spent the day sitting on Henman Hill (or Murray Mount as it’s been renamed since Andy Murray became the Great British Tennis Hope), eating our picnic periodically, getting a little sunburnt, snapping photos and watching various tennis matches. I know how to pack a picnic, innit.
Anyway, Wimbledon and picnics aside, this evening I took my friends Tyler and Darren (funny story how I met Darren – I was in a gay bar in Portland with some friends, one friend was dancing next to Tyler and said, “My friend Jackie’s from England! She lives in London!” to which Tyler responded, “I’m moving to London! To Chiswick?” at which point I screamed, “OMGz THAT’S MY HOMETOWN!!!” – random, right? Absolutely brilliant, though!) to The Roebuck on Chiswick High Road, my fave gastro-pub. I actually took my first ever blog friend Ashley here when she visited me in London last summer, introduced her to Pimm’s (it’s all about the mint!) and the fantastic Cumberland sausage.
For some reason, sausages from anywhere but the UK are kinda pathetic. When I think of a sausage I think of a big, fat, juicy, banger, browned beautifully, sometimes split, often greasy, but always delicious. Amurika does not appear to have real sausages, instead they have wieners, which are, in my opinion, a little terrifying. They look highly processed and are far too salty. Whatever happened to good old fashioned sausage making? Factories, that’s what.
The Roebuck is a wonderful gastro-pub, even if the staff are somewhat standoffish, but this, I fear, is a trait of places to eat in Chiswick. Maybe even London. Still, they deserve their bragging rights, as they make bloody good food. The menu changes periodically, but tonight I had (in a tribute to the UK and Ashley) their cumberland sausage with polenta, oyster mushroom, tomato and a red wine jus. It was a narrow call, however, as the rest of the menu looked incredibly enticing. Tyler had the asparagus and parmesan risotto with truffle oil, and Darren the homemade potato gnocchi, braised fennel, baby spinach, sage and parmesan. Sorry about the lack of photos of their food (or even of the lovely company!) – I would’ve but I was far too eager to tuck into my own dinner after a long and busy afternoon at work…
Incidentally, funny story. I’d actually resolved to not take any photos of dinner because I didn’t want to weird out my company, but within seconds of our food arriving on the table Tyler had whipped out his camera and declared that he was going to photograph our food. After that, well, it’s hardly a surprise that my little Nikon baby was next to make an appearance!
As for the food, the sausages were beautifully cooked and the sauce was a nice accompaniment. My only real complaint is that there wasn’t quite enough polenta, and I kind of expected it to not be a solid block (bangers and mash being the traditional meal, so polenta a natural substitute, as long as it keeps a mash-like consistency), but enjoyable enough that I wiped the plate clean! I was also just hungry…
Tyler’s risotto was creamy and the veggies crunchy, and Darren’s gnocchi was lovely, accompanied by the tasty spinach and sweetness of the fennel. The boys polished off their meals with equal rapidity to mine!
Service was fairly prompt, and the most expensive part of the meal was the jug of Pimm’s I bought for the three of us to share, at £17 (but even that lasted us each 3 drinks or so). All other food was around £10, so very reasonably priced.
The only real downside to this hotspot is that it gets incredibly busy as the evening wears on, but I guess that’s just testament to its popularity. Anyway, if you’re in London you should go eat some food there. Please, I insist.
122 High Road
London W4 1PU
020 8995 4392
Weekdays 11am – 11pm; Saturdays 12pm – 11pm; Sundays 12pm – 10.30pm.
Until next time (and hopefully then with some more cooking!), peace and love.