After spending over a year trying to avoid economy bangers and ridiculous egg situations on my search for the ultimate fry up I am still hungry for more. Having eaten breakfast it is now time for lunch, Sunday roast to be precise. Join me as I try out different roast dinners, I will be trying everything from civilised restaurant's to rowdy pubs and supermarket cafe's to stack it high carverys. It's a difficult job but someone has to do it so join me on my search for roast dinner perfection!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Whiffler (Wetherspoons) - Norwich

Boundary Road

Wanna eat roast dinner everyday?

Typical Wetherspoons interior.

Plenty of condiments and sauces are available in satchets.

Great presentation and extra gravy but...

Upon closer inspection I soon realised it was all a bit overcooked and dry.

Nearly 2 months after setting up this page I can finally update it, I thought updates would be more regular but I have been focusing more on fry ups. Anyway, I didn't think there would be much chance of a roast on a Saturday as parked up in The Whiffler car park but to my surprise they were offering a "roast of the day" so in I went..

Upon entering - The Whiffler is like most Wetherspoon establishments, always busy due to cheap prices with plenty of places to sit. Each table has a mass of menu's covering food, breakfast, wine and drinks. Find yourself a table, decide what you want, remember your table number and order at the bar. Remember sauces which can be found in baskets on a table by the bar and the cutlery will arrive with your food. 6/10

Service - The person taking my order and chap bringing the food over where both friendly and efficient. 7/10

Type of roast - Ready served.

Meat available - Chicken or beef.

Contents - Half a roast chicken, 5 roast potatoes, 1 yorkshire pudding, carrots, broccoli & gravy. 6/10

Vegetable portions - Served on the plate so no worries about the dreaded shared plate scenario of not getting your fair share or 2 of you getting the same size portion as the individual sitting opposite. 5 potatoes seemed like a fair amount but just carrots and broccoli seemed a bit minimal to me. 5/10

Presentation - The high point of this roast dinner was how it looked when it arrived. 8/10

The food - The roast chicken tasted ok but was way too dry, the potatoes were not roasted but deep fried and tasted quite nice. The yorkshire pudding was also over cooked and very difficult to cut causing a small earthquake on the plate when the knife finally made it through. Both the carrots and broccoli had sat too long and become rubbery. 4/10

Gravy & sauces - The gravy was quite nice and served separately in a boat. Sauces to go with all the meats on offer where available in satchets. 7/10

Veggie option - Portobello mushroom, chickpea and pumpkin seed roast with potatoes and veg for £6.10.

Value for money - £6.10 is a good price for a nice roast but not when it is all overcooked so.. 4/10

Overall - I have been to Sunday Club at Wetherspoons on a number of occasions and have had some decent roast dinners but on this occasion although it looked good when it arrived it turned out to be a bit of an overcooked let down. 5/10

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Time to look at the roast dinner.

So why the roast dinner?

For over a year now I have been busy searching for the perfect fry up experience and although I have come close the search still continues. Along the way though I had been thinking about other food experiences and wondered what to write about next. It is really strange going into any eating establishment these days as I always feel the urge to take a few photos and memorise certain aspects of the meal. People have suggested a number of foods that I could look at next but none more so than the experience of going out for a roast dinner. I have found myself going for a roast dinner a couple of times a month now and I enjoy doing so but there are some aspects of it that drive me crazy, none more so than the vegetable portion gamble which I talk about below. The time has come to search for the perfect roast experience, but what I am I looking for? Well the layout will be similar to the fry up inspector format but with a few additions and the categories will be...

Upon entering - What is the place like inside? Was there a decent car park? Was the menu easy to find? Did you get a table straight away? Was awful pan pipe music being played in the background?

Service - How well did the staff do at taking your order? How long did you wait? Was the cutlery clean? Did you get served by someone with a face like a slapped arse? Did somebody ask how the food was when you had a mouthful of food?

Type of roast - Carvery or ready served.

Meat available - What are the choice of meats on offer?

Contents - What was on the plate?

Vegetable portions - Often two people sitting together will get exactly the same size bowl of vegetables as a person sitting on there own meaning the only way of getting a proper portion of veg would be to order and sit separately which would be crazy. This is unfair and happens a lot so in this category I will look at how fair each establishment is at giving people a proper portion of vegetables per person.

Presentation - How well was everything placed on the plate? If it was a carvery how did the help yourself area look?

The food - Here I will look at how everything tasted and how well or undercooked it was, also quality of food and method of cooking.

Gravy and sauces - Was there enough gravy and how good were the sauces?

Veggie option - What was the veggie option and how much did it cost? I'm afraid as i am not vegetarian it is highly unlikely I will be able to comment on a veggie roast but anyone wishing to can contact me on

Value for money - Was it worth what you paid?

Overall - A summery of the whole experience and a final score out of 10.

Recently I have been to 3 really good places for a roast on a Sunday, this was before I thought about the roast inspector so I don't remember enough detail to do a proper write up on each. I will try and return in the future so I can though, anyway these places were...

The Old Ram Coaching Inn
Ipswich Road (A140)
NR15 2DE

The roast cost £8.95 and was very good, particularly the roast beef.
£10.95 will buy you the "Sunday best" a bit of each meat with an extra yorkshire pudding.

Ketts Tavern
25 Kett's Hill
Nr1 4EX

I forget the exact price but about £7-8 and by far the best yet! Everything on the plate tasted amazing and it was nice to get different veg and homemade, slightly herby yorkshires, the meat was perfect and almost melted in your mouth. Will never forget thinking we were leaving out of the front door and almost walking into the cleaning cupboard, a tad embarrassing as everyone watched us do it!

The Reindeer
10 Dereham Road

Excellent value for money at £7 and lots of food for your money. Everything tasted really nice, I have a feeling the potatoes may have been deep fried but who really cares when they tasted so good, top notch parsnips and amazing lamb with pork stuffing.