Sunday Roast Review: The Keston Lodge

March 2, 2010

The Keston Lodge
Roast Chicken, Roast Lamb, Roast Veg
From £8.95
Roasting: 4.9/10

I have a bit of a soft spot for the Keston. Not so recently for the sunday roast (which, lets be honest, has slid consistently downhill) nor for the friday and saturday nights when it gets rammed to the teeth with boozy angel trendoids (am I getting old?!) No, I have a soft spot for the the overall feeling that it leaves me with on any other given day. Predominantly sundays. I think the decor alone makes it one of the coolest bars on Upper st. Lining the beer taps as you walk in are 50’s styled leather bar stools that are far too cool for school, retro film projectors sit high behind the bar, and random assorted plates float on an otherwise bare rear wall. Funky persian runners cover worn wooden floorboards and probably the comfiest couches I have ever couched in nudge floor to ceiling glass doors on the ground floor, giving an excellent view of the foot traffic. In summer these massive doors are opened up and tables placed on the footpath to create what is one of the best spots to enjoy a paper and chip away a balmy sunday afternoon. Bring on summer already.

Fortunately, its all these wonderful little elements that help me overlook what was otherwise a completely average sunday roast. It started with being informed there was no chicken left, due to a ‘very busy afternoon’.  Keep in mind we arrived at 2 and the place was at about 30% capacity. So with effectively 50% of the menu unavailable, and being a group of 6, we ordered 6 lamb. Shortly after we were informed there were only 5 lamb, as this had also now run out. After being offered a cheeseburger as an alternative we settled on 5 lamb and a veggo. Not a great start, but at least the staff were helpful. After settling nicely into a corner booth (ring ahead if you are a large group) the weekend conversation started to flow, and shortly after the roasts arrived.

We roasters like to think we can pick a dud yorkshire, and this was like spotting a blonde in India. Undercooked, soggy and tasting of oil, the yorkshire was by far the worst element on the plate. I would go so far as to say it is the worst yorkshire I have had this year. It got better from there, although not by much. The gravy was the worst we’ve seen, Industry Boy would of been out the door in a flash, had he not been overseas at the New York Condiment Convention . Watery, translucent, and totally lacking any flavour. It was like beef stock mixed with 10 litres of pond water. Not nice. The veg, being swede and carrot were fine, albeit a little undercooked. The kale was a nice substitute for cabbage, but again, it was slightly undercooked. The lamb had nice enough flavour coming from Godfreys but was overcooked and underseasoned – if you are using a top class butcher for your meat then why not give it the oven loving it deserves?! The spuds were the only saving grace, crispy and very well done. Lovely. So what happened to the rest of the plate?

The service was fine, and no complaints on the drinks, but it was a massive disappointment on the roast. It was only £8.95 so I suppose depending on how you look at it it’s value for money. We obviously weren’t expecting the standards as seen at The Bull and Last, but if the Woodbine can get it almost perfect for a tenner, and the Alwyne is up there for £7.95, then what went wrong at the Keston? When I first had a sunday roast here several years ago, it was fantastic. We hit it regularly for a several months it was so good, but ever since then it has just gotten progressively worse. Which to me is a real disappointment as I really like the place. Our thoughts? Change the sunday chef, or tell him/her to ‘ave a word and sort out the roast. The fundamentals are there for a brilliant sunday afternoon: amazing butcher supplying the meat, perfect venue and a great location…  it’s just really annoying that it struggles to all come together.

Meat ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ (5)
Potatoes ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7)
Veg ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ (5)
Yorkshire ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ (1)
Gravy ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ (1)
Serving Size ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7)
Menu Variety ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ (1)
Service ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6)
Atmosphere ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8)
Value for money ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8)

Overall Roasting: (4.9/10)

Keston Lodge on Urbanspoon


7 Responses to “Sunday Roast Review: The Keston Lodge”

  1. Jen Says:

    Lol, great review – keep them coming!

  2. BradC Says:

    ha yep we’ve been to the keston lately, great place but the roast was a complete letdown. Good on a friday for drinks tho.

  3. Younas Says:

    wow. disappointing ROAST. shame to see the demise of what was once a very good and consistently good solid ROAST.

  4. Lizzie Says:

    I went for a roast dinner here about a year ago; after a terrible bloody mary and stuffing that was microwaved squares of MDF, I never came back.

    Now, how’s about visiting some South London pubs?

    • Not much has changed then! Unfortunate as its quite nice for a lazy beer on a sunday (providing you can get a couch).

      We’ve had quite a few requests to head south, we’re aiming to do so next month. The Priory Arms is on the currently on the hit list, anywhere else you would recommend?

  5. […] Angelic, The Drapers Arms, The Red Lion and Sun, Public House, The Duke of Cambridge, The Green, The Keston Lodge, The […]

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