Sunday Roast Review: The Lock Tavern

June 15, 2010

The Lock Tavern
Camden
Beef, Pork, Chicken & Vegetarian
From £9.50
Roasting: 6/10

An ode to Chalk Farm

Ive drunk in your pubs, and eaten your kebabs,
I’ve read in your parks, and exchanged swear words with chavs.

I’ve burnt my tounge on your coffee, slurped Marine Ice’s best,
I’ve seen goths mope on highstreets, put Yum Cha to the test.

I’ve roasted your roasts, and lined up for the gigs
I’ve walked your canals, and scoffed your kfc like a pig.

I’ve ridden your streets, done Asakusa times 10,
But now I’m friends with the dry cleaner, I need to start over again.

Adios, Chalk Farm, with your funny little quirks,
Your noisy night footpaths, and parking warden jerks.

I’ll be seeing you soon, as I ride through every day,
yes Archway is further, but I like it this way.

I have breakfast on the roof terrace, and a bbq at night,
We even have a veggie crop, a veritable chefs delight.

With all this comes new pubs, and by that I mean roasts,
So on that note I leave you, Chalk Farm, for the meal I love most.

By the time you read this review, I will of moved house. In case you forgot, moving house sucks arse. Massively. Don’t do it. As a result, this particular Sunday was not an organised one. So in this spirit of unorganisedness, it would make sense that this roast would have to be somewhere within walking distance of our almost empty house.

Somewhere within walking distance turned out to be the Lock Tavern. Regardless of the ridiculous ‘local card’ policy they have for late nights, (my ongoing beef with this place) The Lock has 2 great outdoor spaces made up of a leafy beer garden with plenty of shade out the back, while a sunny front facing roof terrace presents an ideal spot for quaffing multiple afternoon pints.

In the evenings The Lock gets mobbed with uber-cool camden kids, think of the Field Day crowd and you have it to a tee. The music policy is mighty similar as well, great fun for boozed out shennanigans, providing you have that elusive local card to get in.

Inside you’ll find those familiar worn wooden tables, quirky lampshades, sunken couches all watched over by staff that always manage to look effortlessly cooler than you do. Perfect for a lazy sunday of people watching.

Apparently, as we heard later in the day, The Lock’s pies are where it’s at. Which would make sense given the massive pie board with numerous mouthwatering combinations on there. I can’t remember exactly what they were but I do remember almost ordering a pie over the roast.

Instead I settled on the roast pork belly, and Strips went for the chicken. With a smattering of walk-ins holed up around the place it wasn’t exactly busy, and our roasts came out in record time. Presentation was good, and the serving size certainly ample, but the speedy delivery must have gone via the freezer as our mashed swede was stone cold and bland. Some butter and salt would of gone a long way, along with an oven.

Likewise, the stuffing balls were barely luke warm. We both love the idea of stuffing, it’s like the little extra present at christmas, hiding behind the tree. Only this little present was made of saxa ready-mix and tasted of cardboard. Sadly, it was yet another case of lovely idea, poor execution.

The rest of the plate maintained a good temperature. The spuds, although steaming hot, employed the potato boob-job to full use, a golden and crunchy outside stirring that familiar sensation of rising excitement only to reveal a dehydrated and flavourless interior. It seems potato boob jobs are becoming as regular as PRDD*.

Dispelling any preconceptions of PRDD, the chicken at The Lock was perfectly cooked. Moist and succulent, Strips had it demolished in record time. Her only complaint? It needed seasoning. Crushed sea salt and thyme would of been ideal.

I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve ordered the pork belly. Too many. The Locks offering had good flavour, and was tender enough, but the crackling on top could of done with longer in the oven as the sides were still too chewy. At £9.50 it’s certainly good value, but don’t expect the standard of the Water Poet or even The Princess.

The rest of of the veg, on a whole, really needed more seasoning. The carrots were, carrots. The broccoli – broccoli, and the gravy although flavoursome was too watery. A little butter thrown in with the broccoli, some honey and coriander with the carrots and a generous pinch of salt and pepper over the whole lot would of brought out the flavours nicely. The yorkshire was par for the course, although a wee bit too oily.

For £9.50, it could of been a great value roast. The cold mashed swede, dehydrated boob-jobs and general underseasoning of everything really let it down, although these are all areas that are easily improved. The foundations of any decent roast, the meat, was good enough certainly for the price, but until the rest of the plate comes together I’d be inclined to order one of the pies.

Meat ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6)
Potatoes ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ (1)
Veg ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ (2)
Yorkshire ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ (5)
Gravy ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ (4)
Serving Size ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8)
Menu Variety ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8)
Service ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8)
Atmosphere ★★★★★★★★★☆ (9)
Value for money ★★★★★★★★★☆ (9)

Total Roasting: (6/10)

*PRDD – Pub Roast Dryness Disorder. The recurring phenomenon of over-cooked meat, usually associated with Chicken. See The Oxford review.

Lock Tavern on Urbanspoon

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4 Responses to “Sunday Roast Review: The Lock Tavern”

  1. tommyscoff Says:

    yeah I love the Lock tavern, weekend nights are awesome. Haven’t tried the roast myself but have had the pie, it does a job on a sunday.

  2. Lecccccccccc Says:

    nice poem dedication to chalk farm 🙂

  3. Bella Says:

    not sure how this one skipped me by, love the ode to chalk farm! Great stuff! But can you guys please do some pubs south for us southerners?!


  4. […] Garden Gate, The Flask, Ye Olde White Bear, The Bull and Last, The Lock Tavern, The Oxford, The Stag, The […]


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