As you may remember I recently wrote about my struggle to find a decent veggie roast in London and though I did stumble across a rather fantastic one with an Asian twist at 100 Hoxton (which you can read about here), I remained on the lookout for a convincing and more traditionally English offering. A good thing then that my lovely friend Johnny happens to live just around the corner from the charming and not yet fully gentrified Kenton pub which comes with a reputation of offering one of the best roast dinners London has to offer.
Of course being located in Clapton The Kenton doesn't come fully hipster free. However on the Sunday we went there was a good mix of twenty something professionals, families but also some proper Eastenders that you could tell have frequented the place for quite some years. The place is tiny which makes it even more cosy and after a little bit of hovering around we found two low stools and a repurposed 80’s video game table (oh so retro) to make our home for the evening, heading to the bar shortly after to order our roast dinner of choice- no table service of course as should be the case at a proper pub!
I went for their veggie offering which here includes a mushroom and nut wellington served with roasties, Yorkshire pudding, braised red cabbage, broccoli in a stilton and cheddar sauce, crushed swede and carrot, steamed greens, parsnip crisps and gravy. It sounds like a mouthful and, coming in at a mere £14.5m not only convinced in it's sheer quantity but also in it's superior quality of food. Every element was beautifully prepared, well seasoned and not overcooked or bland as so often is the case with roast dinners, drowned in gravy to give it some sort of flavour. No, here every vegetable element was a flavour delight, with particularly the broccoli in a stilton and cheddar sauce and the veggie wellington (SO often done so bad when dining out) really standing out in their excellence. My friend was equally impressed with his choice of free range roast chicken which was served with the same sides and also came in at only £14.5 (in fact all roast dinner options are £14.5 including the lamb and beef making this place not only an utter steal but able to please everyone) and we washed it all down with some pleasant rosé, equally reasonably priced at £6 for a big glass.
This value for money for the standard of food served here is rarely seen in London and though the Kenton may look like a rather average East end hipster boozer it is a true, true hidden gem and managed to convert even the biggest critic of classic English cooking (i.e. me) that a properly cooked roast dinner CAN be a culinary and comforting delight, made to warm you up on a cold winter's day. I for one will add this little spot to my black book of local favourites and cannot wait to return soon (although you may have to roll me out after)
The Kenton serves their roast every Sunday between 1pm and 7pm but don’t come too late and risk your roast of choice being sold out!