Dear reader, you may recall ‘Non-Stinky’ Jeff’s glowing review of Sunday lunch at the Dial Arch pub in Woolwich. Having been there for lunch today I can only imagine he was talking about a different Dial Arch pub. This is because the vile filth masquerading as food they had the temerity to serve us could only be described positively if it were being force-fed to someone you utterly despise. It was so stunningly bad I was almost impressed by their ability to turn ingredients into egregious concoctions of horrifically repulsive foulness.
I am fully aware that roasting meat to be served over an extended period of time is a difficult thing to manage. Some restaurants manage it admirably, but it seems that the Dial Arch’s strategy is to place the meat under the rocket exhausts of the Space Shuttle until all character apart from that of leather has been incinerated out of it. Take the beef I ordered (left). I was served two slices of ludicrously overdone meat which had more in common with the material scuba-divers’ flippers are made from rather than tasty bits of animal. They were so tough chewing them was a strain. Their maltreatment in the kitchen also left them disgustingly dried out and lacking any discernible flavour. I couldn’t finish them.
Daniel’s lamb was of a similarly cooked to oblivion so there was not the slightest hint of pink to be found. He also reported that the texture was somewhere between Spontex wipes and chamois leather and so scored highly on the ‘repugnant’ scale. How depressing to treat meat with so little care and attention; those animals that gave their all so that we might have a decent lunch had their efforts thrown away thanks to the Dial Arches’ loathsome kitchen activities.
All of these tear-jerkingly abominable bits of what was once meat were soaked in a frankly distressing mud-brown gravy which had the gelatinous texture of snot but was nowhere near as tasty. If I ever take up smoking to such an extent that my phlegm goes brown I’d venture I could make a few quid selling brown mucus to the Dial Arch to stretch their gravy. It truly was a loathsome fluid of detestably powerful emetic value.
Then came the horrors of what were their roast potatoes (right). I’m sure a boozer cannot afford to cook all of their roast potatoes in goose fat, but with these any form of cooking would be an improvement. They were so under-done that not only had they failed to colour but also the soft, pliable outside was astronomical units removed from the crunchy crust that makes the roast potato experience a delight. No fluffy inner to them either, they were dense and heavy all the way through. Simply barely-cooked potatoes, it seemed, rather than anything one might extract pleasure from eating.
I suppose I rarely get served such foulness these days, but I didn’t welcome the experience. Indeed, I am staggered that someone can cook and sell meals so actively nasty with not the slightest hint of embarrassment or shame. Could it be that the Dial Arches’ kitchen is used as the venue for Woolwich’s coprophiliacs’s Sunday afternoon get-together? This food was undoubtedly shit.
Contact details: The Dial Arch, Major Draper Street, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, SE18 6GH. Telephone 020 3130 0700.