Monthly Archives: June 2010

Sunday Dinner at The Compass – Islington

Roast Beef at the Compass

Roast Beef at the Compass

Its Sunday Dinner time again, this time I followed the guidance of the Timeout guide and chose the nearby Compass on Chapel Market in Islington. Things started well, we unexpectedly got a table for four right away and ordered a great bottle of Malbec from our extremely knowledgeable waitress. Two orders went through for roast pork and one for roast beef and one for the nut roast (Yes I know).

Things then started to go a bit downhill.

The pork was Gloucester Old Spot natch and was moist and delicious. A tiny diamond of crackling was extremely disappointing and even more so that it was particularly crisp. Roast beef looked better but was rather tough and gristly. Side vegetables and gravy were great. Most disappointing were the roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings which were clearly pre prepared and were cold and soggy.

Gloucester Old Spot

Gloucester Old Spot

Its a shame as the atmosphere is great and it was really busy when we were there. I’ll definitely go back but just not their Sunday lunch.

Score 5/10

58 Penton Street
London N1 9PZ
020 7837 3891

The Compass on Urbanspoon


The need for extras

New Potatoes

New Potatoes

Time for another thing that annoys me in restaurants and that’s the complete it yourself meal. Viewed sympathetically it gives the diner the option of choosing what vegetables they would like to go with their main course for flexibility of eating. This would be fine but for the following.

  • Not knowing what the meal actually comes with leads to a discussion about the components of the dish which is faintly ridiculous.
  • Not knowing what would complement the dish best. True the waiter may know but more often than not he will shrug and suggest mashed potato. Recently a meal was ruined by an addition of a suggested portion of red cabbage that completely overwhelmed the rest of the meal components by being heavily laced with red wine vinegar.
  • Not knowing the portion size. Discussions then lead to matters of size. “Will one portion of jersey royals be enough for two” Generally leads advice to get one portion each and of course when it arrives, one portion was enough for the whole table. I have had the cost of unused side vegetables removed from the bill due to ‘mis-selling’. Give it a try.

There is also the prohibitive cost of additional vegetables. Just the other night at St Pancras Grand I ordered the steak and was told it came ‘wiz nussing’. To add the required vegetables to meek it into a meal would cost a further £12 which is just flagrant profiteering. I mean, does anyone just order the steak without extras? I doubt it.

I just want things things simple without the dissection of what you are actually getting. The meal should come complete and side dishes should just be that. Extras for the glutonous.

Along side the pushing of bottled water, the gratuity option appearing on the chip and pin machine when you have already paid for service it is another example of restaurant rip-off.