Wednesday, 20 June 2012

It's been a long time coming...

I felt defeated. Finding out there was another Scotch Egg blogger cut me to the core, but now it's time to rise up once more.

More Scotch Eggs.

More drama.

More Scotch Eggs.

Thank you for your patience, long like the meaty egg.


Monday, 15 August 2011

7) The Three Kings

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you will probably think "finally, he has been to The Three Kings, he must be chuffed." Well you're wrong, I'm deflated. For I am not famous. The last post means nothing to me. There is someone else, and his name is David. There is another blog about the excellence of the Scotch Egg, and you can find it here.

I genuinely thought I was the only one.

I was close to throwing in the towel when I found out the news, I mean the guy is a professional. He has an unquestionable knowledge of food. He can actually string a correctly punctuated and grammatically correct sentence together. It is a fantastic blog, but it takes two to tango. I simply love Scotch Eggs, and what good is it, going out looking for the perfect one and not documenting it? I MUST continue. I owe it to the fans. I owe it to myself...

The amount of times I have drunk in The Three Kings couldn't be counted on all my fingers and all my toes. It's a great pub, and arguably one of my favourites in the whole of London. I had never sampled their Scotch Eggs, though I knew a lot about them. They aren't made in-house, but by the very respectable Handmade Scotch Egg Company. On the day The Three Kings had four of their varieties. I had them all.

The first I went for was "Black Watch." Basically a black pudding encrusted (with a bit of pork) egg. I'm a cheap thrills kind of guy. I love a good fry-up and thought this would be a dream come true for me. I wasn't dreaming. Neither was I in heaven. I was simply enjoying it. As expected it had a smooth and crumbly texture and was bulging with all the goodness you would expect from black pudding (barley, suet etc). Very tasty, and different to anything I'd tried before. Unique.


Number two was a vibrant red colour. It could only be "The Casablanca." Pork loaded with chili and pepper. It certainly packed a punch, and started the first real salivation of the evening. Rich and sharp, though also letting the pork do enough talking. Again a very original take on the SE, but not overpowering and overly hot. Even better than the first.


It was time for the 2nd round of drinks and with it came the 2nd round of Scotch Eggs. A fine summers evening, with some fine friends, and some Summer Lightning, a really fresh and hoppy pale bad boy, that was washing gods honest, delicious work down a treat.

Optimistic as ever, I tore into the Vegetarian one. Again, it was average. Quite dry. Bland. It looked like it could be a winner. It had more of a green tinge to it, making me think it could be packed with flavour. I was wrong. I'm still yet to find a decent vegi SE. Another reason to justify this quest.


Last but not least, the original and best. Delicate. Perfectly seasoned. Densely coated with meat. The same breadcrumb as the rest of them; crisp on the lips. This is proof (at the moment) that original can't be beaten. Though marked on par with The Casablanca, this was far superior. I still think I marked that one from The Royal Oak too high, this one pisses all over it. Must of been my deluded, starving nature.

P.S. I'll explain my friend Ryan's ground breaking scaling brainwave next time. I'm a bit egged out.

Monday, 1 August 2011

6) The Hampstead Butcher & Providore

"In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
- Andy Warhol

My moment had come, and I didn't even know it yet...

It was a Saturday afternoon. The Saturday after my work Summer Party. You can imagine how I felt. I had to go back to bed around 12:30pm for an hour after not being able to eat beans on toast. I was so hungover. I was in a bad way. How on earth was I going to celebrate with my fantastic chum Mandy at her birthday BBQ?

She mentioned that morning that she had brought me a present, and bearing in mind it was her birthday that made me feel quite special. I meandered into their quaint Hampstead abode, still nursing an enormous hangover. I gave her the standard girl birthday present, a bottle of wine. She passed me a brown paper bag which was almost half see through due to the amount of grease on its underside. "You can probably guess what it is by now" she said, and she wasn't wrong. I knew it was a Scotch Egg.

A plate came out, and so did a little bit of wholegrain mustard. This was a big boy. Hard to tell from this picture (I'll explain how I may, or almost definitely wont, be overcoming this problem in my next review), but it was large. Maybe even as big as the Southampton Arms, but not quite. Before I made the vital incision I was halted. Mandy then went on to tell me how she got hold of this beauty...

To cut a long story short she went into The Hampsted Butcher to get some supplies for the BBQ when she saw what she couldn't believe was a Scotch Egg and went on to ask the owner "Is that a Scotch Egg" to which he replied "Yes it is" to which she replied "I'll have to get this for my friend, he writes a blog."

I edged forward on my chair, as did the rest of the people in the garden. You could cut the tension with a knife. I could of also cut my Scotch Egg open with the very same knife, but I was engrossed...

"What is your friends name" asked the butcher to which Mandy replied "David. His blog is called The Scotch Egg Review" the butcher replied "I think I've heard of it, this one's on the house."

Holy shit. A mere six reviews down and I'm big in Hampstead. The magic had spread down the route of the number 24 bus. How much further could this little humble message spread? It would only be a matter of time before I'm getting papped coming out of trendy West End eateries that had made Michelin Starred Scotch Eggs especially for me I thought. Maybe Heston reads this. If he does, big up yourself. As my friends looked up at me like I was some kind of modern day Jesus with a pork ringed halo, I delicately cut into what I knew was going to be a special one.

You can get more of a feel of the scale now. A not overly heavy crunchy breadcrumb coating, yet golden and bright. I went in. This really WAS special. Densely packed and moist. Literally melt in your mouth moist. I hadn't tasted anything like this yet. This was really special. Though it was when I looked closer I got really pumped.

A colour explosion! Some kind of stuffing maybe? Chorizo? Different types of pork? God only knows (I'm Jesus remember) what was inside this little BEAUTY, but all I knew was that this was a serious piece of food. I had a score in my head at the time, but writing this review and looking back this wasn't just a really tasty snack, this was a really tasty snack with magical medicinal powers. My hangover had disappeared. I had opened a bottle of beer and I was drinking it. I had be reborn.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

5) The Royal Oak, Wineham

It was the day after The Elgin, and my spirits were high. To be honest, they needed to be as I was cycling to Brighton... on a fixed gear bike. You know, one of those bikes that you can't stop pedaling on, more at home in the velodrome getting ridden by people with thighs bigger than my waist. This is the bike I choose to ride to work on everyday. It's become my soul mate over the past year and a half, and it's awesome.

So, on Friday night I stayed at my friends' (Lyndon and Chris) house down in Tooting. I got the train from Kings Cross to save my legs and we got on the road about 8:50am on Saturday morning. It was a lovely day, warm for the first time in a while, a light breeze and most importantly, it was sunny and the ride was fantastic. Granted it made me want gears and lycra, but it was still the most fun I've had in ages, and it was about to get alot better...

After my shoddy map reading skills took us off track and down a hill for about 5 miles, which we had to climb back up again and then some, it was nearly lunch time. The country roads were winding, and genuinely beautiful, but not as picturesque as what I was about to experience... The Scotch Egg Ploughmans.

You couldn't miss The Royal Oak. It was a proper pub in the middle of nowhere, but still busy, always a good sign in my book. As soon as I saw someone getting a big old Pork Pie brought out to their table I just knew they would have what I wanted, and I wasn't wrong.

It was a work of art. Damien Hirst, step aside, your diamond encrusted skull ain't got shit on this. This was a breadcrumb encrusted MONSTER. It weighed a ton, and was packed tighter than a cats arse, full of meaty goodness (that sounds so wrong in so many ways, but I'm going to leave it in). A piece of crusty bread more hench than Schwarzenegger, a delightful salad, and some radical chutney that accompanied the Scotch Egg an absolute treat. It barely touched the sides. I also ate a gherkin.

This was a meal from the gods, but lets get down to the nitty gritty... As tightly packed as it was, as ideal as lunchtime meals after 50 miles of cycling go, there was something wrong about this Scotch Egg. It was from Hutchings Butchers according to the menu, which after a quick google search tells me nothing. It was by no means bad in any way, but it had the softest breadcrumb yet, that of a cheap Scotch Egg. This was it's downfall (below).

Not crispy made me slightly unhappy. Also, though tightly packed in, the meat wasn't seasoned as powerfully as I would of liked. The drama of the ride. The excitement of seeing it on the menu. The mouth watering presentation. The average Scotch Egg.

I'm sounding overly harsh here as it was an incredible lunch, buttttt, not an incredible Scotch Egg. But not a bad one. But not as good as The Elgin.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

4) The Elgin

I'M BACK IN THE GAME. After ANOTHER unsuccessful Scotch Egg trip (The 3 Kings had a wedding reception in there the other weekend. I should of played the "don't you know who I am?" card and had the reception put on hold. I didn't want to make a scene) I thought my luck was up. But at about 4:15pm on Friday I was dragged out of this egg-less depression and saved... I was with Andrew and Matt in "Meeting Room 7" (the pub) discussing the next issue of the magazine I design and as soon as I stepped foot in The Elgin, just off Ladbroke Grove, I knew what I wanted, and I could SEE them. Sitting under one of those food nets behind the bar, there they were, hanging out with their meat based brethren, the Sausage Roll.

As soon as the barmaid dumped it onto a plate, I knew it was a winner. The breadcrumbs were crispy, and it felt firm, not hollow in any way. This was packed deep. I brandished the knife and took upon it, which is when the real magic happened...

Fuck-a-doodle-do. The egg was soft boiled. If only I could of got my hands on this bad boy when it was fresh out of the fryer. What a truly magical snack the Scotch Egg is. The meaty outskirts looked succulent, and heavily seasoned. Then we (yes, it was shared. The joy really does have to be shared) tucked into it and collectively came to the conclusion that it was a winner. So much in fact, we went in for number two. We were greeted with yet more surprises...

A pot of mustard! And this time served on a black napkin, which gave it a kind of mysterious vibe, and made it seem a much more desirable snack. Delicious is the only word for it, if you ever find yourself near there please get one, and prepare to have your taste buds tantalized. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

3) Morrisons

It's started. Word has spread of my journey. My mecca towards anything egg centered (apart from Pork and Egg pies. Scum) has taken a new turn. Pub and Deli owners are perspiring at the thought of my judgement. Eggians, I have received my first complimentary Scotch Egg. Admittedly it was from my housemate Scott, but that's beside the point. Word will spread of the power this blog holds...

By FAR the best presentation of anything I've eaten yet, but past the glitz and glamour, it's basically a plastic box containing 4 Scotch Eggs. You may think to yourself why there is only one left in the box? Well they were given to me the week before Glastonbury (where, as I tentatively expected there were NO Scotch Eggs, hence why I delayed this review to avoid unhappy fans) and I came home DRUNK from a colleagues leaving doo and ate two as soon as they were presented to me (that's worded like there was a ceremony for them or something, there wasn't).

Anyway, onto the review. It looked like your normal Scotch Egg. The breadcrumbs were nice, not soft and cheap, but crisp and had a feeling of quality about them...

Whoop, there is is. The egg had a bit of a free range vibe about it, but I'm guessing at £1.69 for 4, the chickens that produced these were more battery than Duracell. The taste was good, even better when I scoffed at the two pissed, but sober as a judge it was a satisfying snack. Though if I'm honest, when I looked at the porky outskirts I couldn't help but think of the Sainsburys standard offering. They tasted quite similar too. I'm guessing they were made in the same place. I don't know what to think anymore.

Fair is fair, it's even Stevens (even with the bow, sorry Scott). Though maybe I could start touring Scotch Egg factories or something?

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The List...

Fear not Egg fans. I'm not one of these bloggers that has a honeymoon period of a week being a keeno and then does nothing ever again. If you have observed the words scrawled in the last two entries closely, you will see how much I really do care about Scotch Eggs.

I had my second failed journey yesterday. The word must be spreading about the joy this snack can bring. My first failed attempt was at The Elgin on Friday. It's the "work local" so it's not too much of a chore to get there and do the deed, so Friday came, along with it after work drinks but nothing. Only Sausage Rolls...

Then yesterday, I made the journey to The Bull and Last with high hopes. After all, when you google "scotch" "egg" "london" you are driven here, the first hit bigging it up. The 2 mile walk from my house there with my mate Lyndon was out of the way to say the least, but I NEEDED a Scotch Egg. Two pints and a Scotch Egg was my order. There was one Sausage Roll left... I nearly bought it to throw it at the bar staff in frustration. Unappropriate I thought.

Anyway, above is my list (please feel free to comment and suggest more). I will work my way down it soon. Glastonbury is next week, though I'm hoping for some kind of Farmers Market stall there to keep up my addiction. More moreish than crack, not that I've ever had crack, but you know what I mean.