‘It’s the best place in Earlsfield,’ baldly stated one of my table mates as we sat down in the Earlsfield branch of Roxie. This particular Tuesday evening the delightful dining companion (DDC) was unfortunately indisposed, and the foursome we had planned was whittled down to a threesome. I’d made an unscheduled stop to drop her off at home, thus turning my evening into an impromptu boy’s night.
My partners in crime in the event were two of my best friends, firstly the recently married man about town (MAT) who I hadn’t seen for a period that can be best described as too long. Joining us was another really good friend who had already dined at Gordon Ramsay that day and was now loudly singing Roxie’s praises. His penchant for fine dining has led me to label him the fastidious foodie (FF.)
Roxie has been in Earlsfield for a number of years now and is a firm favourite with locals. Originally called Fyre, its menu has changed little over years, offering a selection of carnivorous delights from ribs, to steaks and sausages as well as a smattering of seafood lurking in the starters and side orders menu. The interior is decorated in a mixture of plain pine and white tiling and has ended up looking a bit like a designer butchers. When I arrived I had found my friends already tucking into a bottle of house red, a reasonably priced merlot. Both the MAT and FF were singing its praises and I have to admit I found it rather tasty myself.
The reason why I had chosen to visit on a Tuesday was in order to sample their £10 rib deal, where you get a sizeable portion of ribs and a side order of fries. I’m a sucker for ribs and had heard that these were good. In order to test the kitchen though I ordered a starter of calamari. My friends rather than order their own starter had decided to share mine which was appropriate as they were also sharing a main course of a cue platter, a veritable feast including pulled pork, brisket, boerwoers, coleslaw, chips and pickled onions. I’m sure there’s something I’ve missed as I think it might have been delivered by a small truck.
I have to admit I was impressed by my calamari, it was fresh, not battered and sweet. My companions obviously were as well as they attempted to eat most of it. There main course certainly looked the part, covering about the same sort of surface area as a larger chess board, with scarcely any room between the various different elements. Both claimed that it was very tasty and they in fact couldn’t quite finish all of it.
My ribs were succulent, well presented and about the right size so that you felt you’d had enough but weren’t overly full. I will say however I didn’t find them particularly flavourful, and perhaps a bit fatty. Great value for £10 obviously but not outliers as far as rib enjoyment was concerned.
The bill when it came was a fairly reasonable £97 for three people including one starter, two bottles of wine and two main courses, though of course one was to share. When myself and the DDC had dined there previously the bill was more like £110 for 2 starters and two main courses with a bottle of wine and after dinner drinks. This was off the a la carte menu. I have to say I like Roxie, but I don’t love it, I cannot agree with the FF that it’s the best place in Earlsfield, it is after all mainly grilled meat. The food at the Jolly Gardener’s was better and more thought out, and both Green Curry and The Thai Grocer offer better value. It’s good and I will continue going there, but I have to say on the night the best part was the company.
585 Garratt Lane,
London SW18 4ST
Tel: 020 8944 9602