Prince William Henry – 18th August 2017

 Alex’s 23rd Birthday! We descended on this pub with heated outdoor tables to celebrate. But.. were the onion rings cause for celebration?

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 16
Cost: £3.30
Cost per ring: 21p

 

Pub grub at it’s worst and best. Let me explain…

These were 100% bog standard frozen onion rings. The ones you bite into and you question what they are even made of but you still get an overwhelming onion smell. If you go in with your eyes open to the fact that these are a dirty pub food then you could be tempted to say that they are nice.

The outer of each ring is crispy but I was almost unable to differentiate between the batter and onion once you are inside. The innards had the consistency of mashed potato not onion which does not make for a juicy delicious onion ring.

At 21p per ring they were definitely hitting the spot. I obviously couldn’t finish them and nor did I want to but a few cheapo onion rings go down a treat when you’re in a big group at the pub.

Summary

So bad… it’s almost good, but not quite.

Overall Rating: 3/10

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The Lord Nelson Pub Southwark – 23rd November 2016

I visited this funky pub to meet my friend Ellie. Pub onion rings are always a risk, they could swing either way so wasn’t sure what to expect.

THE STATS

Number of Rings: 16
Cost: As part of meal + £1

This pub was really unusual with lots of eye catching decorations. A pretty cool place for a drink and I was hoping too a good spot for onion rings. Sadly I was disappointed.

The onion rings at the Lord Nelson were the bog standard frozen. As for how bog standard go I’ll say these were very dry on the outside (because they are baked from frozen) but perfect grease levels inside. A sadly familiar taste that is boring and not like the real ale. They look grim and beige.

Despite my onion ring disappointment the burger I had called the “Chicken Elvis” was awesome. It had chicken, peanut butter and bacon with lovely soft bread. Would recommend.

Summary

Bog standard frozen.

Overall Rating: 3/10

The Sherlock Holmes – 28th July 2016

Hello again!

As you may know I have a special place in my heart for novelty themed restaurants. The Sherlock Holmes Pub in St James’s, London, did not slip my attention. It’s very well decorated in the theme and packed with tourists resting their weary feet. Despite it being a tourist trap, the chorizo hotdog meal I had, the “José Chorinio”, was both delicious AND reasonably priced at £10.

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THE STATS

Number of Rings: 10
Cost: £2.95
Cost per ring: 30p

Sadly, the onion rings were not so delicious. I was really disappointed with my side order to this otherwise tasty meal.

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Hollow crusts

These were quite possibly the driest onion rings I’ve ever had. They  were so stiff that when u bite them you have a job getting the bloody onion out.

Evidently they were from frozen and quite clearly overcooked too. Although they were not peppery at all like most frozens they were so dry I cannot stress this enough. What the hell

This proves to me that grease is key for a decent onion ring. It just goes to show you can swing both ways away from the perfect grease level.

Jeez these needed more moisture.

Summary

Driest onion rings I have ever eaten. More grease needed. Frozen.

Overall Rating: 1/10

The Sawyers Arms Paddington – 2nd July 2016

When I went to meet my friend Ellie at Paddington station it was a perfect opportunity to try some pub onion rings. Pub onion rings are of dramatically varying quality from pub to pub so this could have swung either way.

Sadly this is what came out of the kitchen.

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THE STATS

Number of Rings: 8
Cost: £2.95
Cost per Ring: 37p
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Ever the optimist I still hoped for the best

There is no doubt in my mind that these are frozen rings. With my first bite the entire onion flopped clean out of the batter and straight onto my chin. The onion inside was scalding hot and regrettably my chin was left burnt and sore.

The inner onion tasted dry, it was definitely overcooked. The batter has that typical bog standard frozen onion ring taste that’s unpleasantly oniony and fatty.

All I can say in their favour is that they weren’t absolutely disgusting and at least they didn’t cost too much money. One for when you’ve had a few beers maybe.

Up your game Sawyers Arms. Pub onion rings can be so much more!

Summary

They aren’t inedible but these are not good onion rings.

Overall Rating: 2/10

 

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Me suffering for my art.

KUA ‘AINA Goodge Street – 4th June 2016

Aloha!

Kua ‘Aina is a cool hawaiian themed burger and sandwich grill on Goodge Street by Tottenham Court Road. I really liked the theme and decor of the restaurant but let’s get down to the serious onion ring business.

This was a BAD onion ring experience. I would go as far as to say I would never buy onion rings from here ever again.

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THE STATS

Number of Rings: 5 (large)
Cost: £3.95
Cost per Ring: 79p

 

First impressions were that they were cold so I had to send the first batch back along with our sweet potato fries. When the second batch arrived they were so boiling hot I felt like they were taking the mickey although I know it’s just because they rushed out some fresh ones.

These were definitely not from frozen and usually this is a really good thing but in this case I think these were actually worse than the average frozen ring. The batter tasted extremely plain, it was not spiced or flavoured at all and I can only assume they used plain flour and water. I could tell the oil was probably fresh since the batter was not too dark.

The onion itself was juicy but because it was swimming in grease it almost tasted soapy. Whatever it was it definitely wasn’t a nice taste and I couldn’t even finish the 5 rings. I don’t think this has ever happened..

If I could offer any excuse for how greasy they were I’d say it was because they were served in a rush since they let the first lot get cold and we sent them back. However this isn’t a good enough excuse for just how gross they were – a huge statement coming from me the onion ring enthusiast, yes they were gross.

Mahalo (Hawaiian for “Thanks”)

Mahalo for nothing Kua ‘Aina!

Summary

Eating these made me sad because I feel like I’ve consumed a load of grease and lost £4 for nothing. 

Do not buy these again. 

Overall Rating: 2/10

 

Garfunkel’s Tottenham Court Road – 31st October 2015

Hello!

I visited Garfunkel’s for a quick dinner and I was excited (as always) to see onion rings on the menu.

These onion rings were average at best.

THE STATS

NUMBER OF RINGS: 8
COST: £3.50
COST PER RING: 44P

 

These are what I’d call “The Bog Standard Frozen”. You can tell they’re from frozen because the batter has the distinctive smooth and fully intact surface and is quite pale. The flavour of the batter is often overwhelming, tasting of onion itself, no doubt from copious amounts of onion powder. The inside of the onion ring may not necessarily even be cooked properly and is just a bit doughy. They are sometimes more like onion flavored mashed potato rings.

Personally I feel like these kind of onion rings have their place in the world but they should not be served in a restaurant. These are similar to the onion rings you’d get in McDonald’s or a kebab shop at 2am.

I enjoy the stodge from time to time but perhaps Garfunkel’s isn’t such a big step up from a fast food place after all.

Summary

Frozen takeaway onion rings. Not good quality even for frozen and certainly not what I expect at a restaurant.

Overall Rating: 3/10