A little while back, I had a lovely surprise land on my doorstep. A flat, A4 sized box made its way through the letterbox & landed neatly on the floor. The box was in fact a ‘classic’ box from @getintheboxco. The box was packed full of sweetie treats, including many family favourites, from Haribo to marshmallows, my favourite bubblegum bottles & many more.
These boxes are a fabulous way of getting a treat to someone contact-free, or even surprises kids with their very own bit of post. The boxes can be personalised making them an ideal gift, plus there are heaps of different types of boxes to choose from, including different sizes, as well as different themes. (I absolutely LOVED the look of the spooktacular halloween boxes). There are some exciting Christmas boxes coming up too!
What was also fantastic about these, was not only were they super-yummy & moreish (once you start eating sweets, you just cannot stop, who’s with me?!), there was also a sheet laid neatly in the box too stating each & every sweet, & all of the ingredients – something that isn’t so much thought of! ⭐️
These sweeties were an absolute treat and were needless to say, demolished in no time at all.
A huge thank you to @getinthebox co for getting these over – they were AWESOME. [GIFTED]
A couple of weekends back we were invited down to one of Chelmsford’s best restaurants, Shwings, in order to see what their Sunday roast was all about. Being a Shwings fan anyway, I had high hopes for this dinner, & I can confirm it did not let me down. The other half of the party, was until this point, a Shwings virgin. He has now seen the light & has safely been converted, all thanks to this phenomenal roast dinner. So first things first, service was exceptional as it always is at this place, friendly & welcoming, efficient, not pushy, recommendations made, it’s all there. Service is also very prompt, our food was served within ten minutes of being seated. Needless to say, we both went for the roast, we both had the 3 course roast and a platter of wings to share (you can’t visit this place & not have them), plus as mentioned, the other half had not visited, so he needed to try all of those flavours! There have also been some new flavour additions since my last visit, so again, it needed to be done.
We kicked our meal off with a couple of starters which were halloumi sticks with chilli jam, which just so happened to be the best chilli jam ever & fried pickles served with a blue cheese dip (I LOVE blue cheese but I know this isn’t to everyone’s taste, but try it, it’s really good, & it isn’t too strong here!) The starters were devoured in about 2 minutes between the pair of us, & we were impressed with what we got. We had huge expectations with what was to follow…
The roast comes in at £15, plus you can upgrade & add starter/dessert for extra £££. The roast itself is made up of 1/2 chicken, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding plus your choice of 2 veggie sides, as well as a very generous jug of the Shwings gravy. The veggie choices include minted peas, garlic carrots, cauliflower cheese & red cabbage with apple. Each of us opted for cauliflower cheese (who doesn’t go for cauliflower cheese?!), as it’s a favourite & also as we were recommended this. I am not lying, this is by far the best cauliflower cheese I’ve ever had, soft cauliflower smothered in a blanket of melted, gooey cheese, mmm! The other sides we chose were the garlic carrots & the red cabbage with apple. The garlic carrots were nice & light, not too heavy on the garlic, balanced just right, & the cabbage was triumphant to say the least! This was the first time I’ve ever tried this particular dish, & it was SO YUMMY. I enjoyed it so much, the first thing I did when I got back home was Google the recipe – this was some top notch stuff! To be impressed by just the veg alone, I think speaks volumes! Of course, the rest of the roast was absolutely wicked, the roast potatoes were perfectly crispy, the Yorkshire pud stood tall & provided sanctum for the delicious gravy (which had a rather nice white wine twang to it – really yummy), & the chicken was spot on, lovely & soft, fell straight off the bone & had the most perfect, crispy skin known to man (I’m an absolute sucker for chicken skin, I don’t care how terrible it is for you!) This really was one hell of a roast, & I would 100% urge you to try it out if you haven’t already.
After smashing through the roast, we ploughed our way through the platter of wings. The platter consists of 9 different flavoured wings, the flavours are; – Buffalo – Honey & chilli (my all time favourite) – Hoisin – Sticky orange – Smoked BBQ – Jerk – Sweet Thai chilli – Shwings, which is sriracha & miso – Da Guv’na, which is a grilled wing in Shwing’s very own blend of herbs & spices All of the above were delicious, as expected. Each & every one has such a unique taste, sometimes it can be hard to decide which is the favourite! The new flavours definitely throw a spanner in the works but I just don’t think anything would ever come between me & my love for the honey & chilli wings.
Following this chicken-based feast, we did, believe it or not, manage to do dessert as well (it took a bit of a breather, but yes, we did it) & we enjoyed sticky toffee pudding (our favourite dessert), this was lovely & fluffy, really deep in flavour, & the best Biscoff cheesecake known to man!! I’ve had a lot of these Biscoff cheesecakes but the time has come, & I’ve found the best one.
Shwings is by far one of the best places to eat in Chelmsford, they know what they’re doing & they do it well, hence the success they have. It wouldn’t have been the most obvious choice for me if you said pick somewhere to go for Sunday lunch in Chelmsford, but I’ve now tried it & love it. I would recommend giving it a try yourself, alllll day long. A very special thank you to Mark for inviting us down & a huge thank you to all the team who looked after us – genuinely the loveliest, friendliest staff going. [GIFTED]
A couple of weekends back I received what I could only describe as the most SCRUMPTIOUS of deliveries. The very lovely Laura of @laurascakery very kindly dropped off a ‘treat box’ to me after a busy day at a farmer’s market. The box was made up of 4 different treats, all very traditional, but with such modern twists. Up on offer, there was… – Jammie Dodger Rocky Road – Freddo Cookie Dough Slice – Millionaires Rice Krispy Treat – Cornflake Brownie As you can tell just by their names, they’re a bit of an edgier take on the classics. Every single thing was spot on – from their presentation, down to the last yummy crumbs, they just hit the spottttt! My favourite of them all was definitely the Jammie Dodger Rocky Road, the taste of this was just INCREDIBLE! I was also convinced that I could taste party rings in this but it turns out it was in fact iced gems! I loved this one the most simply because it looked MEGA, I can only imagine just how good this looks when it’s freshly made & ready to be sliced up! & also, it was soooo YUMMY! I love anything with white chocolate, & this was a fantastic way of mixing up the typical rocky road, it also meant that the treat wasn’t too sickly either, as white chocolate (I find) is nowhere near as rich as milk, in fact I probably could’ve worked my way through about 4 slices!! The Freddo Cookie Dough slice was by far the cutest looking of all the treats (just look at his lil’ face!) The chocolate on this was indulgent & thick, & the Freddo DEFO too cute to cut through! (… I had to cut this one up because the cookie dough was very rich, & there was no way I was getting through a slice of this all by myself!) In hindsight, I think I should’ve maybe warmed this up to get the full cookie dough effect, nevertheless it was still delish! This one I know has also been a hit/is very popular as many of you replied to my story saying how adorable this looks. The Millionaires Rice Krispie Treat… I LOVED the idea of this. Millionaires shortbread is amazing, don’t get me wrong but sometimes it can be slightly too much/too rich, so what a way to break it up, using Rice Krispies. You defo get the snap, crackle & POP with this, oozing with marshmallowy goodness. I would 100% recommend giving this a try, (not as rich = you can eat more!!) Aaand finallyyyyy… the Cornflake Brownie! This one was a straight up banger! I love a cornflake cake as it is, & I would’ve been more than happy just munching through the cornflake part on its own, but there was a decadent layer of chocolate brownie base & it was PHENOMENAL! The brownie was made just right, not too squidgy but not too tough, & just completed the treat perfectly! All of the treats were an absolute delight to sample & I cannot wait to try out Laura’s other goodies!! (check her page/highlights just to see what other creations she’s come up with – you’ll be impressed, trust me!) A huge thank you to @laurascakery – cannot wait to see what you’ll come up with next! [GIFTED]
During lockdown, we were very lucky to receive some delicious cheesecakes from the lovely lady that is Heather. Heather very kindly put together a trio of cheesecakes for us, which comprised up of the following flavours; – Mint Aero This was the lightest of the trio, the cheesecake had a lovely zing to it & wasn’t overwhelming with minty-ness. This was also gorgeously decorated – a real eye-catching piece with the bright green colouring. – Millionaires Shortbread This was I would say probably the richest in taste, & was the household favourite. Again, gorgeously decorated! Simple, but looked absolutely stunning. – Fudge Brownie This one was my personal favourite, as it was rich but wasn’t too sickly – fudge is one of my favourite things! I also really liked that this sort of had the overload-vibe, the type which you don’t want to cut into & fall apart!
The cheesecakes were very rich & intense – we shared 3 small cheesecakes between 4 people, & there truly was more than enough. A little really did go a long way. That being said, this is good in that you get value for money, also with little to no waste at all. If you’re a bigger eater, the cheesecakes are also available full size. I would hands down buy these over shop-bought cheesecakes any day. The flavours offered a lot more depth, & were much more fresher-tasting. I would go as far as to say they are by far the best sweet treat we’ve tried to date (& there has been a lot through this pandemic!)
Not only did the cheesecakes taste amazing, but the detail & presentation was outstanding, the cheesecakes were showpieces in themselves! They’re definitely the sort of thing you don’t want to stick a knife in & ruin.
A huge factor too that made a difference was that not only were the cheesecakes beautiful as well as scrumptious, but Heather also provided fab customer service – there was clear communication throughout, which I think is highly important & really goes a long way. Heather was very clear, & kept us updated on what was going on throughout the process, from getting in contact, discussing flavours, making the cheesecakes & delivering, as well as after!
I’ve been following Heather’s page for a while now, keeping an eye on what she’s been making, & there are some amazing looking bits on there – my favourite now being the savoury cheesecakes – if you are a cheese lover (like me) then that is something you need in your life!
Thank you so much to Heather for allowing us to try these gorgeous desserts – we enjoyed each & every crumb!
August is fast approaching which means we are closer to being able to make use of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme – a great way for us as customers to try out lots of new places, & also a way for the hospitality sector to start making a recovery. In order to support the scheme, I’m going to be posting menus from various restaurants that will be taking part in the scheme. Menus will primarily be posted to Instagram @essexfoodies, & will also feature on a highlight specifically for Eat Out To Help Out on my Instagram page. If you’d like to get a menu featured, send over a PDF copy to firstname.lastname@example.org & I will be more than happy to get this up!
If you have a sweet tooth, then this is the home delivery for you! A little while back I was very kindly delivered a selection of goodies from the team at Essex Confectionary. I have to say, delivery was extremely quick & I did not expect the sweets to arrive as fast as they did (no complaints here!) I was given a pick n mix pouch which was absolutely stuffed with colourful sweets. There were a variety of jellies, both new & old school as well as a classic Refresher in there too. These pouches start at £5 for 500g, which to be quite honest, is really reasonably priced in comparison to what you’d pay in a shop or at a market. I was also given a Malteser box which was packed with, you guessed it, Malteser treats! These are charged at £7, making them ideal for a present. I would say that all of the goodies from Essex Confectionary are ideal for a loved one as a surprise, a birthday gift or even just a treat for yourself. They even offer Big Night In bundles which are perfect for movie nights (a great idea if you’ve got kids to entertain, & certainly a lot cheaper than a cinema trip!)
All sorts of treats are available, whether you are a jelly fan or more of a chocolate fan. I loved everything that I received, & I would certainly make an order for myself.
We’re treating you to another Christmas menu – this time it’s Cafe Brazil’s festive offering! This is one I’m going to be checking out- I think it’s great value for money, & you will also receive a complimentary glass of fizz – what’s not to love?!
Today, we have another Christmas menu for you! Live Dosa is a really lovely family owned & run restaurant in Chelmsford. The team here will do all they can to accommodate & make you feel welcome, so again, another one to consider over the festive period.
Live Dosa is a Chelmsford restaurant which have had the privilege of being invited to a couple of times. The last time we visited was for their 5th anniversary celebrations, & they really did pull out all the stops. Food was perfect & the entertainment was incredible – these guys know how to put on a party! On the 13th & 14th November they will be holding another event evening which we would recommend checking out! All details can be found below.
We have been recently been lucky enough to be approached by a local marketer, who very kindly managed to get us some of the Shaken Udder milkshakes sent out. Shaken Udder milkshakes are produced very locally so being able to review these was definitely something we could not turn down! I’d already seen & heard all about these milkshakes (they are very popular at my place of work & are always picked up along with a meal deal).
We received some cartons of the chocolate flavoured milk, which I would describe as rich, creamy & full-flavoured. The cartons I have to say do look rather small however you should not let this deceive you as one carton is more than enough – any more & it would’ve been far too rich for my liking, plus little cartons are handy for on the go (or even for lunch boxes). The cartons are also really cute & feature a little joke on the back (just like Penguin bars!)
After trying Shaken Udder for the first time, I am definitely inclined to try out more flavours & I look forward to doing so.
A huge thank you to both Nikki & Shaken Udder for getting these out to us to review.
Congratulations to Dusk on winning this fantastic award. We had the privilege of visiting this exceptional restaurant when it first launched & can totally see why it has come this far so soon. Thank you to Avocado Media for supplying the following press release.
PRESS RELEASE DUSK Restaurant scoops Global Hospitality Award
DUSK Restaurant in Brentwood, Essex, has scooped a prestigious LUXlife Magazine Global Hospitality Award for fine dining, within months of opening.
Following a soft opening in June ahead of a glittering official launch at the beginning of July, the restaurant and shisha lounge as quickly established itself as one of Essex’s top destination venues, and is busy throughout the week and fully booked every weekend. Having already generated thousands of social media followers, it is apparent from customer comments that DUSK has become the place in Essex to go and be seen.
A unique venue, DUSK provides a multi -purpose hospitality destination, offering dinners a selection of world cuisines, with a choice of fine, casual and private dining experiences with live music and entertainment in the popular alfresco shisha lounge.
The award for Best Fine Dining Shisha Experience, came as a complete surprise for venue co-owner Sharif Uddin, who had not known the venue had even been nominated.
“I knew we were doing something right, because of the overwhelming positive customer feedback, the packed tables and the fact that we already have a top four restaurant of over 3,000 listings on TripAdvisor – for any cuisine – in the whole of Essex. But to win such an accolade, so quickly. came as a complete shock,” he said.
DUSK’s executive head chef Steve Gomes is no stranger to winning top awards. He received two AA Rosettes for his former restaurant, Moksh – the first Indian restaurant in Wales to achieve this. He was named ‘Ethnic Chef of the Year’ at the Craft Guild of Chef’s Awards and represented Wales on BBC2’s Great British Menu. He won ‘Curry Chef of the Year’ at both the Welsh Curry Awards and the English Curry Awards. He has held the title of ‘Best UK Indian Chef’ with the Cobra Good Curry Guide for a large part of a decade; and was crowned the ‘Outstanding Asian and Oriental Chef of the Year’ at the House of Lords.
“This latest award is a great achievement for the entire team in delivering a unique fusion of Mediterranean and Asian cuisines, using the finest produce sourced locally,” said Gomes, adding, “It’s also a great testament to the adventurous nature of the people of Essex, who have taken to our cooking style with such enthusiasm.”
LUXLife awards coordinator Edward Faulkner commented: “DUSK has demonstrated excellence and commitment to the hospital industry. We showcase the individuals and enterprises who offer outstanding gastronomic delicacies. The awards acknowledge the best establishments offering sumptuous cuisine from across the globe.”
Published quarterly, LUXlife covers all aspects of highend lifestyle, including the finest, food and drink, hotels and resorts, health and beauty, automotive, jewellery, art and technology from around the world. It is distributed globally to an affluent readership of 280,000, attracting over 1.8 million views in the past year. www.lux-review.com
With three discrete dining areas each with its own menu, the restaurant, which caters for up to 400 customers, has been transformed with an investment of almost £1million by restauranteurs Sharif Uddin and Shakil Islam.
Sourcing the finest produce from local farmers, butchers and fish mongers, Gomes has designed a menu which requires a second reading to appreciate fully. The ‘Fish and Chips’ is in fact John Dory in a premium batter, with rose infused ketchup, grape tartar sauce chips and a peas mouse. Another signature fish dish is Black Cod, pan-fried and served on a bed of cherry tomatoes and garlic, topped with rhubarb aioli, infused with CO2 essence, served with steamed rice. A unique Turf and Surf, pairs lamb shank with lobster.
There is also a DUSK Till Dawn dish, featuring a prime marble 3-5 wagyu ribeye steak, with a stilton cheese sauce, quail’s egg, roasted potatoes, sautéed pakchoi and C02 tomato gazpacho.
For vegans, there is a Tofu Shashlik with almond milk roux, served with rice and chips – and special versions of the Momo, Ratatouille, Hakka Noodles, American Chop Suey, and on Sundays, a Toad in the Hole.
No alcohol is sold on the premises, but customers may bring their own. There is no corkage charged – representing a considerable saving for connoisseurs of fine wines and premium spirits. The bar stocks the largest range of alcohol-free drinks in the UK and serves a vast array of mocktails, still and sparkling wines, and beers.
The extensive shisha menu features Savacco, Sarbuzz and Al Fakher flavours, priced from £25. The premium Shapes Shisha costs £130, with a £15 premium for the ice upgrade.
Inside DUSK there is space for around 130 diners to sit in the main restaurant, with an occasional pianist and an open kitchen barbeque area. Outside, there is another 150 seats in the alfresco dining area in pergola with detachable roof where people can smoke flavoured shisha and eat from the street food menu.
For weddings and private functions, there is a separate banqueting room overlooking the golf course, which can cater for parties of more than hundred dinners.
Business partners Sharif Uddin and Shakil Islam, own five other Essex venues. The portfolio comprises Aladdin’s shisha lounge in Ilford, Empire shisha lounge in Romford plus and three Kushi Indian restaurants in Lakeside, Canvey Island and Gidea Park.
With parking for over 500 cars, a short distance from junction on the M25 (J28) and served by a fast train service from London’s Liverpool Street Station.
Stephen Gomes is a Welsh executive chef and TV television personality, originally from Mumbai, he is renowned for his molecular gastronomic take on Indian recipes. He is a fourth-generation chef, His father, James Gomes, worked at India’s first five-star beach hotel there, before working in, USA and UK, as an executive chef in hotels and restaurants. Stephen’s grandfather served as a chef on board a battleship during World War II. His great grandfather was Head Chef at the Eastern Shipping Company during the Raj.
In 2015, he was awarded two AA Rosettes for Moksh; the first Indian restaurant in Wales to do so. He was named Ethnic Chef of the Year at the Craft Guild of Chef’s Awards 2015. In August 2015, Stephen was chosen to represent Wales on BBC2’s Great British Menu. Other accolades including the Ethnic Chef of the Year Award at the UK Craft Guild of Chef’s award 2015; Goldstar Welsh Curry Chef of the Year at the Welsh Curry Awards 2014; and Goldstar English Curry Chef of the Year at the English Curry Awards 2013. He has held the title of ‘Best UK Indian Chef’ with the Cobra Good Curry Guide for a large part of a decade. At a ceremony at the House of Commons, Stephen Gomes was crowned the Outstanding Asian and Oriental Chef of the Year 2017.
A la carte Restaurant CLOSED MONDAYS (excludes Bank Holidays) 18:00 – 22:30 Sunday – Wednesday 18:00 – 23.00 Thursday – Saturday 13.00 – 22.00 Sunday
Restaurant: Over 12s Dining Only Shisha Lounge: Strictly Over 18s Bring Your Own Alcohol Venue no Corkage Vegan/Gluten Free options Smart/Casual Dress Code Restaurant No hats, No tracksuits, No sportswear No alcohol sold on premises
Last Friday Essex Foodies made a trip to this wonderfully cosy pub set in the pretty & picturesque village of Blackmore. The pub is super easy to find, & took around 15 minutes to reach from from Chelmsford by car – so not too far out at all. Upon arrival & at first glance, the first thing we noticed was just how (with cars) busy it was – this was not a problem for us as we had a table booked, however with this in mind, if you plan on visiting (which you should do once you’ve finished reading this), I would strongly recommend booking just to make sure you are not left waiting.
So first off, we were shown to our table which was inside & looked out onto the gorgeous beer garden – the garden being in full swing all thanks to the wonderful sunshine we’ve seen recently. We ordered our drinks & had a glance over the menus – we were given the evening menu & the specials menu. The menus I would say offer typical pub dishes but with a modern & much more gourmet approach – simple but to an exquisite standard.
After glancing over both menus, we soon came to decide what we were going for – both my starter & main I chose from the specials menu, & Mum opted for both courses from the evening menu. Everything on the menu sounded fantastic but there was just something about the specials that just stood out for me, so on the menu for myself, there was to start – haddock & leek fishcakes followed by the chicken wellington, & for Mum there was the prawn & crayfish cocktail to start followed by a main of beer battered haddock & chips (definitely always a winner on a Friday evening!)
The kitchen wasted no time in getting our starters served up, both plates arrived within around 10-15 minutes which was perfect.
As you can see from the above photographs, the food was remarkable! Mum commented on the size of her prawn cocktail & said that it was huge – we tend to find that normally with prawn cocktails you get less of the fish & definitely more of the lettuce, however this was not the case at all here – there was more than enough, & the bread was also generous with 3 slices on the side. Another thing that Mum was really pleased with was, believe it or not, the butter! I can vouch for this also though – most places will normally serve you really hard butter that doesn’t spread at all, this was perfectly spreadable & didn’t contribute to any holes in the bread! It’s the little touches like this that really do make a difference & you do notice.
The fishcakes that I had were impeccable. They were light, fragrant & very more-ish. The haddock was a good choice as the main ingredient as it’s not overly (as silly as it sounds, a fishy-fish) but gives a nice subtle flavour which is very well complimented by the fresh taste of leek. If these were a main at the restaurant, I would definitely go for them.
On to the mains! As you know, I went for the chicken wellington & Mum the beer battered haddock & chips. I think the pictures below say it all really! The haddock & chips was a roaring success with Mum – she loved every bite. The fish made a welcome change to the usual cod, it was delicate & flaky, with a crisp & fresh batter. Chips were second to none! You cannot beat a good pub chip. The meal itself is available in either small or large, Mum went for the small & this was plentiful, especially after a starter. At first glance she did question whether it would be enough but this soon changed as she quickly became full.
The chicken wellington was tender, juicy & delicious. The chicken itself was wrapped in prosciutto ham & spinach enclosed in a perfect & glossy pastry casing. I would absolutely recommend trying this dish, it was slightly unusual & made a change from beef wellington but in a good way! The chicken was served on a bed of wild mushroom sauce which was lovely & rich, & with green beans & new potatoes. I personally find green beans can be a tough one to get right & they can often ‘squeak’ but these did not – they were perfect & not a single thing was left on my plate! Even the potatoes were cooked to perfection.
After finding a little more space in our tummies, & after eyeing up the menu we of course decided to go for desserts.
I was torn between desserts – sticky toffee pudding is my all time favourite (I love to try & have this everywhere so I can find the best) & my go to, but with the weather being as gorgeous as it was, I could not miss the opportunity to go for the summer-fitting mango cheesecake. Mum followed in my footsteps & went for the summery eton mess. We were both delighted with our choices. Both desserts were fruity & tangy, & in all honesty, the right amount after the other 2 dishes we’d had. The pair of us would definitely pick these desserts again & again.
Another fantastic little feature is that the pub also boasts an extensive gin menu which also gives guidance on which tonic to pair to each gin – perfect with or without dinner!
We unquestionably loved our evening here, so much so that Mum booked a table whilst we were there & was back over the same weekend – this doubtlessly shows just how favourable we found this place to be. Everything was spot on, even down to the tiniest detail such as the butter (as mentioned). The pub offered such a warming & cosy atmosphere, & this was on a hot summer’s day so I can only imagine just how lovely it would be in the winter – I’m certainly excited to make a visit over Christmas as I think this will be lovely, & I will certainly be back before then anyway! To put it simply, The Leather Bottle offers good, honest food & exceptional service & this is really everything I look for when it comes to planning an evening out. Thank you so much to all at The Leather Bottle for welcoming & looking after us, everyone here is a real credit & should be proud of their work! We look forward to visiting again soon in the very near future.
Mid-July saw the opening of one of Essex’s hottest, most prestigious restaurants, which we were thrilled to be invited to. The evening promised glamour & sophistication, which it undoubtedly delivered.
Upon arrival, you get a feel for what the restaurant is going to offer – the cars parked to the front of the restaurant say it all & leave little to the imagination.
The venue itself boasts various different rooms/lounges, including a main dining area, a function room, shisha lounge & bar plus grounds overlooking the stunning Bentley Golf Club. We were lucky enough to be given a guided tour around the venue, & each & every aspect of it is simply stunning – certainly somewhere you could hold a wedding party reception, or perhaps a work-do Christmas party. Once shown around the premises, we were led to an outside decking area, overlooking Bentley Golf Club, to enjoy more drinks & delicious canapes. Each of the canapes we tried were outstanding, our favourite of the selection were the chicken tikka bites (which a few of the staff also told us were their favourites).
We were also lucky enough to be treated to a three-course meal & drinks (please be aware that the venue does not sell alcohol, however there are no objections to bringing your own). The menu was set, so the only choice to be made was chicken or beef – you had the options of butter chicken or roast beef for mains.
The menu offered a starter of prawn, green apple & lemon cappuccino, mains of either honey lemon roast beef served with baby yorks, twice fried chips & summer berry gravy or butter chicken with rice & freshly baked naan, & a trio of desserts which was made up of chocolate delice, lemongrass brulee & almond croquant & pistacho ice cream.
All aspects of the meal were incredible – the food was mouthwatering, & the presentation second to none, even down to the cutlery, everything was perfect & aesthetically pleasing. The ingredients used are certainly some of the best – the prawns were some of the best I’ve ever had – the starter consisted of just 3, however they were plump & juicy, just the right amount for a starter dish. The beef was also cooked to perfection, sometimes beef can be a tough one to crack & can often be quite chewy or laced with fat, however this was melt-in-the-mouth. My Mum went for the beef dish & she loved it. I went for the butter chicken & have to say, I think this was probably the best butter chicken I’ve ever tried. The dish itself was not the typical mild butter chicken, but had a fiery twist to it – a real winner. Desserts were also a huge success, they were not something we would typically pick off of a menu however both of our plates were cleared, so there’s not much else to say on that front. As the food was to such a high standard & ever so tasty, I would certainly return to see what the rest of the menu offers.
Thank you to Dusk for inviting us along to their launch & a huge, huge thank you to each & every member of the team who did everything they could to make the evening what it was. We loved every second of our evening & would quite firmly state that the food here is probably one of the best we have yet reviewed!
Early last week, we were given the fabulous opportunity of previewing Giggling Squid’s new menu. This was certainly an offer that we simply couldn’t say no to. I’d always heard great things about this restaurant but just had never got round to actually visiting, so when I received an email offering us a place at the preview, there was only ever going to be one answer, and that answer was YES!
The evening was one of the more formal evening’s Essex Foodies had been to, however it was very insightful & interesting to find out more behind the restaurant & business itself, as well as future plans & developments.
The purpose of the evening was for Giggling Squid to show off their new menu & what they had been working on – & it did not disappoint. Their menu is hugely extensive & really does spoil you for choice, although we were very lucky as we got to sample pretty much all of the starters. As you will see from the below photos, there was plenty on offer.
The menu itself was extensive & left nothing to be desired – you’ve got dishes for those that prefer something slighty more plain, & you’ve certainly got dishes for those that are a little more adventurous! Giggling Squid also offer a fantastic & very fairly priced lunch menu which comes in at around a tenner (per person) for a Thai tapas lunch – perfect if you want to get to try dishes.
When it came to mains, each guest could choose a main dish plus a side – I opted for crying beef with a side of noodle & bean sprouts. I was very pleased with my choice – the food was simply fantastic! It was cooked to perfection & certainly satisfied my tastbuds. All of the other mains looked amazing too & I think I would be right in saying that there was definitely a little food envy in the air!
The food was beyond expectation – both in flavour & presentation. Not only was each dish was powerful & bursting with flavour but also looked fantastic too (personally I think noodle-y type dishes are not always photogenic & can be difficult to get decent pictures of). Because the food was so tasty, I would most definitely recommend & would 100% return.
Desserts were also exceptional – we shared a few between the table & everyone enjoyed what they tried.
There was also one other thing that really stood out on the evening which deserves a mention & that was how busy the restaurant was & stayed. We visited on a Tuesday evening & the restaurant was bustling & didn’t die down at all. Even by the time we left (around 9.30pm), the restaurant was still packed. To me, this is a huge achievement & proves that Giggling Squid isn’t lacking in demand. I feel that nowadays restaurants during the week tend to depend heavily on set menus to bring in custom – Giggling Squid is a whole different kettle of fish.
Thank you to all at Giggling Squid for inviting us along & allowing us to sample the new menu – we loved it! We will definitely be back again in the near future, make sure you check them out too!
Street Eats’n’Beats takes place in Chelmsford on 24th August & promises fun for the whole family. With a variety of delicious street foods on offer along with cocktails, & live entertainment, what better way to spend your bank holiday weekend?
Another old one! (Apologies that these are all so old). Back Inn Time is probably one of Chelmsford’s most loved restaurants – it has been around for YEARS. The restaurant is very reasonable, & probably 10 out of 12 months, you’ll find vouchers offering 50% off your food bill – what more could you want?! Below is a write up from when we visited back in June 2018.
Located conveniently in Chelmsford City Centre is this hidden treasure! The first thing on arrival we noticed was how friendly & happy the staff were, all were extremely accommodating & more than happy to help. We felt more than welcome! The food was sublime, and we thoroughly enjoyed each & every mouthful! Our choices included nachos & chicken quesadillas (specials board) to start, followed by burgers 🍔 & desserts both from the specials board, Oreo cheesecake & cookies n cream sundae. We highly recommend the burgers as there is such a variety & we would also recommend that you check out the specials board if you’re looking for something a little different! Overall this is a personal favourite of ours and we recommend paying them a visit! Thank you so much@backinntimechelmsford for your hospitality!
A bit of a special post from Essex Foodies this evening. There’s not a full review to put up because at the time we were invited to this restaurant, we were not writing reviews in the format that we currently do, instead we were using the Instagram page more as an advertising platform for local businesses, by posting only images… how times have changed! Anyway, Silke holds a bit of a special place in the EF hearts as this was the first restaurant we were ever invited to, so essentially, this is what kick started us (thank you, Silke!) I can honestly say this was one of the best places I had eaten in Chelmsford. The restaurant was family owned & run which I 100% prefer, as I find it calmer with a better atmosphere, & you just always feel so much more welcomed than you would in a chain. Sadly, Silke has since ceased trading, however I wanted to give them a mention as they were there, right at the very beginning.
A little while back in January, Essex Foodies were invited along to what has now become one of my (& my Mum’s) favourite places to eat in Chelmsford. As you read on, you will find out why.
Conveniently located close to Chelmsford train station is this gem of a Turkish restaurant, serving absolutely delicious & fresh dishes. The dishes we enjoyed included mixed olives & bread with dips to begin – I have to say, the bread & the dips of which were served were absolutely exceptional, everything was flavourful, tangy & tasty. We then followed this with our starters which included tiger prawns & special hellim-sucuk. The prawns served were huge! To me this makes a huge difference, as there is nothing worse than ordering prawns & for them to arrive shrivelled up. The hellim-sucuk (halloumi & Turkish sausage) is one of my favourite Turkish dishes & this did not disappoint, the halloumi was lovely & fresh, not rubbery & the sausage was flavourful – lovely & spicy. Following from our starters, we feasted on the yogurtlu lamb shish & the chefs special king prawns as well as a side of rice. Both of the dishes were again lovely & flavourful, well presented & both generous in portion sizes, especially the shish. Everything we had was ever so fresh. Personally, I would say if you are looking for a meal on a budget, this restaurant would be worth checking out as just a main alone would definitely fill you up! After we had enjoyed our main courses, we devoured a couple of pink gins served with elderflower tonic & fresh fruits – even the drinks tasted so lovely & fresh. On the last leg of our food journey, we enjoyed the desserts coppa rossa & tiramisu – both of these were ice cream based desserts so were not too heavy after a filling meal. The tiramisu wasn’t the standard sponge cake, but a tiramisu inspired ice cream instead. I like the idea of this as sometimes cake after a meal is a bit of a no-no & can end up leaving you feeling uncomfortable. The coppa rossa was yummy! Mascarpone flavoured ice cream served on a bed of digestive crumb – almost similar to a cheesecake but again, not as heavy. All of the food we ate here was absolutely lovely. Turkish is one of my favourite cuisines so discovering this place has definitely found me a new favourite place to eat!
It’s also worth mentioning that these guys also have a great lunch time menu, which can be served up within minutes! We would like to thank Ziyaret for welcoming us to their restaurant, for their exceptional service & for the wine that they also gifted us with. We will most definitely be back in the near future! Thanks again for the invite @ziyaretchelmsford
Back in January, I was given the opportunity to dine at & review one of the newer restaurants in Chelmsford, Middletons Steakhouse & Grill. As a keen foodie, I had of course already eaten here a couple of times, this was when the restaurant launched their soft opening (offering 50% off the food bill for the first two weeks of trade). If there’s one thing I love, it’s steak, and if there’s one thing I love even more, it’s discounted steak! Both times I had visited previously were fab & food was superb, however on this particular visit, there was something missing, the food didn’t appear to be as up to scratch as it had been. Review will reveal all –
Onto the food – to start, my Mum & I chose the prawn cocktail & the creamy garlic mushrooms. We both liked our starters, they were good in size & both came with bread, however I found my prawn cocktail be quite bland in taste, in particular I thought the sauce lacked in flavour. The mushrooms were nice enough, however nothing stood out. For our mains we opted for the classic mixed grill with a side of onion rings, & the beef wellington with a side of dauphinoise potatoes. I did really enjoy my main, the potatoes were lovely & creamy, really tasty, & the mixed grill was also nice & very generous in size, however we found the meat to be quite chewy which was disappointing, & the onion rings were heavily burnt, leaving the majority of them inedible. In all honesty, I was quite surprised by the quality of the food on this visit as my previous visits had been outstanding – maybe this was down to different chefs working, or maybe it was just down to preference, I’m not too sure. I personally think Middletons is one of the more expensive restaurants in Chelmsford, so with this, I expect quality, unfortunately on this visit, I didn’t think this met expectations.
Desserts! Desserts were absolutely fab – I’m not a Bailey’s fan however I had the Bailey’s white chocolate cheesecake & was converted! The cheesecake was really tasty, & was served with ice cream, so was not over-indulgent. My mum had the Middleton’s Sundae (which I also ate a bit of!) – this was again really lovely, the ice cream genuinely tasted so nice & fresh, & again, as it was ice cream, wasn’t too heavy or over-indulgent. All in all, we weren’t particularly satisfied with this meal, which I did make Middletons aware of before posting this review, however, saying this, my visit hasn’t put me off at all, as my experiences here before haven’t been bad. I look forward to visiting again to see if there has been any improvement.