Being a born and bred Essex girl I love finding hidden gems in towns I have never visited before, much like when we headed over to Braintree to try the Sunday Lunch at The Chophouse.
I warn you, don’t read this if you’re hungry!
With one of the warmest welcomes I’ve ever received at a restaurant, we took our table under a wall of clocks with no hands. Rob, the owner, told us there were no hands so you lose track of time and we certainly did! Our visit lasted almost three hours and we had no idea we were there that long!
The care the team take in preparing the food is obvious from the moment the starter menu is placed in front of you; hours of prep, everything home made with so much love and a great homely selection. I knew instantly that I wanted to try the chicken and duck liver pate as I’m a bit of a pate fiend!
Even the red onion chutney was home made.
Mike went for the ham terrine and pretty much licked the plate clean… good sign? I think so!
With the mains, you get no choice and are get what you’re given for Sunday Lunch. I loved this idea and certainly was not prepared for what was about to appear on our table…
We were presented with three meat varieties; beef, pork and chicken. All locally sourced and beyond words. The braised beef had been cooking for fourteen hours and melted in your mouth instantly and left you with such a stunning, rich aftertaste that I’d of been just happy with that on my plate but no, we had more divine treats.
The pork came in two ways, pork belly and pigs in bacon. And the chicken being so juicy that I must ask how they keep it that way when we return next month.
I couldn’t actually fit anything else onto my plate!
The vegetable selection was crazy, in a great way, too… cauliflower cheese complete with parmesan, cream of cabbage, roasted carrots, and a huge portion of cabbage, celery, and rhubarb.
And no roast dinner is complete without roast potatoes and The Chophouse have nailed those; a little garlic, crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside and just the right amount to scoop up with your meats! The Yorkshire Puddings were great too!
I have to say, they’ve set the bar so high for the next Sunday lunch we have.
This may come as a shock to you, but we did have the tiniest bit of room for desert, and we opted for the Panna Cota to share.
It was light and was the perfect size for the amount we had just eaten. Plus, it was my first try of the dish and I loved it!
After our meal we were lucky enough to chat with Richard, the head chef, who give us some tips on how to perfect our roasties which I may share with you once we’ve given it a go! We also had a tour of the rest of the restaurant as they have a small garden and upstairs area for private dining.
It’s places like this that make me so happy that I have kept up my blog when times have got hard, or I’ve lost interest as the service was impeccable, the food beyond words and the decor perfectly quirky. I’ve booked to take my parents for Sunday Lunch next month and to go back for a meal on my birthday as we loved it there so much.
Thank you Rob, Richard and all the staff for an incredible afternoon and for upping the stakes on how a Sunday Lunch should really be!
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