Well as you must surely know I’m a frequent visitor to Haywards in Epping where over the last seven years I’ve enjoyed some excellent food and service. During this time I’m delighted to say that I’ve also become very good friends with owners Jahdre & Amanda. So now as we fly past the one hundred and thirtieth visit mark time it gives me great pleasure to tell you about another fantastic dining experience we enjoyed on friday evening. We arrived to be greeted by recently appointed Restaurant Manager Richard who really is becoming a great asset to the restaurant and assistant Sophie who is improving with every service. Haywards like all restaurants has undergone staff changes in the front of house especially during the current situation but with Richard at the helm all the new members of staff have settled in nicely. So when you put this together with the amazing team of chefs under the leadership of chef patron Jahdre in the kitchen this restaurant can continue to go from strength to strength. After a brief chat we were escorted to our usual table 10 which is in the corner next to the kitchen. We then looked at the menu where you had a choice of A la Carte our as we did opted for the six course Tasting Menu.
We started with a delightful selection of snacks and an amuse bouche that included the new Cod skin cracker topped with taramasalata.
Cod Skin Cracker
This led us onto our first course and a fantastic Venison Tartare with caramelised celeriac purée , radish & egg yolk emulsion with a piece of focaccia bread on the side. We followed this with the Roasted Cauliflower & Cous Cous accompanied by cauliflower ice cream & a curry oil. Now I know what some of you might be thinking did he really say cauliflower ice cream and yes I did but believe me it was delicious.
Roasted Cauliflower & Cous Cous
Next to arrive was the Stone Bass with caramelised onion purée , smoked bacon & kohlrabi that was an absolute delight. This led us to the main course of Roasted Lamb Rump , braised lamb neck , broccoli purée & mint gel along with a fabulous and rich sauce. This really was a fantastic dish.
Roasted Lamb Rump
We then moved on to the Cheese course that included a selection of three cheeses along with crackers , bread , chutney & grapes. This led us to a fabulous pre dessert based on an apple panna cotta that I believe should be made into a full size dessert as it was absolutely delicious.
Now it was time for dessert where we was in for a surprise as we were not going to be given the one on the menu but instead a new creation from pastry chef Luke. This Lemon Parfait & Gel with milk ice cream & honeycomb tuille was simply stunning and probably the best dessert he’s created in his time at Haywards. So then we thought we’d finished but Luke had other ideas as out came another new dessert to share. A White Chocolate Mousse with raspberry compote & pistachio cremaux that was amazing.
White Chocolate Mousse
We finished with coffee and petit fours along with a chat with Jahdre to bring to an end another fantastic meal at Haywards. The food here is amazing and improving all the time due to the young team of chefs Zak , Miles and Pastry Chef Luke. The front of house led by Richard is also improving with every service. This restaurant can only go forward from here and therefore yes I would highly recommend a visit to see for yourself. I will continue to visit this fabulous restaurant that is definitely the Best in Essex I’m my opinion.
Thank You to all the team for a fantastic evening keep up the good work and see you all again very soon.
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