It’s been a long time waiting for hospitality to reopen but once it did there was really only one place where could choose to begin. This was with my great friends at Haywards in Epping. We’ve been here over one hundred and thirty times now and after today’s fabulous lunch I see no reason why we wouldn’t return many more times in the future.

We arrived on saturday and were given a lovely welcome. You could tell straight away how everyone was delighted to be back at work. We were then escorted to our usual Table 10 to begin the afternoon’s preceding’s. This started with us first meeting new assistant manager Selim who really is going to be a great addition to the team. He had a nice surprise for us when he told us that Chef had created for us a special Tasting Menu of new dishes as a welcome back to the restaurant. With delight we gladly accepted and waited with anticipation for the food to appear. We then met the sommelier who recommended a fabulous Domaine Boutet Saulnier Chenin Blanc to pair with the entire menu.

We started with the Granary Sourdough Bread which was followed by some fabulous snacks that included Bacon Croquettes with Pulled Pork that were absolutely delicious.

GRANARY SOURDOUGH BREAD
BACON CROQUETTES

This led us onto our first course which was Crab & Langoustine Ravioli with a crab & ginger consommé & poached langoustine that was an absolute delight. The ravioli was perfect and the consommé was beautiful. This really was a heavenly way to begin. We followed this with a delightful and refreshing Asparagus dish with egg yolk emulsion , mushroom vinaigrette & sourdough croutons

CRAB & LANGOUSTINE RAVIOLI
SALAD OF ASPARAGUS

We now moved on to the fish course which included one of my favourite pieces of fish. The perfectly cooked Hake came with tomatoes , spinach and a clam veloute. It really was a fabulous dish. Next to come was the main course and if we thought the fish course was good this was amazing. The roasted loin and braised neck of Lamb was stunning and came with confit turnip , roasted onion & purée. Then the was the addition of another one of Jahdre’s fantastic sauces that brought the whole dish together perfectly.

HAKE
LOIN & BRAISED NECK OF LAMB

Before desserts we decided to have a Cheese Course to share. This would include the usual and great selection of British & Irish cheeses along with crackers , bread , chutney and homemade piccalilli.

CHEESE COURSE

Now it was dessert time and we couldn’t wait to see what delights pastry chef Luke had created. Well believe me they were just delicious. The first was a Blackberry Parfait with lemon curd and a black sesame tuille. The second was a White Chocolate Mousse with strawberry compote and a white chocolate & tonka bean cremaux. We finished with a fantastic Marmalade Custard Tart with a whiskey mascarpone & assam tea ice cream. These were three absolutely fabulous desserts that made a great way to finish an amazing lunch.

BLACKBERRY PARFAIT
WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
MARMALADE CUSTARD TART

We finished with coffee and some beautiful Petit Fours to bring to an end yet another amazing dining experience at Haywards. I know I’ve mentioned it before but you really need to pay my dear friends a visit. The food created by Jahdre and his team is of a very high standard. The service led by wife Amanda continues to be friendly and professional. To me and I’m not being biased it’s just fact that this is the best restaurant in Essex so yes I highly recommend you come and see for yourself.

PETIT FOURS

Thank You Amanda , Jahdre , Zak , Luke , Miles and Selim for a fantastic lunch and looking forward to seeing you all again very soon.

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