This restaurant has been a long time favourite of mine in the nine years it’s been open. I have always said that Hayward’s is the best restaurant in Essex and after our latest visit I see no reason to change that statement. I’ve had the pleasure of watching the food consistently improve to the standard where they are now comfortably holding three AA Rosettes. The food has also been matched by excellent friendly service from their young front of house team.
So let’s now continue to our latest visit where we were treated to a fabulous tasting menu with fantastic wine pairings along with great service from our waitress for the day Drew. It started with the usual friendly welcome on arrival before being escorted to our customary Table 10. From here we began with two of their new drinks on the menu a Redchurch Brewery Shoreditch Blonde and a glass of Three Squirrels Sparkling Wine from the Wiston Estate. What was to follow was a lovely surprise as manager Amanda told us that chef Jahdre and the team had created for us a special tasting menu that would feature some new dishes. To which we delightfully accepted.
The menu started with the heavenly Granary Bread & Butter which was then followed by snacks consisting of a Sweetcorn Veloute , Goat’s Cheese shortbread and a Rosti topped with wild garlic and bone marrow.
This led us to our first course and a new Mackerel dish with potato & apple salad , pickled cucumber & relish. The wine paired with this was an Ombre organic Pinot Grigio. Next to arrive was a little extra treat as Jahdre sent out the Salmon Rillette with Beetroot & Dill to share. The pairing for this dish was the fantastic Rosa dei Fratti from just south of lake garda.
Our next course was another new dish of perfectly cooked Pan fried fillet of Cod with grilled baby gem , caesar dressing & brown shrimps where every component perfectly complimented the other. This dish was paired with a Trinity Hill New Zealand 2020 Chardonnay. We now moved on to the main course a Pan roasted Duck breast , duck leg croquette & roasted beetroots. The wine pairing was a favourite of ours in the form of a Lan Rioja Reserva 2016.
We then had a little break before deciding to have an additional Cheese Course. This was a delightful selection of British cheeses accompanied with chutney , grapes , fruit bread and crackers. Along with the cheese we enjoyed a glass of port. My wife chose the Offley LBV 2016 whereas I opted for the Sandeman 10 year old tawny.
Now it was dessert time where we were presented with a delicious Strawberry Souffle with sherry caramel & almond ice cream. The pairing for the souffle was a Contero Brachetto D’Acqui a pure strawberry treat. Along with these came a little extra surprise of an additional dessert of Coconut Parfait , mango sorbet & puree with a lime gel.
We finished with coffee and petit fours to bring to an end an amazing tasting menu lunch. The food created by chef Jahdre and his team continues to push to the next level. The wine pairings from Amanda were an absolute delight. The service from our waitress Drew who was very friendly and professional throughout was excellent and a real credit to the industry. I would really find it hard to believe that if you live in Essex and haven’t been Hayward’s. But if there are still a few of you then I would highly recommend you do so.
Thank You Jahdre , Amanda and all the team for yet another amazing dining experience and look forward to seeing you all again soon.