Date: Saturday 26thOctober 2019.
Venue: The Estuary, Leigh on sea.
Kids Full English
Goats Cheese Salad
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After a short walk along ‘The Broadway’ in Leigh-on-Sea with my partner and the kids, we came to The Estuary. From the outside, it seemed to be a good-looking gastro pub. As such, I thought it should serve a good brunch for the family.
We were seated in the dining section pretty quickly. The décor was just like any other modern looking gastropub. It was nice but there wasn’t anything that stuck out as a ‘wow’ feature. We waited for a high chair which seemed to take a little while to arrive but eventually did and we all sat down to order.
I placed our drinks order of two hot chocolates and a bottle of sparkling water and waited for them to arrive. It took about 20 minutes to bring over our drinks and the venue was not overly busy.
We placed our food order and again had a huge wait time. In the end, I had to go up to two waiters who were chatting away to each other to ask if our food was on its way out. Suddenly as if by magic all of our food came at once. We could only feel that they had left our food under heat lamps.
We don’t usually review children’s dishes, but I feel it would be a good place to start. Let’s start with some positives, the kids full English was pretty good and looked how you would expect, just a smaller version of a fry up. It was eaten without complaint.
The pancakes, however, were beyond terrible. Charging nearly £8 for what looked like store-bought scotch pancakes and a few pieces of fruit should be a criminal offence. Mix in the fact that these particular pancakes were hard and stale, (rendering them entirely inedible as she couldn’t actually get her teeth into them) and you have a very hungry, disappointed 9-year-old.
I would love to say that the adult dishes were better but unfortunately, they were equally as bad. The halloumi fries were chewy and rubbery, there are so many different ways this dish could be improved without the restaurant breaking the bank. It was a shame as there was clearly no care taken over the dish.
Now for the salads… oh dear. The only difference in the two salads was what was thrown on top of them and the sauces they were served with. Once you get past the wilted lettuce, the inconsistent cut (chunks) of pepper and cucumber along with the lack of seasoning you are faced with either cremated duck or greasey goats’ cheese.
The duck was probably the worst attempt at cooking duck I have ever witnessed. It was completely overcooked to the point it was like chewing a tyre- it even resembled one in colour. The only flavour you could taste was the oil it was massacred in. As for the goats’ cheese, this looked like a store-bought breadcrumbed lump that had been deep-fried to a greasy mess then placed on top of the wilted attempt at a salad. Again, the overbearing flavour was the oil and considering goats cheese is usually a dominant flavour this is a real problem.
Three words to describe this meal –A massive disappointment.
Would you recommend to a friend – Absolutely not, we had the stale pancakes removed from the bill and it still came in at £60.85. The wait for food was an absolute joke. The staff appeared to be unmanaged and we overheard a few tables complaining that they had asked for the bill more than once. The food was beyond terrible and hands down the worst meal I have eaten in 2019. The salads cost over £15 each which is extortionate considering the quality. As a restaurant PR agency, we would say that there are clearly some issues that need to be addressed here.
Service 1/10 (point added because they removed the pancakes without quibble, and the waitress sympathised at how hard they were)
Value for money 1/10
Quality of produce 1/10
Taste 1/10 (Point added for the English breakfast, all the other meals were barely touched they were so terrible / inedible)
Wait time 1/10
Overall score 1/10
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