So here it is the first Essex blog since moving to my new home, which feels surreal to be saying that! Am I really grown up enough to be a homeowner? Do I now call myself an Essex girl? Never, I’ll always be a Welshy … Anyway onto the important things let’s see what Essex has to offer on the food front shall we!
I’d heard quite a lot about Miller & Carter over the last 12-18 months but as it was an out of town chain I hadn’t had the chance to try it out. You’d be much more likely to find me in Smiths of Smithfield, Foxlow or Gaucho in central London but then perhaps that’s what comes with living in Zone 1! So when we found ourselves moved out to the sticks of Essex and the move coinciding with my partners Birthday I realised meals like this were going to be different. Birthday meals had always been a date night over the last couple of years, just the two of us on a Thursday or Friday evening with cocktails in a quirky speak easy or overpriced cocktail bar beforehand. Quite a bit of research on the latest or hip London restaurant openings will have gone into the planning and we’d come away having spent more than a monthly shop in one night on two or if we were lucky three courses.
But this year not only was the location different but we found ourselves not even knowing where to go the day before! A few phone calls around later and the full family of 8 were booked into Miller & Carter at 8pm on a Sunday evening.
For our first time dining here we quite obviously had to have steak, but which steak was the question because the variety on offer was huge from on the bone to off the bone and burgers in between. Miller & Carter source their meat from hand picked farms in prime beef-rearing areas of the UK, including Yorkshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, the West Country and Scotland. They insist that each animal has its own ‘passport’ so they can trace each steak back to the herd and field it grazed in. Growing at an alarming rate as a result of the success of the chain with many more restaurants set to open across the UK this year I imagine.
As it was a special occasion, and after hearing all about how they source their meat, we ordered the 16oz Chateaubriand to share between the two of us. All steak dishes come with seasoned chips, a lettuce wedge with choice of dressing, onion loaf and a steak sauce so no need to order sides meaning the value for money is truly great. With the chateaubriand you get two of everything so no need to compromise on your sauces for the sharer meats, or in our case meant we got to try even more of the menu which ticked a lot of boxes!
The chateaubriand was a great sizeable piece of meat that fed the two of us perfectly and was tender, rich in flavour and cooked to order. The onion loaf was like nothing I’d had before and I think the best way I can describe it is a posh slab not too dissimilar to a fried onion ring-perfect steak accompaniment. Bernaise is always my go to steak sauce but the beef dripping, as recommended by our waiter, really did bring out the flavour in the steak and the sweet potato fries we upgraded to were great dipped into it.
I opted for the Stilton and blue cheese dressing on my iceberg lettuce wedge as anything cheesy always wins my heart on a menu. Coupled with a rich yet smooth Malbec, the only wine to accompany steak, I was content and stuffed in a steak food coma.
Service was a little slow at the beginning of our meal when waiting on drinks but our friendly and knowledgeable waiter more than made up for it as our evening went on. We even left him a piece of birthday cake to tuck into!
Miller & Carter Leigh-On-Sea, 629 Rayleigh Road, Eastwood, Leigh-On-Sea, Essex SS9 5HR