Eat Out: Old Leigh’s seafront Boatyard, Essex

I thought I’d heard quite a lot about The Boatyard in Leigh-On-Sea as it seemed to be the one place that kept cropping up and getting mentioned as soon as I said I was moving to Essex.

“Oh you should go to The Boatyard for dinner”

“Once you move we can go for Sunday lunch at The Boatyard”

“Mitchell hasn’t taken you to The Boatyard yet?”

Despite these previous mentions I was for some reason expecting a quaint country gatsropub, completely different to this modern bright seafront restaurant I found myself in on a rainy Easter Sunday and most definitely looking forward to going back to in the summer.

The restaurant was packed with one party occupying a table as soon as it was vacated so be sure to book as this is a common theme most Sunday’s apparently. A live singer entertained throughout the afternoon fading into the background over the hustle and bustle of tables chatting. Sunday’s Easter menu had a range of starters on offer from soup to pâté, roast meat to fish, and an infinite selection of calorific desserts or cheese – something for everyone.

Being Easter Sunday (and Welsh!) I stuck with tradition and ordered the Marsh fed lamb shank which was so tender the meat fell off the bone as soon as I put my fork into it, perfectly cooked. Sat on a bed of garlic and spring onion creamy mash topped with red wine jus. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t really taste the garlic and spring onion in the mash it was extremely subtle if there at all, which in my opinion is a good thing because those flavours have the power of becoming very prominent and in such a gorgeous succulent pairing with the tender lamb and red wine jus they weren’t needed at all. All mains are served with roast potatoes and seasonal veg for the table to share but I have to stress you order a side of cauliflower cheese, it’d be criminal not to!

The pièce de résistance of the afternoon was the dessert, Dairy milk chocolate and hazelnut cheesecake topped with crushed mini eggs and rounded with a butterscotch sauce. Yum! Our entire table ordered the dessert after we’d witnessed people tucking into it around us and I don’t think anyone spoke until they’d cleared their plate, not wanting to ruin the moment. There was a very real possibility that this cheesecake could have got it completely wrong and been too rich or sickly sweet but it was so perfectly balanced and light it was in fact moreish! Unfortunately not one of us left anything and there were clean slates all round.

The waiting staff were super attentive and friendly something I’m not quite used to after dining in central London so much where you’re generally left to yourself without any conversation being made.  The food as you can tell from this rave review was great quality and at £15.95 for two courses you couldn’t ask for anything more.

Looking forward to heading back in the summer and sitting out on the terrace … Maybe see you there!

The Boatyard, 8/13 High St, Leigh-On-Sea, Essex, ss9 2EN

Like on facebook The Boatyard Restaurant

Follow on twitter @BoatyardLeigh


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