Restaurant review: Aurum at Seven Hotel in Southend
PUBLISHED: 16:51 17 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:45 01 December 2020
Prior to lockdown Stephanie Mackentyre visited Aurum Restaurant at the new Seven Hotel in Southend
As a winner of the Best Newcomer category in the 2019 Essex Life Food & Drink Awards, I’d earmarked to visit Aurum Restaurant at the fledgling Seven Hotel in Southend once it had firmly established itself.
The boutique-style hotel has already had its fair share of celebrity guests including Jamie Oliver while filming at Southend Pier and Sir Rod Stewart during his most recent tour. We arrived 20 minutes early and so sat in the smart bar with its stylish seating to enjoy a pre-dinner drink.
Aurum Restaurant is to the right of the hotel reception though glass double doors. Despite it being only 6pm, the restaurant was already two-thirds full.
With an open galley-style kitchen we could see the chefs hard at work and the aroma from the Mibrasa charcoal grill was very inviting as we took our seats in one corner of the restaurant. I ordered from the a la carte menu.
Pheasant to begin; pheasant breast and wing served with sweet potato stilton mousse, braised fennel, a light jus and some balsamic-glazed pearl onions. The breast meat was cooked perfectly with a blush and an attractive presentation.
I didn’t get much of the stilton in the mousse, but the mini pearl onions packed a nice bite. My guest chose the seared scallops served with a parsnip puree, parsnip crisp, pineapple, chilli and a lime dressing.
The restaurant’s stylish illumination wasn’t great for me as the descriptions on the menu under each heading were in quite tiny print that I found impossible to read past the first line. As a result, my main course was a bit of a surprise.
Nestled on the menu between the vegan burger and the veggie cauliflower with apricot, sherry and nuts was a truffle burger cooked on the charcoal grill. I mistakenly thought it meant it would be a mushroom burger. Imagine my surprise when I cut into it to find a succulent, home-made burger made from ground beef cooked medium.
It turned out to be a delicious gaffe as it was served with melted brie, truffle tartar, baby gem lettuce and slices of tomato in a brioche bun. It came with a pot of frites and truffle mayo, which were also very moreish.
For my guest it was the roast chicken breast; served with corn puree, brussel sprout top, porcini jus and cubes of root vegetables.
Our waiter suggested a side of mash to complement it which was wise as the portions are adequate but not huge for those with a larger appetite.
That said, at the top of the menu are a mix of snacks you can enjoy with a pre-dinner drink including truffle arancini, falafel, smoked ham croquettes and even onion bhajis.
The drinks menu is extensive with reds, whites and Champagnes, all well detailed so you can make an informed choice.
Desserts included a traditional pear and plum crumble, a rather decadent sounding chocolate and peanut cake with gingerbread ice cream and a mixed berry compote cheesecake.
To impress guests, this place has the wow factor and with at least one award already under its belt, it won’t be long before more follow.
Table Talk with Karla and Barry Vickery
Where do you live and what do you do? We live in Eastwood, Leigh on Sea, and I’m a stay at home mum.
What did you choose from the menu? I had the tuna sashimi with seaweed, pickled radish, edamame beans, chilli, wasabi, sesame seeds and lime to start and then the roasted cod with baby turnips, spinach, saffron and mussels for my main course.
Why were you at Aurum Restaurant? We were dining early as we were planning to see a show at the Cliffs Pavilion Theatre later that night.
Is there anything they could do better? I thought the lights above our table were a bit bright and we were quite close to the couple next door as the tables were a little bit close together.
Worth visiting again? Absolutely, I’ve already recommended it to my parents as the food is excellent.
Book a table
The Aurum, The Seven Hotel, 7 Clifton Terrace, Southend on Sea, SS1 1DT
Useful to know
My total bill came to £79.42 for two courses plus drinks. This is an independent review, featuring a restaurant selected and experienced by our food and wine editor. The restaurant was not told it was being reviewed.