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Restaurant review: Crofters Brasserie in Witham

PUBLISHED: 11:32 12 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:32 20 February 2013

Dan Watkins - Chef Of The Year 2009

Dan Watkins - Chef Of The Year 2009

SITUATED just off the main road of Witham's town centre, Crofters Brasserie is easy to find and has its own car park. Its head chef, Dan Watkins, has recently been crowned Chef of the Year 2009. Reviewed by Stephanie Mackentyre

SITUATED just off the main road of Withams town centre, Crofters Brasserie is easy to find and has its own car park. Its head chef, Dan Watkins, has recently been crowned Chef of the Year 2009, so I was keen to sample some of his winning dishes.
Inside, the restaurant is urban chic with a warm and friendly atmosphere. Theres a strong musical theme with posters of Jimi Hendrix and the Small Faces and regular soul nights advertised. French-style paintings also decorate the walls in between original beams and exposed brickwork. The dining areas are separated by a central bar and at one end is the piano room, which includes its own piano performed on by the towns very own X Factor contestant Olly Murs who, rocked the place according to staff. The other end of the restaurant features alcoves for secluded dining.
The menu has a simplistic layout with plenty of great British favourites to choose from, including shepherds pie, and theres pumpkin, sage and Parmesan risotto for those looking for a healthier option perhaps.
My dining companion chose white bait to begin and then the crispy belly of pork with bubble and squeak and apple sauce. I passed on a starter as Id spied the dessert menu and instead chose to have Caesar salad with chicken and pancetta for my main course. Theres also a choice of side dishes, including homemade breads at 3, plus a daily specials board too.
The white bait arrived in its own mini wire basket with wholemeal bread and fresh lemon with homemade tartar on the side. My Caesar salad was rather heavy on the dressing so it was more of a coleslaw in texture, a little rich and salty for my own liking but the pork had a good taste and was well presented.
The dessert Id spied earlier was the bread and butter pudding with Tiptree marmalade which had its own mini jug of homemade custard. A fitting end to a very enjoyable lunch.


Useful to know
The total bill came to 24.85 for two courses plus drinks. This is an independent review of a restaurant selected and experienced by our food and wine editor. The restaurant was not told it was being reviewed.


Table talk


with diner Patricia Tite and campanion Linda West


What do you do? Im retired


What did you choose from the menu? Prawn cocktail and then the shepherds pie


How did you discover Crofters Brasserie? I live in Witham, so its nice and close for me.


Describe your dining experience in three words: Rustic, welcoming, good service


Rate their value for money: Very good


Would you come again? Definitely, I meet my girlfriends here regularly


What was the best part of your meal? The shepherds pie was really tasty


Book a table


25 Maldon Road
Witham CM8 2AA
01376 511068


Side orders


2 more brilliant brasseries



The Warehouse Brasserie
12 Chapel Street North
Colchester
C02 7AT
01206 765656
www.thewarehousebrasserie.co.uk


We say: With Sue and Phil at the helm, formally from the Bake House in Wivenhoe, this former chapel aims to answer the prayers of food lovers around the county


Smiths Brasserie
Fyfield Road
Ongar
CM5 0AL
01277 365 578
www.smithsbrasserie.com


We say: Famous for fish since 1994, plus plenty of other delicious dishes and great service, pop in for cosy log fires and hook yourself a tasty catch



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