REVIEW: Riverside Inn, Chelmsford

PUBLISHED: 13:06 25 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:23 29 May 2018

Riverside Inn

Riverside Inn


Stephanie Mackentyre visits Andi Walker’s restaurant in Chelmsford to see what this recently opened location has to offer

There’s a growing trend in restaurants to offer a tasting menu to their diners, and I’m all for that. What could be better than trusting your favourite chef to cook with all his heart and soul, offering up some of his favourite dishes?

This month I went to get a taste of what Andi Walker is offering at his recently opened Riverside Inn restaurant in Chelmsford.

There is a five-course menu on Friday and Saturday nights for £40 per head where you are presented with a set menu Andi has carefully crafted. If a taster menu isn’t your style then you can choose to dine downstairs and enjoy the gastro pub and bar atmosphere. Upstairs is for fine dining and each month there’s a new menu showcasing Andi’s culinary flare.

Riverside InnRiverside Inn

When we visited Andi had cleverly managed to pick all of my favourite flavours on that month’s menu – a great start. Before the meal began we were served with thick slices of homemade rustic bread with Marmite butter.

I defy anyone, even those who don’t like Marmite, to dislike this delicious combination of flavours. The tasting menu had three savoury courses and two desserts. You can take a wine flight and enjoy a different wine suggestion with each dish for an extra £25 per person.

Our first dish was simply titled potato with mushroom and bacon. It was a mini dauphinoise potato with delicate layers of creamy, garlic potatoes, the saltiness of smoked bacon crumb cutting a dash throughout. Decorated with fine slices of fresh mushroom and baby nasturtium, the dark green leaves added a peppery element to the whole dish.

Riverside InnRiverside Inn

Next came cod with cauliflower and curry. I worried that the curry spices would overpower the fish fillet, but it wasn’t so. Instead we enjoyed a gentle balancing act between the crispy-skinned cod (so fresh you could still taste the clean saltwater), the raw cauliflower florets and cauliflower puree – this course was my favourite.

I only wished for another slice of the delicious bread to mop the plate (and an empty restaurant, so no one could see me do it!)

Our third dish was a duck course flavoured with five spice and served two ways. A succulent duck breast was served with perhaps more of a blush than I personally enjoy (I prefer my duck fat rendered so I can’t see the white).

Riverside InnRiverside Inn

This was paired with a crispy bon bon of confit duck leg all served with celeriac and a rich jus.

As my dining partner and I were both enjoying the tasting menu, there was another form of plate envy on my mind, as each course was served beautifully framed on a tantalising selection of handmade, pottery plates.

After three delicious courses we were left to relish the savouriness a little longer (our decision) before the first of two dessert courses arrived. The first was rhubarb, cheesecake and ginger, which was subtle but still superb, and then, to finish, a triumph of a dessert both in look, texture and exquisite taste.

Riverside InnRiverside Inn

A rich, dark chocolate slice topped with salted peanuts and oozing with caramel sauce alongside a caramel wafer served with a side of real ale ice cream.

I was back to wishing I was alone in the restaurant so that I could continually scrape every last scrap of loveliness from my plate.

Riverside InnRiverside Inn

Useful to know

The total bill came to £94.10 for a five-course tasting menu for two people with 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.


Follow Essex Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Essex Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Essex Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Essex Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Fri, 17:09

Escape to the Chateau star Angel Adoree is currently reaping the benefits of her incredible vision and drive to build an overseas wedding and lifestyle business from scratch with husband Dick Strawbridge. Here she tells Essex Life about series five of the hit Channel 4 show and how a strong Essex work ethic helped her dream so big | Words: Denise Marshall

Read more
Wed, 13:28

Hannah Salisbury from the Essex Record Office tells the story of an exciting project that is taking memories on tour around the county

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

Whether you know him for his madcap antics, his reality TV appearances or his unique voice, Essex boy Joe Pasquale has earned his place as one of the nation’s favourite entertainers. Kate Everett caught up with Joe to hear what’s next in his 30-year showbiz career

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

With the help of finance expert and writer Philip Beresford, Essex Life reveals the 2018 Essex Life Richest 50

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Epping is so much more than the last stop on the Central Line. Petra Hornsby meets the volunteers helping to preserve one of Epping’s most treasured and enduring treasures – its forest

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The agricultural heritage of the county cannot be underestimated. Here Stephanie Mackentyre visits three farms that have been feeding Essex for generations

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Paycocke’s House and Gardens, now owned by The National Trust, is one of the county’s most precious historic sites and 2018 marks 500 years since the death of the man who gave the house its name. Ruth McKegney tells the tale of this Coggeshall jewel

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Southend has given the great and the good fabulous days of fun beside the seaside for generations, and they keep coming! Petra Hornsby tells the tale of one newcomer who has fallen in love with Southend through a comedy connection with Laurel and Hardy

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Neil Oliver is perhaps best known for his role as the presenter of the BBC’s Coast series, but he is about to embark on a quite different tour of the UK, calling in at Southend. Kate Everett found out more

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Essex-raised TV personality Andy Day has been a favourite on BBC children’s channel CBeebies for over 12 years. Now he’s branched into music, touring nationwide with his family-friendly band, Andy and the Odd Socks. Here he tells Denise Marshall about his Glastonbury debut, fighting bullying and becoming a father

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search