We were meeting friends in Maldon and they suggested that we tried the restaurant at Le Bouchon Brassiere & Hotel as they’d popped in to the hotel for a drink a couple of times. The hotel is in a nice location along the riverbank in Heybridge. You could see that the hotel had undergone a refurbishment giving it a nice modern feel. We arrived to a lovely welcome from the lady on reception who asked if we’d like to straight to our table or enjoy a cocktail in the bar. We opted for the latter and enjoyed some delightful Gin & Tonics from a long selection of Gin’s . They also had a good choice of cocktails. While having our drinks we were given the menus to look at to which we all decided to have the Tasting Menu with the extra cheese course with a couple of us also deciding to have the matched wines. It was now time to be seated at our table in the restaurant. The restaurant itself is nicely set leaving plenty of room between each table. Our first course was a delightful Sauté of Scallop , sweetcorn , pancetta chowder & basil. This was followed by a Pan Roasted Quail , mushroom ketchup , wild mushrooms , quail egg & celeriac.
SAUTÉ OF SCALLOP
PAN ROASTED QUAIL
We were then given a sorbet to cleanse the palette before our next course which was Halibut , crushed potatoes , samphire , mussels & saffron nage. Although the halibut was perfectly cooked I just felt the rest of the dish needed a bit more flavour.
SUPREME OF HALIBUT
Now it was time for the main course a fabulous Venison Fillet , cabbage , carrots , chestnuts , cocoa bean & raspberry jus and yes worthy of being the highlight of the menu. All courses were matched with a good wine selection but the one thing I would say is that if you are going to offer matched wines then a short description about the wine would be nice rather than just saying here is your Chardonnay or Beaujolais and just pouring.
We then had the cheese course and which was nicely presented and enjoyed but it would have been good to know what the cheeses were. A bit like the wine just served and then they just walked away. This was followed by dessert a Chocolate & Praline Tart with salted caramel ice cream. The dessert was heaven even though it was a bit small even by tasting menu sizes.
CHOCOLATE & PRALINE TART
So after coffee & petit fours this brought an end to the evening. To be honest the food was good and the service by the majority of staff was friendly. We just felt that they could be a bit more informative when presenting all of the dishes and not some. I would say that if you were local to pay a visit as our friends said they would do again but not sure I’d travel the forty minutes we did for a return visit.