Tudors at Marygreen Manor Hotel, EssexPosted in Where to Eat & Drink Now
Tudors restaurant is found in the Marygreen Manor hotel. Its own website says book to avoid disappointment and you can see why. When you walk into the restaurant it is like stepping into a banquet hall of a Tudor feast, with giant beams boasting the room's original features, a grand fireplace and Tudor style tapestries hanging from the walls.
The restaurant caters for 100 covers and doubles up as a venue for wedding parties. On this particular evening a wedding party was happening in another part of the hotel, so you might have expected the restaurant staff to be stretched, but instead they were warm, courteous and unflustered.
We were served by Vic for the evening who was fantastic – warm, humourous, knowledgeable, polite and efficient. Our glasses never went empty, yet we never had the feeling that we were being watched. We were left alone and catered for in equally good measure, a balance that many restaurant staff do not get right.
We were treated to a gastronomic feast of a five course meal which was not for the faint hearted, but we were welcome to the challenge and, my word, we were not disappointed. We opened with our choice of Sauvignon Blanc house wine – delicious and refreshing and not too heavy to begin the meal.
Our food began with a Lobster Bise amuse bouche which was created by the executive head chef Majid Bourote. Although this was not to my taste as I am not a huge fan of seafood, my husband delighted in its rich flavour and it was a lovely start to the courses. This was accompanied by a selection of warmed breads, of which I opted for the olive bread, which was delicious, light and crispy with delightful chunks of green olives.
For our starters I opted for the soup of the day – cream of mushroom with a delicate mushroom garnish. The soup was served straight from the bronze saucepan at the table which was a nice touch, so you knew it had not been standing for any amount of time. There’s not normally much you can say about soup, but this was not at all bland; in fact there was more than one dimension to this and every mouthful brought about it slightly different elements of other flavours and textures from the peppers, seasoning and garnish. My husband went in a completely different direction and ordered the lobster with beef carpaccio, spring onion salad and thai beef boullion. He and I both agreed that the lobster was succulent and the coriander complemented the dish very well, and in his words, the beef carpaccio was divine.
Our third course was eagerly awaited and we were most certainly not disappointed. I chose the lamb saddle and rack with garlic lemon puree, white asparagus, chickory, and clams, whilst my husband opted for the Scottish fillet of beef with parsnip puree, spinach, baby carrot, wild mushroom and truffle jus. A selection of vegetables and chipped and new potatoes were delightful accompaniments. Now, my husband and I are both fans of meat dishes, and we are very clear about how we want our meat cooked; my husband choosing medium rare, and me being the less carnivorous of the two going for medium. The chef was absolutely spot on and the meat just fell off the knife and was delectable on both counts.
The vegetables were perfectly cooked and the potatoes were delicious. By this point we were becoming stuffed so we did not load ourselves up on everything but the flavours kept us coming back for more. The only thing that was a little confusing was the choice of clams with the lamb – it certainly wasn’t a surf and turf dish and I don’t feel the dish needed the clams as the saddle and rack of lamb was perfect on its own. But this is personal opinion and did not at all detract from how beautiful our dishes were. My husband was equally pleased with his dish, as well as the recommended glass of Rioja which complemented his fillet of beef perfectly.
Next came a surprise pre-desert of mango parfait and pineapple salsa. It was delicious, refreshing and allowed our pallets to get ready for the pieces de la resistance, our deserts. Vic offered us each a glass of Madilla desert wine that was once again partnered really well with our choices for our final course.
To say my desert was more like a piece of art would be true to style. I chose the Assiette of mint which comprised of chocolate mousse, gravita of mint and mint jelly. My husband chose the floating island which was mango sauce, lime meringue and passion fruit sorbet served with a brandy snap. Neither of us were disappointed – I am a bit of a desert fiend and this was certainly one of the most beautifully presented deserts and tastiest that I have ever had. The only down side was that given that this was the fifth course I was not able to finish it all.
The food was utterly exquisite and you can see why this restaurant advises people to book in advance. We watched keenly as another table had ordered the dover sole and our waiter filleted it at the table cleanly and without error. Enough time was given between sittings so that we did not feel rushed, nor did we feel that we were waiting and had been left as the restaurant was very busy. Overall we were genuinely impressed by the quality and excellence of the food and the service at Tudors, and we would be happy to go back again for something special.
Top Tip – for those that can’t decide, try the Tasting menu priced at £48 per person. This allows you to try six of the chefs most popular dishes from the a la carte menu, and for an extra £25 per person you can opt for the wine paring so that you can sample some of their expansive wine selection to best accompany your meals.
Written by Nicola Vangalis Stobbs