Where we ate:
Catch, Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill
Boasting such names as Joe Cole and Kano, I went to Catch at Buckhurst Hill last Friday night with a friend to celebrate my birthday. I’d never been before, in fact I’d never been to Buckhurst Hill, but my friend had been a number of times and I’d heard nothing but good things about the restaurant. I was obviously really looking forward to it and needed to see what all the fuss was about!
The name gives it away somewhat, but Catch is indeed a fish restaurant which prides itself on local and fresh fish from Billingsgate market. They also do a tradition roast on Sundays and breakfast every morning (ranging from pancakes or porridge to eggs ‘your way’ and kippers); as well as running a delivery service for when you can’t get down there.
The restaurant is situated in Queens Road, which on a Friday night is fairly quiet. There are a couple of boutiquey shops as well as other eateries so I imagine during the day there’s more going on. The main colour scheme is black and white, which is apt for a place as sophisticated and modern as Catch. Nicky, the owner is absolutely lovely and after greeting us on arrival made time for us during our meal and as we left. When we went it was really busy and his wife’s birthday so it was great he still managed to mingle with the customers. With that also in mind, there was entertainment provided with a live singer – Samantha Scott has a regular slot as well, if you like that kind of thing! With the music, I found it hard to chat, but the overall atmosphere of the restaurant was good and sitting by the window, I almost felt famous! We were looking at the cars parked outside – Bentleys and the like. The waiting staff were all friendly and very attentive for what was a busy serving period. The overall experience was definitely made more enjoyable by the fact we weren’t waiting around and our needs were met throughout the evening.
What we drank:
Kim – lime and soda
Me – Bellini
Catch has a pretty extensive wine and champagne list and also sells cocktails (costing between £5 and £7 which is about average). I love cocktails and although I was tempted by the mojito (which I’d class as a summery drink), I went for a Bellini which is just a classic.
What we ate:
Chilli prawns, sharing two sides: minted petit pois and mixed salad. Followed by smashed meringue with seasonal fruits.
There is so much to choose from that you simply have to return to Catch to try everything! I already know what I’m going to be having the next time I go! Following Kim’s recommendation (she says she always has it) I went for the chilli prawns. They’re normally on the starter menu, so I’m not sure if we ordered a main-size, or if the starters come up quite big. We had a couple of sides as an accompaniment, but if you’re dining as a group it would make sense to order several of the starters and share – almost like tapas. The prawns were in a chilli dressing which wasn’t too hot but really moreish and were served with a shredded vegetable dish which worked well – also complementing the salad well.
I’m a real sucker for desserts and I think if push came to shove, I could quite easily skip the main course and have three or four puddings. We both went for the smashed meringue (another recommendation!) and although it wasn’t what I was expecting it was amazing. I was just glad the main course was light, or else, I could have been waddling on departure!
The best thing about Catch is that it’s a restaurant you can go to with anyone regardless of occasion – boyfriend, girlfriend, family or friends; it’s definitely a special experience.
I cannot wait to return!