Where I ate:
Masons, Ingrave Road, Brentwood
I hadn’t been to Masons for years, in fact, I don’t think I’d been since the year it opened – I can’t even remember how long ago that was! I have to say it’s always been one of the better restaurants in Brentwood and being on the Ingrave Road you miss out on all the chaos of Wilsons Corner and the High Street.
I booked a table for three, meeting with Janine and Kim (my friends from Uni) for a post-birthday meal and long overdue catch-up. It was busy when we arrived (8:15) and I sat in the bar awaiting their arrival; we went straight to our table however, with no fuss. We sat next the pianist which was lovely and he definitely added to the overall ambience. Unfortunately, being so close, it was quite loud, which made conversing difficult.
What I drank:
Garganega Pinot Grigio - £16.95 a bottle
Prosecco - £21.95 a bottle
What I ate:
To start – smoked duck with rosemary parmentier sweet potato, crisp onion rings and red wine jus
To follow – honey roasted shoulder of lamb with mash, vegetables and gravy
To finish – maple and pecan crème brûlée
The Monday to Friday menu is priced at £19.95 for two courses or £23.90 for three. Everything was beautifully presented and not only looked good, but tasted amazing too. As you can see from the picture, my main course was absolutely huge too – well worth the money.
I opted for the duck to begin with and it was incredible – possibly the best starter I’ve ever had at a restaurant. The duck was thinly sliced and the smoky flavour was amazing. The mini onion rings were so cute and I loved the diced sweet potato; it’s definitely my new favourite vegetable.
I panicked when choosing my main course and went of the lamb, as I’d not had it for ages. I was, however, a little disappointed. While there was a lot there and the meat fell off the bone, it was far too fatty. I know lamb can be, but I wasn’t expecting it to be that much. We shared vegetables and there were plenty. I have to admit I struggled to eat it all, but saved room for dessert – there were so many things on the menu I had my eye on.
As everyone knows, crème brûlée is my favourite dessert and this variation worked a treat. The maple flavour wasn’t too overbearing, but I think the pecans should have been chopped. I don’t really like pecan nuts, but being whole, they ruined the texture of the texture of the dessert. They could have been mixed into the topping, more like a brittle. However, it was very nice – and a lot better than the previous brûlée I’d had out.
All in all, it was a lovely evening and once we’d eaten, we moved to the bar area, where we shared a bottle of prosecco. It was lovely to be away from the table and feel more relaxed. We settled up at that point and with the restaurant closing at 11:30, left. I definitely recommend going to Masons if you’re in the Brentwood area and have also heard good things about their roast dinners. There’s also a fixed price lunch menu.