Where I ate:
Back Inn Time, Victoria Road, Chelmsford
The best way to describe Back Inn Time, is to say it’s like a more novelty version of TGIs with better food and real good-time factor. I hadn’t been there since my childhood so I was really looking forward to it – even more so when I saw the cocktail menu! I had fond memories of meals here with family friends (other than my last visit when I had a rack of ribs, followed by ice cream sundae and was later sick in the car park!) so I was hoping it’d live up to my expectations. I was really pleased to see the backwards clock still in action and the train which runs on a track around the walls. It suddenly brought back so many memories – the interior hasn’t changed at all.
We booked a table but it wasn’t ready when we arrived, so we enjoyed a drink at the bar beforehand. We sat towards the back of the restaurant, down the stairs and away from the main dining area. The seating was quite cramped, particularly for a table of four. Despite fans hanging from the ceiling, it was also way too hot where we sat, so next time I think we’ll have to request a table!
What I drank:
Apple pie mojito followed by Opal Froot
The cocktail menu was really extensive and I was totally spoilt for choice; I didn’t know what to go for at all. The drinks are so reasonably priced as well – you’re looking at £5/6 each. I’d go back just for drinks, there are so many I want to sample. I began with the apple pie mojito, which was nice enough. It was refreshing but unfortunately I couldn’t taste the cinnamon and because it contained lime and mint, it overpowered the apple juice and tasted like a normal mojito. The Opal Froot on the other hand was lush! It actually tasted like eating fruity sweets and was turquoise in colour, due to the curaçao.
What I ate:
Cajun chicken burger with curly fries and coleslaw
I was adamant I was going to have the ‘To Brie or not To Brie’ burger, but as soon as I saw the specials, my decision swayed. Laura chose it and I panicked so ordered the same as her. When it arrived, the burger was huge – I had to cut it into quarters to eat and even then, I couldn’t bite into it properly. The chicken was well seasoned and the lime wedge was a welcome addition. I managed to eat all the burger but left most of the fries and didn’t touch the side salad or coleslaw.
Mitch had steak topped with prawns which looked really nice and cooked to perfection, while Jake had the chicken ‘n’ ribs combo, which came out with a box of serviettes and an actual dog bowl for the bones – the thick barbecue sauce made it very messy; not great date food.
The service was pretty good, not spectacular but we weren’t left waiting at any point. It was nice to relive my childhood and the restaurant and food lived up to my expectations. I’d heard mixed reviews prior to going back and it’s easy to see why Back Inn Time isn’t to everyone’s tastes. It was quite cheesy, especially considering their motto: Good Food. Good Times. I’d definitely go back – I want more cocktails and the create your own sundae!