Last Friday, I booked the day off work as it was my dad’s birthday and I promised I’d treat him to lunch. He decided on Mizu, because I’ve raved about the Ipswich restaurant (and their takeaway service for that matter). I’ve previously been put off by the one in Brentwood, due to its location – it’s on the Brook Street roundabout and positioned next to a petrol station and trucker park; there’s even a chip van in the car park! But if you can see past the location, you’re in for a good meal!
The dining style is casual, so if you’re into fine dining, I recommend the sister restaurant Aqua Eight (which I also recently blogged about). Think Wagamamas – those long benches, where you share tables with other diners and the food is proper soul food, cooked fresh and to order, meaning it may not all arrive at the same time.
The menus at both restaurants are exactly the same, except the prices in Brentwood are more expensive (a shame given the location and the fact the building used to be a Little Chef); I’d much prefer to pay more in Ipswich because it’s in the town centre and has a much better vibe. The menu is extensive with a choice of sides, noodles, rice dishes, curries, ramen and bento boxes. You have to try everything at least once, I know I’m working my way through the menu!
This time round, I went for the crackling pork rice (£8.25): pieces of crispy belly pork in a soy/hoi sin sauce, served with boiled rice and bok choy. The slices of pork were large and plentiful and despite most belly pork dishes, there was a lot more meat than fat. The glaze was salty and sweet, the greens adding a crunch to every mouthful. The portions sizes are extraordinary – I’m sure it would have served two people quite easily – they certainly don’t scrimp at Mizu! I washed it down with a fresh juice: melon & kiwi, which was lovely and cold and oh so refreshing.
Following my recommendation, dad went for the seafood crispy noodles (£9.50): a selection of prawn, scallop, squid and seasonal vegetables in oyster sauce, on a bed of crispy rice noodles. He was so pleased because it’s one of his favourite dishes and the two places we previously went to have taken it off the menu (Tim’s in Ingatestone) and closed down (Garlock Garden, again of Ingatestone). He rates the dish at Mizu as one of the best – and it’s hard to disagree!
The service was excellent, from the moment we were met at the door and shown to our table, from the speed of ordering and receiving our meals and drinks; our waiter was so friendly. I would thoroughly recommend Mizu if you’re looking for a casual no-frills dining experience and after hearty, over fancy food. They also have a takeaway service, but at the Brentwood branch it’s collection only (Ipswich offer delivery). You also get 10% off takeaways for collections and the portion sizes are the same as eating in!
Love, Lucy xx