Friday, 28 August 2015

Restaurant review | Mason’s, Brentwood



I rarely go out in Brentwood and when I do, I try and avoid the High Street. Last weekend was a beautiful reminder of how good some of the restaurants in the area are. I hadn’t been to Mason’s since my birthday last year and everything about that evening was memorable. I remember going to Mason’s for a family meal when it first opened and the fire alarms went off as we sat waiting for the starters to arrive – it’s come on a long way since then; more recently undergoing a little re-furb. And it now serves afternoon tea (yep, need to check that out!). I’d promised Jake I’d take him so I’m pleased to say that’s now been ticked off.

We had booked for 7:15 and upon arrival, the resident pianist was playing and we took a seat in the bar area while we waited for our table. I’m actually devastated that I drove, because the cocktail menu looked amazing (with lots of champagne cocktails, plus my favourite: pornstar martini). It was lovely relaxing in the company of others soaking up the ambience, especially with live music being played. There’s seating outside in a courtyard now too, but we sat inside.
Tomahawk, Steak, Masons, Brentwood, Brasserie, Fine Dining
Earlier in the day, I had seen on Twitter that Mason’s would be serving Tomahawk steak from this evening. At a large 48oz, they’re made for sharing, but I’m sure someone, somewhere, could manage it. It wasn’t long before the meat was presented to the table and it looked a lot more impressive than the photo online. It was always my intention to have steak (the fillet steak with prawns sounded good), so we decided to give it a go – choosing to go straight to a main course and not order starters.

It’s a good job too that we didn’t: the steak arrived ready-sliced on a board with rocket and served with two portions of chips, a mixed salad and selection of roasted vegetables (the evening’s special, served with every main course). There was so much food and understandably, we couldn’t eat it all. The steak went, of course – and it was cooked to perfection. We asked for it rare and the waitress explained it couldn’t be cooked any more well done than medium because of the time it would take. I think it took 30-40 minutes to cook it rare. But it was very good.
Tomahawk, Steak, Masons, Brentwood, Brasserie, Fine Dining
I did manage to save room for dessert and I actually wanted everything on the menu! I chose the white chocolate & raspberry blondie which was incredibly sweet and probably a bit too heavy after eating so much. I couldn’t manage it all and the slice was quite large. It was served with homemade honeycomb which was amazing – and actually tasted like pure honey! Jake went for a lighter option in the duo of sorbet (mango and passion fruit), served in a brandy snap basket. Like everything else, the presentation was excellent.

I had totally forgotten how good the food, service and overall experience are at Mason’s. The staff are attentive enough, without lingering over your table – and they’re so friendly in interested in you as a person, rather than a customer.  The layout is good as well – there’s lots of different sections as the seating is all open plan. We sat in an area with a few other couples, while larger parties occupied the back room. That way you can enjoy an intimate, relaxing meal, without having the noise and bustle of louder groups. It was a good touch to see the Tomahawk before ordering and I think, had we not seen it, we’d have ordered something else. The menu changes regularly and it’s good to see local produce on there (including pigeon!).

The meal was reasonably priced, faring cheaper than the likes of Smith’s and Alec’s. Next time, I’ll leave the car at home!

Love, Lucy xx

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