“ Address: 629 Rayleigh Road / Eastwood / Leigh-on-Sea /SS9 5HR / Tel: 01702 522 357 „
Miller & Carter are a Steakhouse, Bar & Grill chain. As a vegetarian their growth in the UK has passed me by somewhat, but they seem to have taken locations previously run by the Beefeater chain, so I am guessing M & C either took them over, or this is a re-brand. On a recent visit to my Uncle and Aunt they wanted to take us out for lunch, as Miller & Carter had recently taken over their local beefeater pub, and they wanted to try it. The one we visited is in Eastwood, on the outskirts of Rayleigh in Essex.
We pulled up in the car park at about 12.45pm one Saturday lunchtime. It was quiet in the car park, which seemed quite spacious. There were a number of disabled spots also. There are tables outside for al fresco dining, but not on a wet and windy February day. I did pick out a meaty smell, possibly from the extractor fans, which wasn't particularly appetising. Inside, the restaurant was to the left - it was very modern, with scrubbed wooden tables and leather seat, while the bar area to the right was more relaxed, with low chairs and round tables - ideal for drinks or lighter meals. It had obviously been re-done out relatively recently. A member of staff greeted us promptly and we decided to sit in the restaurant where we were given a booth for four (I think you could have fitted six on, but we were happy with the extra room). We were presented with two food menus - a standard a la carte and a special fixed price daytime menu (not offered on Sundays). Drinks orders were taken - three glasses of wine and a diet coke and we sat back to peruse the interesting menu.
The Daytime Special menu offered good value: a main course from £7.50, two courses from £9.50 and three courses from £11.50. It would be fair to say that you could pay these prices if you have anything from this selection, bar the steaks, which were slightly more. The menu, although limited, offered a selection of grilled meats with a fish and a vegetarian pasta option, along with four starters and three desserts. The A La carte menu had a larger selection of starters including sharing plates, but all four of us decided to plump for the Baked Cheddar Mushrooms which were £3.95 (also included on the daytime menu if you go with that option). The mushrooms came in a bowl with breadcrumbs and melted cheese over them. I liked that the breadcrumb coating was just over the top and that the mushrooms hadn't been deep fried in them or anything. The sauce was creamy and cheesy and we were all pleased with our choice.
My uncle chose the steak for his main (he always does), and as that is the speciality of Miller & Carter's there were plenty of options to choose from. It came with parsley butter and a bowl of fries and a salad. He really liked the rustic style fries as well as his steak. My aunt and boyfriend went for the sea bass (also on the daytime menu) which were filleted and served on crushed baby potatoes with a citrus and chilli dressing. Both of them were impressed and thought their meals delicious. Although the daytime menu and a la carte menu offered one veggie pasta dish, they did say that there was a Vegetarian Special of the Day. I enquired as to what this was and was given three choices, which was a pleasant surprise. An aubergine stack (which turned out to be unavailable, but I could have aubergine moussaka), vegetarian burger or a sweet potato tagine. I was impressed with the choice and after some deliberation and mind changing I went for the tagine. I was told the options verbally, and I am not sure how frequently the specials are changed but I would have preferred a printed menu to choose from - I didn't get to ask what the specials were until they came to take our order and then had to continually ask the (very obliging) server questions about each dish such as what it came with and were any particular ingredients in. This is something that is explained in a simple description on the a la carte menu, so even a printed strip of paper would have helped. This would have meant that I would have made my decision by the time they came to take the order and the poor lad wouldn't have to keep double checking things with the kitchen. My tagine (which was more of a sweet potato curry) was served with mashed potatoes and was very tasty - not too spicy, but with some interesting flavour and texture.
We decided to not go with desserts but just got the bill. As we were treated I didn't see the bill, so cannot comment on the overall value for money. However I think the prices seem competitive for the 'gastropub' market although steaks and 'meaty' dishes being significantly more expensive than fish, chicken or gourmet burgers. We were also impressed with the service; the staff members had a good attitude and were always helpful and friendly. There is seating upstairs as well as ground level (where we sat) and I noted disabled lavatories. I had no cause to visit whilst I was here so cannot comment on them. Overall, if the opportunity presented itself to come to a Miller & Carter restaurant again, I would be quite happy to take it.
The branch we visited was at 629 Rayleigh Road, Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9 5HR. Telephone: 01702 522 357
Opening Times (may vary by branch)
* Monday - Thursday: 11am - 11pm
* Friday - Saturday: 11am - Midnight
* Sunday: 11:30am - 11pm
* Sunday - Thursday 12pm - 10.30pm
* Friday - Saturday 12pm - 11pm