Newest Review: ... once inside. The restaurant is quite small and split into a back and front area with the rounded bar dominating the front area. The d... more
On The Clock
The Clocktower (Epping, Essex)
Member Name: Essexgirl2006
The Clocktower (Epping, Essex)
Advantages: Tasty food, good service, clean
Disadvantages: Promo offer disappointing.
The Clocktower is a contemporary brasserie style restaurant in Epping. Recently my parents and I wanted to try somewhere for lunch in Epping. We used to visit this place regularly in a previous incarnation but now tend to eat elsewhere. In the light of their 2-course for £10 lunch, we decided to try again one Saturday.
The restaurant has grey walls and ceiling with very dark wood tables and chairs. We chose a round table in a corner with charcoal grey banquette seating as well as ordinary chairs. The seats were comfy even if I wasn't particularly inspired by their décor. There is seating outside on the patio at the back, which is shaded by umbrellas, or a few spots in the 'car-port' to the right of the restaurant if you wanted to watch the world go by and ingest traffic fumes. We were brought a wine list as well as the a la carte and £10 lunch menu. There were five options for each course and I was tempted by the garlic mushroom starter, but disappointed with the veggie main course - mushroom omelette and fries. I don't think there is much justification to offer an omelette for veggies these days - it is no longer a rare occurrence to have to cater for a vegetarian in a restaurant. Besides I had eggs at home, often making myself an omelette for a weekend lunch, not something I would choose when I am out and someone else is cooking, so I asked the waitress if there was anything else. She came back with Penne Arrabiata (tomato and chilli sauce), again something I make myself every so often and takes about ten minutes). The 'sample menu' on the website (and also in the window) had offered a broccoli and blue cheese tart also, which would have been something I would have liked. My parents weren't doing to well with the offer menu either - my stepdad had decided on his dessert but preferred the main courses on the a la Carte menu and my mum was in agreement (although she preferred a starter to the dessert). We were all a bit deflated with this as the prices for main courses started about £10-12, and starters £6. Maybe not so bad for a nice evening meal out, but we had planned a cheap lunch prior to our respective holidays, and hadn't wanted to pay those prices. They also had a specials board, prices were similar to the a la Carte menu.
In the end we ordered from the a la Carte menu. My mum and I had starters. She chose Soup of the Day which was carrot and coriander (£4.95). It was hot, thick and tasty and served with small pieces of crusty bread. She really enjoyed it and was pleased she chose it. I went for the goat's cheese salad served with mixed leaves and beetroot chutney (£5.75). It was a good size for a starter, with a nice slice of cheese. For mains both my parents went for battered pollock with chips and mushy peas (£11.95). The fish was a good size and the batter nicely done without being too greasy. The chips were golden and there was just the right amount. My step-dad isn't a big chip eater as he thinks some places just pile them on and fill the plate, but these were obviously home made and the good sized portion was manageable. At the bottom of the menu I had spotted a small brunch section (until 5pm Mon-Sat) and opted for the vegetarian breakfast (£6.95). They did a traditional one for £7.95 also. My breakfast plate was very full with baked beans, a whole beef tomato (halved and grilled), a fried egg cooked just as I asked for it, two hash browns, grilled mushrooms and a slice of lightly-done white toast with a side of butter. I really enjoyed it. In fact we all really enjoyed our food, which was fortunate as we were disappointed with the choices available when we arrived. In fact my step-dad was so full after his fish and chips he had to cancel his plans for the bread and butter pudding.
I visited the Ladies' lavatories - there were two cubicles, one of which had baby changing facilities. They were compact but clean and well stocked. For most of the time we were there, they had only one server on (another lady helped out for a bit) but we found her very friendly and helpful and ready with a smile, so no complaints there.
Obviously we were disappointed to not actually take advantage of the promo offer we had intended to when we went. Therefore we spent just over £50 altogether for two starters, three mains, a glass of wine and three soft drinks excluding service which is more than we would have. We all enjoyed our food however, that is the main thing, but I doubt we will return for lunch again.
The Clocktower Restaurant
4 Station Road
Tel: 01992 575707
Summary: Nice place to eat in Epping