Friday, 20 February 2009

Review: Mustard Bistro

Mustard Bistro

Mustard Bistro, 37 New London Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 0ND

First thoughts:
Since I have lived here, this little 'space' at the back of the shops has always been a restaurant. I first ate there about 8 years ago when it was under different management. It has then re-invented itself a few times and is now known as Mustard. It's very well presented, clean, with friendly 'homely' service. (You'll be pleased to know there was only one spelling mistake this time - 'brocolli' instead of 'broccoli'.) Over the course of lunch, a varied display of music was heard, ranging from Morrisey to Queen. I think the mp3-player may have been on 'shuffle'!

We opted for main courses and desserts. All were very nicely presented (photos will appear shortly!) in a modern style. Portions were a good size and the food appeared well cooked. One fish pie was browned beautifully but unfortunately, the other looked a little anaemic!

Two of us had the Fish and Chips; cod goujons with chunky chips. Two had Fish Pie; a mixture of prawns, cod, smoked haddock and mussels. One had Cottage Pie.
While the Fish and Chips looked good, it had little taste. The fish wasn't particularly well seasoned and was fairly bland. It was, however, served with a delicious chunky homemade tartare sauce, full of freshness.

The Fish Pies looked a little different from each other but both tasted really good. There was much fish in a thick creamy sauce with smooth mash on top. The salad with which it was served also had a tasty dressing and was fresh and crispy.

My option was the Cottage Pie and this was very rich. It was a little fatty, (perhaps the meat could have been drained before being put into the bowls?) but that did add to the flavour! It was served with delicious baby carrots and cabbage which had been par-cooked, then crisped in the frying pan I think.

Pudding didn't fare so well. The syrup sponge was overcooked and very stodgy. It needed thicker custard and more syrup in order to balance the textures as there wasn't enough sauce for the amount of 'cake'. The chocolate pecan pie looked rather overcooked too, with very 'crispy' pecans on the top. Although this could have been due to the chocolate caramelsing on the top, it did taste burnt. "Instead of being a sophisticated adult dessert, it resembled (in smell and taste) a children's rice-crispy cake," was the comment from one of the girls. The gooey-ness of the middle, however, was very tasty and the pastry was crisp and golden.

To Drink:

We managed, very well, two bottles of white wine. Think it may have been a Pinot Grigio but didn't pay that much attention - sorry! It was very flowery though and on the medium side of dry.

Value for Money:

The bill came to £94 between 5 of us, so let's call it £20 per head.
Not bad for a main meal, dessert and a few glasses of wine.


I can't comment on the dinner menu, but I'd definitely go back for a quick lunch, skipping dessert, and choosing carefully.

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Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
Merlotti x

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