The Anchor, Hullbridge:
A continuing delight on the Essex food scene is The Anchor, Hullbridge…
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With an expansive garden area and views that look over the River Crouch and surrounding hills. The Anchor really is an amazing riverside retreat. It would be quite easy to lose yourself on a bright, sunny day watching the world go by whilst lingering over a chilled glass of something crisp and dry. Should you decide to visit this charming haven in Hullbridge, whatever you do, don’t leave without having something to eat in the stunning Orangery. It has been all change recently, with Oakman Inns taking over the mantle, however, The Anchor’s reputation built on sourcing quality ingredients, provenance and sustainability remains high on the agenda. Fish – a specialty – is all certified by the Marine Stewardship Council while the meat is all sourced from Aubrey Allen, a butcher that leads the way in innovation and ethical standards. Head Chef, Ricky Woods inventive, engaging daily menus push the boat out so to speak by using the best produce that the season has to offer. Signature flourishes remain and Ricky certainly has an eye for the exceptional detail that this restaurant has always been renowned for. The Anchor continues to go from strength to strength and we got to do an Anchor Hullbridge taste review.
Mackerel, artichoke puree, hazelnuts, yuzu mayonnaise
Loch Duart salmon, glazed carrots, pickled fennel, yuzu dressing, sweet and sour dill with creme fraiche
Feather blade beef buttered mash, smoked mushroom ketchup, BBQ Hispi cabbage
Sea bass, red wine mushroom risotto, roasted wild mushroom, mushroom puree
Mango brûlée, coconut sorbet
Banana cake, banana ice cream and baked white chocolate crunch
ANCHOR HULLBRIDGE TASTE REVIEW
On the approach to The Anchor as you drive down Ferry Lane, there is a small little cottage you pass on the left-hand side. Every time we see it, I say to Mrs Exquisite: ‘One day, we’ll buy that cottage.’ Then the journey to one of our favourite places in Essex will be a mere five-minute walk.
You always get a wonderful smile when you walk in this charming establishment and the food never fails to impress. On this occasion, I ordered the Loch Duart salmon to start and the fish was beautiful. Paired with sharp and sweet contrasts and underpinned by aniseed, it was fresh and bold.
Mrs Exquisite also headed out to sea with her mackerel and artichoke, which was a richer, earthier aff air but no less delicious. She then received an excellent piece of feather blade, that been cooked to melting perfection and swooned over the charred and smoked Hispi cabbage.
For my mains, I opted for Sea bass, purely based on the red wine risotto that it was served upon. The fillets had been grilled well but the Arborio rice itself was out of this world. Intense and packed with flavour.
Desserts were chosen swiftly afterwards and again, works of art arrived. Mrs Exquisite had a mango brûlée that was a toothsome twist on a French classic and I had a decadent and fun deconstruction of banana and cream. We’ll need longer than five minutes to walk off these treats!