Magic Mushroom Billericay’s Finest
A special place, where contemporary and traditional work in perfect harmony…
Walking into The Magic Mushroom is like walking into the warm embrace of a much-loved old friend. From the minute you step through the door, the waiting team are immediately on hand, to make sure your evening is as comfortable as it can possibly be. Never intrusive, the staff just have the uncanny knack of knowing exactly when your wine needs topping up. You’d be forgiven for thinking that, considering The Magic Mushroom has been a firm fixture on the Essex food scene for some time now, a certain degree of routine and complacency may have crept in. Not at this restaurant. Chef proprietor Darren Bennet and his crew continue to create exciting, innovative dishes to adorn a menu eager to push boundaries. Customers should arrive expecting to find a range of classic plates, but decorated with the unexpected. Pan-roasted hake with chorizo ‘jam’. Crisp belly of lamb with buttermilk and salsa verde. Small twists which are extremely pleasing to the eye, and the palette. The interior of the restaurant is warm, wide and open, making this is an ideal venue for either an intimate meal with a loved one, or a fantastic space to hold parties and gatherings. See for yourself!
When arriving at a restaurant, sometimes it’s nice to head to the bar, rather than be whisked straight off to a table. So, when our waitress suggested we peruse the menu over a glass of wine first, it made for a refreshing change. Saying that, once we spied the specials, we couldn’t wait to get started! Mrs Exquisite was first out of the block with her tempura cod. Enveloped in a light, crisp batter, the fish and curried mayonnaise worked perfectly together. My truffled gnocchi with girolle mushrooms, crushed chestnuts and wild mushroom veloute was a delicious seasonal treat, imbued with deep, rich flavours and textures. It also has to be one of life’s best pleasures sinking a fork into a delicately cooked poached egg. Next came my lamb rump, a beautiful cut that had been cooked pink and obviously rested properly, such was the tenderness. So many places get this wrong. As for Mrs Exquisite’s pork belly, ham croquette and charred cabbage, I was really holding out that she wouldn’t be able to eat it all, so I could help. Alas, she finished it all by herself. She also made light work of her incredibly indulgent chocolate brownie. Although this time, I wasn’t so concerned, for I had a wonderful slice of salted caramel tart with pistachio ice cream - the smallest spoonful of which was shared at the very end.