The Clocktower in Epping (Essex), is a charming little place just off of the high street that serves good, honest food at an affordable price – in short a great spot for a Sunday lunch.
The boyf and I headed there recently and took advantage of their incredibly priced set Sunday lunch which is £14.95 for two courses of £17.95 for three – fantastic value.
I opted for the chicken liver terrine to start which arrived with a couple of slices of very unpretentious toast and an unctuous apple and raisin chutney. It wasn’t the prettiest plate of food but that couldn’t deter from the taste or enjoyment of the dish.
The pâté was smooth, rich, slightly creamy and very meaty and the sharp, fruity chutney complimented the terrine beautifully.
Glen chose the grilled sardines which came with a genius mango and chilli butter and were served over a bed of rocket. Once again, this was a simple dish, but prepared perfectly and proved to be very satisfying. The tropical and sweet mango butter with the chilli kick running through, worked so, so well with the subtle flesh of the sardines. I think it would work particularly well if prepared on the BBQ with the butter drizzled over. Sardines make for a very economical meal (I’ve picked up six for less than £2.00 at my local fish mongers) and usually I just cook them in a little garlic butter but this fantastic dish has inspired me to try preparing them in a different way.
For our mains, we both chose the roast beef dinner but The Clocktower does offer a few roast options as well as other dishes such as a vegetarian feta and vegetable stuffed aubergine, a haddock dish and a confit duck too.
The roast beef was cooked more than I would choose or prepare at home, however it was still tender, well-seasoned and of high quality so there wasn’t any room for complaint over the lack of mooing on my plate. A rather enormous and tasty Yorkshire pudding, crispy roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables completed the meal and all were good.
Whilst there wasn’t anything remarkable on our plates, it was all prepared well and enjoyable, and for the price it really does offer spectacular value. The staff at The Clocktower are attentive and incredibly friendly and it’s this touch mixed with the genuine, home-style of cooking that made for a really pleasant meal for us.
There is just that almost comfort blanket feeling of a roast dinner that reminds you of home - and in our ever-hectic lifestyles today, the uniform rigidity of having a roast dinner every weekend just doesn’t exist anymore, so eating a roast out, feels like a treat.
We had just the two courses as the mains were rather large and with a couple of glasses of red, a beer and some water we have change from £45 and went home full and content.