Restaurant review: Crofters Brasserie in Witham

SITUATED just off the main road of Witham's town centre, Crofters Brasserie is easy to find and has its own car park. Its head chef, Dan Watkins, has recently been crowned Chef of the Year 2009. Reviewed by Stephanie Mackentyre

SITUATED just off the main road of Witham’s town centre, Crofters Brasserie is easy to find and has its own car park. Its head chef, Dan Watkins, has recently been crowned Chef of the Year 2009, so I was keen to sample some of his winning dishes.Inside, the restaurant is urban chic with a warm and friendly atmosphere. There’s a strong musical theme with posters of Jimi Hendrix and the Small Faces and regular soul nights advertised. French-style paintings also decorate the walls in between original beams and exposed brickwork. The dining areas are separated by a central bar and at one end is the piano room, which includes its own piano performed on by the town’s very own X Factor contestant Olly Murs who, ‘rocked the place’ according to staff. The other end of the restaurant features alcoves for secluded dining.  The menu has a simplistic layout with plenty of great British favourites to choose from, including shepherd’s pie, and there’s pumpkin, sage and Parmesan risotto for those looking for a healthier option perhaps. My dining companion chose white bait to begin and then the crispy belly of pork with bubble and squeak and apple sauce. I passed on a starter as I’d spied the dessert menu and instead chose to have Caesar salad with chicken and pancetta for my main course. There’s also a choice of side dishes, including homemade breads at �3, plus a daily specials board too. The white bait arrived in its own mini wire basket with wholemeal bread and fresh lemon with homemade tartar on the side. My Caesar salad was rather heavy on the dressing so it was more of a coleslaw in texture, a little rich and salty for my own liking but the pork had a good taste and was well presented. The dessert I’d spied earlier was the bread and butter pudding with Tiptree marmalade which had its own mini jug of homemade custard. A fitting end to a very enjoyable lunch.

Useful to knowThe total bill came to �24.85 for two courses plus drinks. This is an independent review of a restaurant selected and experienced by our food and wine editor. The restaurant was not told it was being reviewed.

Table talk

with diner Patricia Tite and campanion Linda West

What do you do? I’m retired

What did you choose from the menu? Prawn cocktail and then the shepherd’s pie

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How did you discover Crofters Brasserie? I live in Witham, so it’s nice and close for me.

Describe your dining experience in three words: Rustic, welcoming, good service

Rate their value for money: Very good

Would you come again? Definitely, I meet my girlfriends here regularly

What was the best part of your meal? The shepherd’s pie was really tasty

Book a table

25 Maldon RoadWitham  CM8 2AA  01376 511068

Side orders

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