Essex, my second home, continues to excel in the restaurant sphere. As I plan my weekend outings to hang with my bestie, there is increasingly no shortage of restaurants to dine at in this Eastern home county. Epping in particular is where I find myself, so of course you will have seen the odd write up here and there about the spots on the high street. At some stage I will run out of restaurants, but venture a little further into Loughton, Woodford, Romford, Brentwood, and there is no shortage of options. For now, I am firmly on the Epping High Street.
Enter Pivaz, all shiny and new, but not inexperienced. Pivaz is already established in Hackney and is soon to make its assault on Brentwood. This contemporary Turkish restaurant and bar, has all the makings of an establishment that you would expect to see in Soho, Mayfair or Chelsea. The Essex massive are not being shortchanged here with a mediocre experience, in fact, I will say that this is one of the best dining experiences I have had when it comes to Turkish food. I guess Sheesh will need to watch themselves for the 2017 British Kebab Awards for fine dining. Yes there is an award and Sheesh were a winner.
Let’s start with the bar. You would think that here in the sticks you could only order what was on the menu. Think again, these guys know their cocktails and I tested that with an impromptu order of a Manhattan. I told them my preference was for it to be sweeter as opposed to bitter. This was following a good Manhattan experience at Citizen M in London Bridge. They obliged and it was lovely. In fact it rivaled Citizen M. Our bartender was full of pride at his creation and excited to demonstrate his obvious cocktail making talents. My suggestion is that you experiment. Don’t go for the obvious, let them steer you to cocktail heaven.
As we sat for our dinner, there was a delightful trainee waitress who was obviously a little intimidated by the hustle and bustle of guests. Her genuine attitude partnered with that of her experienced trainer made the service even sweeter. I hope she is still there as she was good. Pivaz has excellent food. I went all out with an order of a whole lobster, a side of garlic sautéed mushrooms and spinach with pine nuts. The lobster meat was plentiful, no skimping here. Sam Vanilla (my bestie) went for the Lamb kofte, chunky chips and a side salad. Damn this food was badass. Excuse my French, but it needed saying. When we left to go for a drink at the George & Dragon, I honestly wished that I could rewind the experience and start again. Epic in Epping!
My only gripe is that if you sit by the window you have the smoke coming in from the fag ash lils, something which appeared to aggrieve other window diners too. Something to be looked at Pivaz.
As a complete experience, this was a huge yes for me. There was a little bit of damage on the wallet, but worth every penny for that special occasion. I will just have to make up special occasions from now on to justify what will hopefully be regular visits.
240a High Street
T. 01992 571 440