Some of you may know The Brickyard in Romford for its regular location use on The Only Way is Essex. This, in fact, can either put people off going there or have hard core fans who want to meet these folk turn up in droves. Either way, myself and some friends ended up there for dinner recently.
We were greeted by a chirpy chap, who gave us a bit of banter while searching our reservation and age-checking us. This was a great start to the night, as I love informal down to earth types instead of snooty restaurateurs. The restaurant is well placed on the ground floor. Whilst it is next to the bustling main bar, it is partitioned off so you can still people watch but not be overwhelmed by noise.
Our initial Waiter was very over-zealous, not really giving us a chance to make decisions on wines and cocktails. The hovering was also a bit off putting. However, all change when two girl power waitresses took over to take our food orders. On Friday and Saturday, they offer a three course menu for £34.95 per person. When you see the portion sizes and taste the food, you will see it is absolutely worth it.
For starters, we opted for creamy mushrooms with granary toast, lightly battered calamari and crispy duck salad. Be very aware that the duck salad comes with a lot of chilli, so be sure to ask for less if you are not partial to spicy food. Fresh and tasty, done.
The main courses broke us. Sam B salivated over her braised lamb shank and mash, with the meat falling off the bone as it should. The rosemary and garlic glaze, rightly set the tender lamb off. Rebecca reveled in her Brickyard ribs, to say it could feed a family of 4 would be an understatement. It was a proper portion and yes, on this occasion size does matter. Lashings of maple syrup and JD glaze suited her sweet tooth. I opted for pan friend Sea bass fillet, with succulent white meat and a crispy outside, topped with samphire, served on a bed of risotto.
Whilst there was a gorgeous selection of desserts, we literally just had no space for it. So you can swap in a Coffee cocktail, so we had Irish, Calypso and Jamaican. Our Friday was never about a late one, so we followed our excellent dinner with quick drinks in the main bar. There is a club downstairs if you want to finish off your night with a dance. The people are a mix of young studs and glossy gals – all who are incredibly friendly and inoffensive.
The Brickyard does not need its association with a reality show. It stands out loud and proud on its own merit. My complete experience, (ignoring the first hiccup) was seamless, hit the foodie spot and offered what great Friday nights are made of.
If you are a Londoner, venture out for a treat. It’s a quick trip from Liverpool Street station by train.
222 South Street
Tel: 01708 743 167