Having visited here loads of times for drinks, it was long overdue on my “to do” list to actually dine here. With my bestie having packed up and left London for leafy Epping, it was clear that Essex in general, would become a regular haunt; and it has.
The George and Dragon has a nice local feel. All ages roll up for drinks, food and banter. I have been here several times, even had my new years’ eve drinks there which was nice. Finally on a Saturday afternoon we wanted to recover from the night before with a hearty lunch! You should definitely note that from Monday to Friday until 6pm, they have a great fixed price lunch with £12.50 for two courses or £15.50 for three courses. Well worth it. Unfortunately it being the weekend, we missed out on this saving (sad face).
The restaurant is not expensive though, it is reasonably priced. In terms of space, it is very cosy and warm. To the rear, they have outside seating for the warmer months. We opted for two courses to help us recover from our La Sala shenanigans. Delicately fried salt and pepper squid with aioli was my starting off point, gorgeous. I followed up with sticky chicken marinated in lemon, honey and chilli sauce, roquito peppers (which I love) and French fries. The chicken was a little bit dry, but generally it was ok.
My Essex champion had deep friend Somerset brie with an apricot and cumin chutney. Unfortunately, her cheese had not been cooked enough and could have been a bit more gooey. For mains, it was the beer-battered cod fish finger sandwich with tartare sauce. This brought a smile to her face, as it was good.
The service was prompt. The place had a good buzz with a half full restaurant of dining folks. They say it is the people that make the place. Every time we have been here, the bar team have been suitably cordial. We never need over the top in your face service, but the odd smile and attentiveness is welcomed. On this occasion, our waiter was miserable. He acted like he wished he was somewhere else, as did we, as this put a dark cloud over my first dining experience here.
Having heard friends rave about how amazing the food was, I only saw glimpses of it on this occasion. Maybe this was an isolated day or perhaps we were psychologically affected by our bored waiter. Regardless, this is not the last you will see of me. I will be back to get me some of that outstanding food and service my local friends have been promising me.
The George and Dragon
208 High Street
Essex CM16 4AQ