43 restaurants in Colchester
Restaurants in Colchester:
Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, C01 1UT [Map]
The Beefeater Grill range of restaurants, owned by the well established firm of Whitbread has transformed over time into what is now predominantly a cooking platform for chargrill. The restaurants are warm, modern and stylish, with low lighting and contemporary artwork. A comfortable, cosy, mainly booth layout offers guests their own space with no feeling of being hurried at any point. Staff are friendly and helpful if need be - what a difference that can make to a good evening out.
Be it the wide open spaces of Argentina, the intimate setting of a French restaurant, or a busy grill in London's West End, there's no denying the popularity of chargrill. As the production of quality beef, chicken, fish and lamb has grown, prices have come down by comparison, and the simple and traditional art of minimally cooking dishes by chargrill, sealing in the flavours and tastes by intense heat has caught the public imagination.
All the steaks at Beefeater Grill are matured for a minimum of 28 days before being seasoned. Whether it be juicy rib eye, the classic sirloin, that emblem of the Sunday lunch, a tender fillet, or a delicious 7oz rump, all grilled to your own specification, you're never far away from perfection. Even beefburgers have shaken off their dubious image and the highly popular Beefeater burgers are made from 100% beef.
The popular sirloin with giant prawns offers a treat to those for whom an alliance between sea and pasture is a natural attraction, whilst a 16oz steak platter links rump, fillet, sirloin and rib eye into one mouth-watering dish served with chips, battered onion rings, grilled tomato, a flat mushroom and peppercorn and brandy sauce.
Many of us love rib meat, and the rack of ribs at a Beefeater Grill has a meaty rack smoky flavour; maple ribs of pork with a choice of three sauces, mojito, smoked caramel and apple glaze, or Bourbon and black BBQ. And if all else fails and you are totally baffled by the wealth of choices, ask to have a word with the Steakmaster who will help find what is right for you, together with the best cooking method. These guys leave nothing to chance.
On a menu that is a delight to read, let alone choose a meal from, expect to find smaller dishes such as traditional prawn cocktail, whitebait, chicken liver pâté and baked Camembert, or juicy lamb koftas served with yoghurt and mint dip. There's something about a good steak meal that always leaves a gap for a little temptation to sweeten up the scene and from amongst twelve options look for Belgian chocolate cheesecake, treacle sponge pudding or a caramel apple crumble pie.
Throughout the day a wide range of more general dishes are yours for the ordering, sandwiches, jackets, classic favourites like fish and chips, pasta, salads, and sharing dishes of nachos, potato shells and a Beefeater Grill combo. Next door to many of the restaurants are Premier Inns, so staying the night whatever the circumstances need not be a problem.
And what about wine? Endorsed by Matthew Jukes, wine writer in the Daily Mail and bon viveur in his own right, a wine list that marches with the menu completes an impressive and compelling invitation to enjoy whatever takes your fancy at the nearest Beefeater Grill.
Click on their Website for menu updates and special offers.
Crown Green Roundabout, Colchester, CO4 9WP [Map]
Part of the Whitbread family, Table Table restaurants aim to bring great value tasty pub food to an ever increasing eating-out public who like well prepared and genuine food served by friendly staff in relaxing surroundings. If that sounds too much like a dream come true be assured that at Table Table they also walk the talk, and are pleased to have the chance to prove it.
Their well located restaurants are spread across a wide range of decors and styles, and all of them share a determination to provide comfort, warmth and relaxation. Their buffet menus for special occasions are remarkable value.
In keeping with modern trends they provide dishes to nibble or share as guests consider the spread of options on a menu that could be described as British with welcome incursions. So as you share long Italian flatbread, and dough balls and dips, or a sharing platter with an imaginative range of finger food starting with garlic and breaded mushrooms, it's time to think about the relative merits of aromatic duck parcels, a prawn cocktail, breaded Camembert or sticky chicken goujons to name but a few.
Many an innocent dish from the past has been hi-jacked in the best possible sense into becoming what is now called a 'pub classic'. Wiltshire cure ham with eggs is served with chunky chips and beef, mushroom and ale pie, or chicken and chips are all familiar with British tables, be they in the dining room or the kitchen. Now they have been added to by chicken fajitas, a sweet red pepper, crème fraiche and fennel tart, a leg of duck slowly cooked and served with a Bramley apple and cider sauce, or chilli con carne with basmati rice, sour cream and guacamole and nachos. So is the humble burger with six enticing toppings.
The point is they, and others, are all here at Table Table, well prepared with quality ingredients, and presented in a way that makes you hungry even if you thought you weren't.
Getting down to the more serious side of the table keep an eye open for the seafood pie, a delightful assembly of things fishy including crayfish, red snapper, prawns and clams. Many of their steaks are 28 days matured, including a 7oz fillet. All steaks are served with watercress, roasted cherry tomatoes, a flat mushroom and chunky chips. A choice from 4 sauces adds the final touch of enjoyment.
Pastas and salads embrace some well known and loved names, but for sheer enjoyment the hot smoked salmon salad takes some beating - flakes of hot smoked salmon mixed with a house salad and soy and ginger sauce. A real winner.
Snacks aplenty cover hot baguettes with the like of grilled pork loin and Bramley apple sauce, sandwiches filled with Cheddar cheese, or prawns and Marie Rose sauce, and jacket potatoes with such temptations as chilli con carne. Add a bowl of chips for only a little extra.
A well travelled wine list offers helpful advice for the uninitiated and there's an impressive choice of draught and bottled beers and lagers. All in all it would appear that Table Table are more than achieving their aims, providing the opportunity for people to eat out enjoyably, with excellent value for money. Long may they continue to do so.
For completely up to date information on menu changes and special offers do make a regular check on their lively Website.
Family, Pub, Traditional
1 Culver Street East, Colchester, CO1 1LD [Map]
Prezzo has been delighting diners for over eight years, and this Italian restaurant chain has since been able to expand throughout large parts of England and Scotland with some 141 outlets.
Interestingly, the company seeks to restore either impressive buildings or ones of local interest. The conversion of the Newbury library and other listed buildings, such as those in Salisbury, Romsey and Mayfair, are all welcome examples of 'new use'. Their trendy and sophisticated décor usually consists of tiled or wooden floors with delicate lights and colourful paintings, along with wooden furniture and sparkling cutlery, creating a setting that is suitable for a relaxed lunch, a family meal or an evening out with friends.
The restaurants are of particular appeal to those who like genuine Italian cuisine, and they use only the best seasonal products, many of which are imported directly from Italy. The menu includes pizza, pasta, risotto, grilled meats, fresh salads and frequently changing specials.
The freshly baked breads, like the garlic bread with mozzarella cheese, are perfect for sharing and give you adequate breathing space to order starters to follow. Crab cakes served with garlic mayonnaise or grilled goat's cheese with plum tomatoes and caramelised onions on foccacia bread with a balsamic glaze set the tone for a hearty meal. Best fun is to order an antipasto platter to share made up from seven well loved Italian nibbles.
Find pastas such as the unusual penne con salmone, with oak-roasted salmon, broccoli and fresh chillies in a red pesto and cream sauce, or firm favourites like spaghetti with meatballs, spaghetti Bolognese, and fusilli al pesto, asparagus spears with field mushrooms and roasted peppers in a basil pesto sauce.
Amongst the special pastas, the pollo mariano, seasoned chicken, pepperoni sausage, roasted peppers and fusilli in tomato sauce, is interesting and different. Italian menus would be incomplete without risotto, like tiger prawns with petits pois in a creamy saffron sauce.
Classic pizzas embrace, among a wide selection, the popular napoletana, topped with yellowfin tuna, tomato, white anchovies, capers, red onion, mozzarella and marinated olives, and the much loved quattro stagioni - pepperoni sausage, prosciutto ham, artichoke, field mushrooms, capers, marinated olives, mozzarella and tomato.
Specials could include the pollo Siciliana, char-grilled chicken breast, prosciutto ham and plum tomato slices, baked with their blend of cheese, only one example from the many tempting offerings that come out from the Prezzo kitchens.
You can accompany the food with a variety of tipples, though for many, Italian food requires Italian wines to be enjoyed to the full, ranging from house wine through Morellino di Scansano and Prosecco to liqueurs and beer, and there is espresso or fresh ground coffee to wind up an enjoyable meal, in company with a glass of grappa or sambuca.
This is Italian food at its attractive best, convincing and bringing together the traditional with the modern twist or two against a background of excellent value.
Prezzo is a lively group and opportunities to improve and update are never left on the table for long. Keep up to date with a quick click on their Website.
59 High Street, Colchester, CO1 1DH [Map]
Café Rouge has over one hundred branches throughout Britain all offering a wide range of dishes drawn from the French cuisine. Slightly less than half their branches are in or close to London. Almost inevitably the décor and design of each restaurant differs from the others, but there is a general curtsy towards La France.
Many restaurants do an excellent breakfast, or shall we say petit dejeuner, at which such delights as scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toasted brioche, croque Madame, croissants and pain au chocolat make welcome appearances, and to their credit the English traditional gets top billing.
An array of small dishes takes in pulled pork pâté with French bread, and spicy beef and lamb sausage with harissa mayonnaise. Salads and pasta feature largely, as do baguettes and croques. Quick dishes, ideal for lunch, include slices of saucisson and cured pork loin with French bread.
Moving on to more serious stuff we find steaks, an 8oz bavette and thin cut rib eye, with a choice of béarnaise or peppercorn sauce. No French menu would be complete without the poulet jaune grille, pan-roasted breast of corn-fed chicken served on a warm taboulé of bulgar wheat and a medley of roasted vegetables with minted crème fraîche, or a steak frites before moving on to the crème brûlée, or the tart tatin. Almost invariably the coffee tastes like coffee should, something that sadly can all too often still not be said of our English restaurants, who depend too much upon technology and too little on the acquisition of a certain flair for this important conclusion to a meal.
By now we all know that the French, despite their distinctive habits when it comes to matters of satisfying the inner man, maintain a miraculous longevity of life. This is generally attributed to a number of causes, of which a measured consumption of decent wine is foremost. Café Rouge, you may be pleased to hear, encourages this with a well-chosen selection of French wines. Their prix fixe lunch and meals for children, both at a very reasonable figure, also offer excellent value.
Their Website will keep you updated on menu changes, news and other competitions and offers from the Café Society.
Christmas Party Menu - 3 courses £19.95 / Christmas Day Feast Menu £50 Book
20% off your total bill - Book our Christmas Party menu any time in November and get 20% off your total bill Book
20% off food – Book your Christmas Party menu on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at the beginning of December Book
New Year's Eve Menu Book
19-20 North Hill, Colchester, CO1 1DZ [Map]
Strada describes itself as 'a group of stylish, contemporary Italian restaurants, serving good quality, simple and freshly prepared dishes'. The statement sums up what this group of around seventy restaurants offers to people looking for good Italian food. The first outlet opened in Battersea in 1999 and their clientele has been increasing steadily ever since.
Though Strada has grown into a fair sized group, each outlet retains the feel of being a local neighbourhood Italian restaurant. The menu includes pastas, risottos, salads, and fish dishes, but they are best known for their quality pizzas.
They present authentic Italian dishes in contemporary surroundings and aim to use only the freshest and finest ingredients, such as Luganica sausages, Parma ham and buffalo mozzarella, imported from Italy to provide exactly the kind of rustic, traditional dishes one would expect to find travelling around its regions.
A meal could kick off with zuppa vongole e fregola, a traditional clam soup with Sardinian fregola pasta grains, wine, chilli and parsley, served with bread, or the delicious sautéed king prawns with garlic, white wine, chilli, and lemon butter served with your choice of bread.
Move on to their creamy risotto verdure, freshly grilled asparagus, broad beans, peas, spring onions, zucchini, green beans, white wine and mint, finished with baby spinach leaves. Or you could opt for the healthier, tagliolini nero granchio, black cuttlefish ink pasta with crab, courgette, red and yellow peppers, spring onion, and a hint of chilli and parsley. A real treat for the taste buds comes in the form of the bistecca manzo, a 10oz rosemary-marinated char-grilled, rib-eye steak with fries and fresh rocket.
A range of pizzas, all spun by hand, is an integral feature of each restaurant. They include the rossa, with spicy southern Italian salami, roasted red peppers, chilli, caramelised onion, garlic, fresh oregano, tomato and mozzarella. Nor are vegetarians are overlooked, and can be found tucking into dishes such as fiorentina, made of spinach cooked with garlic, nutmeg and black pepper with mozzarella, parmesan, tomato and an egg.
For those wanting to satisfy their sweet tooth, there is torroncino affogato, an iced nougat semi freddo with a shot of espresso to pour over, or a classic Italian tiramisu and, as you might expect coffee to round off the meal.
A wine list consisting of purely regional Italian wines, beers and liqueurs, all carefully chosen to complement the menu comes as no surprise and in addition, every table receives a complimentary bottle of purified water.
For further details including their latest news, menus and deals, and to find a Strada nearest to you, their Website certainly warrants a visit.
11-13 Head Street, Colchester, CO1 1NX [Map]
With quality food, friendly staff, quick service and excellent value for money, Nando's is a great place to eat. Don't expect identikit, pre-fab restaurant interiors which are usually a staple of the larger chains; each restaurant is tailored to its local surroundings and customers, offering up a unique restaurant experience to go with the equally unique taste of legendary, Portuguese, Peri-Peri chicken.
Your peri-peri chicken, when the chips are down so to speak, is a fresh A grade chicken that has never seen the inside of a freezer, but having made the supreme sacrifice is butterfly-cut, marinated for 24 hours in a secret brew called - you've guessed - peri-peri, and is then cooked to your choice over an open flame.
There are, of course, many variations on this broad theme, numerous plays on words such as Nando's experi-perience, peri-peri good reasons why you should eat at a Nando's, and all one hopes is that for their sake chicken never goes out of fashion. New Nando's are opening all the time, peri-peri quickly in fact, the spicy bastes become hotter and more daring, and the full platter offers a whole chicken, large chips or spicy rice and Nando's salad or coleslaw.
Since chickens are vegetarian it seems logical you can order veggie or bean burgers and patties, and still feel the heat from the peppers. All in all, Nando's is hotly recommended for those occasions when you have a large following of permanently hungry children, or adults even, to keep happy - the only thing taken really seriously is the quality of those peri-peri good chickens.
Nando's is a place for bright people who love to laugh and love to eat, and is guaranteed to spice up your taste buds. Their fun approach to life means that when you visit Nando's you can fully relax without the airs and graces associated with more starchy dining out.
For the location of your nearest Nando's restaurant and a host of details about menus, parties and drinks, a click on their Website will reveal a Pandora's box of information.
116 High Street, Colchester, CO1 1TD [Map]
Fox Street, Ardleigh, Colchester, CO7 7PP [Map]
English, Modern European, Spanish
High Street, Colchester, CO1 1DJ [Map]
The relaxed atmosphere provides an ideal setting to indulge in traditional British cuisine with a contemporary twist, all made from fresh and quality ingredients sourced from local markets wherever possible. The restaurant offers an all-day breakfast menu as well as a special lunch and dinner menu that changes seasonally.
Hotel guests are ideally situated to explore the surrounding town as well as numerous local attractions including Colchester Zoo, the Mercury Theatre and the 11th century Norman Castle.
706 The Crescent, Colchester Business Park, Colchester, CO4 9YQ [Map]
More restaurants in Colchester:
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Part of the Whitbread family, Table Table restaurants aim to bring great value tasty pub food to an ever increasing eating-out public who like well prepared and genuine food served by friendly staff in relaxing surroundings.
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