Tuesday 13 October 2015

Restaurant Review: Bourgee, Southend-on-Sea

Having played mini golf, eaten ice cream and decorated the bride-to-be with a sash, veil, fairy wand and balloons, the hen night was ready to go out for dinner. The bridesmaids had chosen Bourgee, an upmarket steak and lobster restaurant. I did wonder what they or the other customers would think as we entered with our helium balloons but we were very well behaved and the staff were very pleasant (though I didn’t really notice the reaction of the other guests!).

The head chef has worked at a Michelin starred restaurant before and you could tell from the menu – which did make us giggle. Side orders were called “accessories” and an amuse-bouche to be had between courses was called “intercourse”.
I was very intrigued by a starter described as “crispy duck, teriyaki toothpaste, pickled turnip, sweet stem ginger” and wondered aloud whether the toothpaste would actually come in a tube; it did indeed! I’m not sure whether this is innovative, pretentious or somewhere in between.
I had the baked Cambozola with champagne quenched sultanas and toasted baguette which was delicious – I’ve never had cambozola before but it’s a lot like camembert and the dish was really good. I decided it was pretentious rather than innovative though, at least in terms of the language used – I don’t quite know how sultanas can be quenched as they aren’t thirsty… shouldn’t they be ‘drenched’?
For my main course I had the lobster, which was prepared so all I had to do was pull out the flesh with a fork. It came with garlic butter and a choice of sides so I had garlic mash which was lovely, though there really wasn’t enough of it. Lobster is one of those things that you should never eat if you are really hungry!

Everyone else was having dessert so I gave in and did the same, and ordered the mini chocolate doughnuts, which came in a little paper bag with a smear of caramel to dip them in and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. The doughnuts themselves didn’t have a strong chocolate flavour and I think they needed more sauce to dip them in, but other than that they were pretty good.

The bill came to £60 a head which seemed a lot but for three courses and wine it wasn’t bad. The food was good and the staff very helpful – not as pretentious as the language on the menu! Everyone seemed very happy with their meal in particular the bride to be, which was the most important thing!


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