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Reviewing some of the Independent Restaurants in Billericay
We appointed our own mystery reviewer with the brief to tell us about the places to eat which are not national or international chains. We want to support local businesses as local residents.

This month's restaurant is MENAD - Meze Bar - Restaurant

shish kebabsNew Year, new ideas, so why not eat Turkish style?  I have recently been twice to ‘Menad’ at the corner of High Street and Western Road and come away very satisfied. A warning though – only go when you are really hungry!  In their native country the Turks are warm, friendly and generous and in this restaurant they are no different.

plate of foodThe first thing you will see on entering is a chill cabinet containing meat to be cooked and then a counter style barbecue with an amazingly efficient hood over it. The décor is quite plain and the room filled with tables and chairs which can be arranged to suit parties of any size. The wine and beer list seems pretty standard but with your drinks come a plate of delicious warm pitta bread and tasty olives. Go easy! If you have ordered the set menu you may not be able to do it justice, and my friend and I had to ask for doggie bags for most of the main course. These were provided willingly as Menad offer a takeaway service, and we had enough beautifully cooked meat for the next day. On the second visit we had just one meze and a main course. This allowed us to sample the home made baklava – yummy!

kebabsThe menu is large but by opting for either a hot or cold meze for starters you can sample up to ten different dishes. All main courses, which are based on lamb or chicken, are served with rice and salad and there are vegetarian dishes, too, including grilled fish. The food is served attractively and pleasantly by staff who seem genuinely to want you to enjoy their cuisine. The spices used enhance the meat rather than mask it and because the dishes are cooked simply the raw ingredients have to be of good quality. Coffee rounds off the meal but I saw no sign of the Turkish variety.

So, for a healthy start to the new year, go easy on the pitta bread, rice and baklava, but enjoy the rest of your meal at Menad.
Rating 8/10.