Reviewing some of the Independent Restaurants in BillericayThis month's restaurant is
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.
Although a school for a hundred years, Quilters has recently undergone a series of transformations as a Bar and Restaurant, whilst also separately housing Billericay’s Arts Association in The Fold. Retaining its name it first served school dinner fare, attracting many ex-pupils. It then became The Ivory Rooms and hosted various clubs and functions including weddings. The old netball pitch and asphalt playground providing a fair-sized car park.
Now it is Reid’s and has more of an up-market vibe. The new owners have added an impressive extra entrance, transformed the terrace area and erected glass partitions inside to separate the various rooms. However it appears that the chef and many of the staff have been retained. The menu and offers remain the same and provide fantastic value for money. It remains a popular venue for clubs and private functions.
I went with a friend one Thursday lunchtime when two courses cost £6.95 in the restaurant. There were two large parties and although we were thoughtfully seated in a relatively quiet corner, after viewing the limited choices – three per course – we moved to the bar. Here the tables are widely spaced and the menu offers a choice of six dishes per course. This menu is available every Monday to Saturday in both the restaurant and bar – one course £5.95, two courses £8.45, three courses £10.95. Too cheap perhaps you are thinking? Not a bit of it.
I started with a chicken, mango and avocado salad which could easily have been a main course such was the quantity of chicken. My friend had the tempura calamari with mayonnaise followed by salmon tagliatelle in a wine and cream sauce, both of which were obviously enjoyed. I had haddock and chips which were not greasy but well cooked. We certainly did not need puddings but Eton Mess and a chocolate pot were each delicious and we rounded off a good meal, pleasantly served, with coffee which like the wine was very reasonably priced.
If you like a bargain (and who doesn’t?) go and try Reid’s. Evening meals will be more elaborate and costed accordingly and there may be music from tribute acts to violin and piano or just the latter in the Restaurant.
Rating – 9/10.