“Great food requires best of ingredients, great preparation and a family to eat with”. This is a quote by Celebrity Chef Stephen Gomes, head chef at the innovative DUSK in Brentwood. Set just off Ongar Road, this modern restaurant/shisha lounge combines authentic cuisine with molecular gastronomy to provide taste with added wow factor. Ryan and I headed down Friday night to sample their unique menu.
Upon arriving, the venue certainly caters for the “insta world”. A huge illuminated DUSK sign covers the front wall on the entrance and a floral archway display greets you as you walk in. The low lit dining area leads onto a painted mural at the back of the room and tea lights are scattered throughout.
We sat in a corner sofa style table and started to browse the menu. But first, wine! DUSK is an alcohol-free bar so if you wish to enjoy alcohol with your meal then you must bring your own. I pre-bought some Rioja (our favourite) I am always happy to drink this with most dishes. DUSK also has a great mocktail list which can be made alcoholic if you bring along some vodka.
We snacked on prawn crackers and mango chutney whilst we chose our mains. The chutney was amazing, a smooth whipped like texture instead of the usual chunky gel varieties. A great taste sensation. We were already impressed!
Finally, we decided on food! For starters, we chose King Prawn Crepes and the Tokyo and I am so glad we did. They were equally insane. Giant succulent prawns sat on a bed of mini crepes. The prawns were full of flavour, cooked faultlessly and garnished to perfection. We were already starting to see the artistic talent shine through. Starter number two was the Tokyo.
Sesame dusted lamb chops served with matcha ice cream. Sceptical? We were too but wow, the texture was unbelievable. Who would have thought red meat and ice cream would go together. A great taste surprise.
Fish are Friends and Food!
Next, we were onto our mains! We decided to go for fish. It is my go-to when I don’t fancy eating meat. Beef and red meats can be quite heavy on the stomach and if you eat out regularly it’s nice to have a little change. After pondering the menu we decided on the Tiffin Monkfish and Goan John Dory. I am a big lover of Monkfish, I love how it is a really meaty fish, It’s consistency is similar to lobster but without the shell. It isn’t too fishy either! John Dory was a new one for us, we hadn’t tried it before.
The Monkfish was served a traditional Indian way. Served with kusundo mustard pickle and red potato chutney this honestly transported me back to travelling India. The flavours were a mix of spice, warmth and freshness. Ryans John Dory was slightly fishier but still equally as delicious. Another meaty fish this came pan-seared with curry leaves and Goan spicy red chilli jus – sensational!
A Tribe of Sides
Gosh, the sides. Firstly we need to talk about the naan bread. Different to any naan I have previously EVER tasted and I am pretty sure none will ever compare. This naan was a waffle naan. Yes, made in a waffle iron! Not only that but it was cheesy. Hands down the best I have ever tried. I would go back just for this! In addition to the bread, we got some ultra spicy, masala chips – not for the delicate palate as these potato bad boys came through kicking! Finally Yakhni Rice. A vegetable style rice which was salty, soft and full of flavour.
Chocolate Lovers Unite!
Lastly, we move onto dessert and what a show it was. Served on a bed of dry ice this exquisite display was a chocolate lovers dream. Brownies, chocolate-filled samosas and jaffa cake ice cream were my favourites among this small sharing platter of delight. Each dish carefully constructed onto spoons and crafted so beautifully. We were definitely satisfied now.
The Party isn’t Over til the Full Lady sings!
Towards the back of the restaurant is the shisha room. We had heard the music spilling into the dining area and it seemed lively. We had bumped into a few friends and decided to join them in the shisha room for a little dance. With a huge bar, DJ and a massive open space this would be the ideal place for your birthday party. Especially as you can bring your own booze!
For a place that has only been open seven months, DUSK is undoubtedly setting the bar on how to run a unique and quirky restaurant. There really is nothing else quite like this in Brentwood. The service was outstanding. Polite and knowledgeable staff who made sure our glass was never empty. The head chef even took the time to come to our table and meet us, explaining in detail the dishes and providing recommendations. A concluding bonus to our already fabulous evening.
Thank you DUSK for having us down to sample your fun menu. We look forward to seeing how you will continue to wow us. You can follow DUSK on Instagram here.