Located in Chigwell, in the heart of Essex, is where you’ll find Sheesh, home to award winning Turkish cuisine and famous for it’s host of celebrity diners, including the cast of TOWIE, Marvin Humes from JLS and a string of footballers and models.
The history of the venue makes for a pretty epic read. Sheesh is housed in Ye Olde Kings Head, the second oldest public house in England, having been built in 1547. Over the years this grade 1 listed building has welcomed some illustrious visitors from Dick Turpin and Winston Churchill to famous American film director Marlon Brando and former state governor and veteran actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In 2010 Lord Alan Sugar purchased the building and bought in local entrepreneur Dylan Hunt who then spent more than a year overseeing an enormous refurbishment. The historic property was fully restored to its original character whilst at the same time features some outstanding pieces of memorabilia from Dylan’s numerous worldwide travels, including colossal chandeliers, giant bronze statues and classic cars.
The Sheesh experience starts from the moment you drive through the electric gates and are greeted by the complimentary valet team who safely take care of your car. As you walk towards the restaurant itself you get to take in all of the funky decor scattered around the outdoor seating area – how often do you see grand chandeliers hanging from treetops?
Upstairs you’ll find the cocktail bar, quirkily decorated and where you’ll get to enjoy live music five nights a week.
Downstairs is the restaurant itself. The decor is slightly more understated down here but still what I would describe as lavish. There are a few different seating areas, including a ‘love room’ which is a more intimate setting with only four tables. We were seated in the back section of the restaurant, right by the grill itself. With 12 other tables around us we found the area just right, not too busy but just busy enough that I could indulge in some good old fashioned people watching.
We’ve actually been to Sheesh a few times before, it’s one of our favourites, so we know the menu well. This time we opted not to go for starters as we know how big the portion sizes are and didn’t want to fill ourselves up. However if you’re looking to go all out and enjoy a three course meal you’ll find all the Turkish classics on the starter menu including humus and breads, salad with olives and feta cheese and ‘Lahmacun’ which is a homemade Turkish pizza with onion salad.
So, on to the star of the show – the main meal. There’s 22 meat, fish and vegetarian dishes to pick from, meaning there’s something to suit every taste. We both opted for the chicken legs which are cut off the bone, marinated then grilled on skewers. All main dishes come with a hefty serving of salads, warm bread and a garlic mayonnaise and a chilli dip. Because our eyes are bigger than our bellies we also ordered sides of spicy rice and the nicest homemade chips I’ve had the pleasure of eating. The chicken legs themselves were so tender, they just fell right off the skewer.
As you can see from the picture above I wasn’t joking when I said the portion sizes are huge – we had enough food to feed a small army, but that didn’t stop us from ordering dessert.
I ordered the hot doughnuts with maple syrup, pistachio and cinnamon which was served with vanilla ice cream. Unfortunately I was too eager to tuck in and totally forgot to take a picture of them, so you’ll have to take my word for it that they were delicious. However I think they’ve changed the recipe slightly as they weren’t quite as good as I remember them being. Luckily my husband managed to capture a picture of his sweet strawberries with whipped Ameretto cream, served on a biscuit base, which he described as a simple yet well executed dish.
The final bill came to £88, this included 2 beers, a mocktail, 2 mains, side dish and 2 desserts. Having spent similar in local chain restaurants for sub standard food I think this is excellent value for money and just one of the many reasons I plan on returning again……and again……and again!