Set in the heart of the Essex countryside, surrounded by an impressive 1.5 acres of land, Galvin Green Man is situated in one of the oldest pubs in Essex, having originally been built in 1314. The famous Galvin brothers put their name to the pub and doors opened on the fully restored venue in November 2016. Just six months later they have won their first award and Galvin Green Man now holds the title of the best pub in Essex.
When walking into the restaurant the first sight you are greeted with is the tastefully decorated bar area where one of the friendly bar staff are happy to serve you with a pre dinner drink. We opted to enjoy our drink out in the impressive gardens and make the most of the evening summer sun, before being seated at our table.
For starters my husband and I both ordered the ‘Dorset crab and salmon cake, served with a side of spinach’. This can be quite a heavy starter but the portion size was just right. The cakes were seasoned to perfection and piping hot when served so we knew the food hadn’t been sitting around going cold. The only slight niggle I had was the fact there was no side dip served with the cakes, something I usually opt for as I find they can be on the dry side sometimes. This wasn’t an issue though as they were beautifully juicy and the waitress was more than happy to bring me a dip when I asked.
It took a while to decide on the main course as the options were endless but I eventually settled on the ‘Jubilee chicken curry served with basmati rice, poppadoms, mango chutney and raita’ – and I wasn’t disappointed. The chicken was so tender it fell apart as soon as my fork touched it and it had a real kick to it, something that any good curry should have. The curry to rice ratio was spot on too.
Adam opted for the traditional ‘fish and chips served with peas and tartar sauce’ which features as a special on the menu every Friday. The batter was light and crispy, as were the chips and the fish itself was so succulent. The portion size was huge but that didn’t put Adam off and the only thing left on his plate by the end was the lemon slice and he confidently declared “that was the best fish and chips I’ve ever eaten” as he finished his last mouthful.
We’re both known for having a sweet tooth and always have desserts when we eat out. Immediately I knew I wanted to try the ‘white chocolate panna cotta served with blackcurrant compote’. White chocolate is my guilty pleasure and this one certainly lived up to my high expectations. It was sickly sweet, just as white chocolate should be, with the blackcurrants adding a much needed fruity twist.
Adam ordered the ‘Banoffee pie with crystalised pecans’. Although not mentioned on the menu, the addition of the butterscotch sauce was a welcome surprise for him and made the dessert all the more special. Topped with pecans, this was a creamy and crunchy delight with plenty of banana flavour to make it a true banoffee pie. Safe to say it was empty plates all round.
A special thanks needs to go to Harriet, the manager of the dining room area. She was friendly and attentive throughout our meal and it was refreshing to see a manager being so hands on and mucking in with the rest of the staff.
Having previously visited the Michelin star restaurant Galvin at Windows we had high hopes for Galvin Green Man, and we weren’t disappointed. The setting was relaxed and informal, yet elegant and in keeping with the countryside surroundings. Mixing traditional and modern dishes, resulting in high quality, faultless food, this is a restaurant the Galvin brothers should be proud of.