“Miller and Carter”:https://www.millerandcarter.co.uk/ was one of the options I mentioned when meeting friends at Woodford Green, a half-way point between Epping and Walthamstow. I’d not realised that it was part of a steakhouse chain with branches mainly around London. As they’d had a good experience at a different restaurant in the chain, we decided it would be a good choice.
The more mature members of the group remembered it being a large pub/hotel called The Castle, and indeed it still bears the name. It’s a large imposing building, set back from the busy road, with outdoor tables and chairs. But with temperatures topping over 30 degrees, we needed air conditioning. On being greeted we asked for a table in a quiet area as when we get together, we can be rather loud, and we didn’t want other diners complaining about a bunch of unruly pensioners. The two-storey interior has been cleverly designed so it didn’t appear cavernous and there were various sized tables and intimate booths.
Although there was an a la carte menu, we decided to go for what seemed a good value “fixed price lunch”:https://www.millerandcarter.co.uk/content/dam/miller-and-carter/pdf/ln18/brand/lunch-menu-nopb.pdf – two courses for £10.95 or three for £13.95.
Three starters were available: sticky chicken wings (far too messy), salt and pepper calamari and baked cheddar mushrooms which three of us chose. This is a place that likes separate pots and the calamari was served in a trendy metal bucket whilst the mushrooms were in a mini flat pan. Not being a calamari fan, I was tempted to try one and they were so crisp and delicious I had more. The mushrooms were said to be served in a cheddar and spinach sauce which was runnier than we’d all anticipated but with ‘artisan bread’ (also served in a metal bucket) to mop up and requested spoons, it all disappeared.
The choice of mains was more extensive but two of us went for the hand-battered cod, chips and garden peas. Once again, the chips were in a bucket, the delicious and generous tartare sauce in another dish and the peas in a third. They were quickly all emptied on to my plate. Whilst the fish wasn’t the biggest I’ve ever had, I’ve often paid more than £10.95 just for the fish. It was also skinless with large moist flakes of very white fish. Again, a fillet of sea bass wasn’t huge, but was pronounced delicious and served on top of mashed potato, with tomato salsa and samphire and interestingly, all in the same dish. There was no comment about the prime-steak burger and chips, but a quickly emptied plate, probably said it all.
Of the three puddings listed, two of us chose ice-cream (strawberry, vanilla or chocolate) which came with a cookie and whilst I didn’t really need a pudding, the three scoops were lovely and rounded my meal off beautifully.
A bottle (or two!) of South African Chenin Blanc was good value at £17.95.
The service was professional and our meal well-paced, and we left feeling very full and relaxed. I’m sure we’ll return and next time, we might even try a steak.