“The best pork belly in the world”, I announce to my friend “is either at La Sala in Marbella or the King Wiliam in Chigwell“. In my eyes, there really was no point in ordering pork belly elsewhere. “You’ll see mine and regret not ordering it” my friend offered. What did she know? She’d never even been to Marbella. The George & Dragon had such a varied menu that I couldn’t even Google it and pre-decide what I wanted.
The George & Dragon is a cosy, country-side style pub nestled in the middle of Epping high street. Once you are inside it offers such a pleasant and laid-back atmosphere you could be forgiven for completely forgetting you are anywhere near other buildings, let alone an M&S. Rather than being one huge room, The George & Dragon is compromised of smaller, more separate dining experiences, which afford a large amount of privacy. This works well for me. Considering the fact I eat out all of the time for this blog, I still haven’t quite mastered the concept of “things that are appropriate to discuss in a public place”.
Due to the fact I had an appointment, I was pretty stressed about on Friday, I hadn’t actually eaten much before we went for the meal. I had a bowl of cornflakes but I still maintain they are literally air and have no nutritional value. By the time I was looking at the starter menu, I was starving. So much so, in fact, that I completely forgot to take a picture of my lamb kofta when they arrived. I really did just want to eat them. As someone who is not meant to eat cheese, and considerably dislikes any food that is “posh”, lamb kofta could not have been a more perfect option for starters. Usually, I fill myself up on bread and struggle to eat the main meal, but this was a new concept. Meat for starters that doesn’t bloat you or make you feel like you’ve eaten a mattress. From what I can gather, this menu is quite new, and it’s a yes from me.
As discussed, there was no way I was going to order the pork belly. I played it safe and ordered the chicken. You might find that is a bit boring for someone who is doing a restaurant review, but let me tell you now few people get chicken ABSOlUTELY right like The George & Dragon. It fell off of the bone and was accompanied by the crispiest fries ever. This is literally my definition of pub food and I loved it. Although, to be honest, my friends’ pork belly did look rather wonderful.
One would imagine that knowing I was severely lactose intolerant would encourage me not to have dairy for dessert, but my method is pretty much dairy roulette. “Let’s just eat it and see if I’m struck down with agonising pain or not”. Actually, I’m a pretty eager cheesecake enthusiast. When desert did roll around, I was bordering on “so full I could die”, but I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to eat cheesecake, inevitably have stomach pains the next day and justify it by going “but it was a RESTAURANT review Mum, | HAD to try everything”. The cheesecake lived up to my high standards. It didn’t make me unwell either which was a bonus. I often find New York Cheesecake can be a bit heavy but this wasn’t so.
We were chatting to the waiters after our meal (the service was impeccable by the way), and I found out that the same people own this pub that owns the King William in Chigwell. Bummer. Should have ordered the pork belly. Looks like this is a great excuse to go again. |’m actually hoping to move up this way next year – so maybe I’ll be lucky enough for it to become my local.
This meal was complimentary in exchange for a review.
You can find the menu and booking details on the website: https://www.georgeanddragonepping.co.uk/