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Clocktower Restaurant and Bar - Epping, Essex

The Clocktower is a beacon of competence in Epping, a village which is hardly a mecca for gourmets. It recently celebrated its fifth anniversary with a makeover of the decor which has given it an appealing central London feel. Proprietress Rekha Patel and Chef Daniele Fabbricatore realise that fashionable culinary fads that can be found in the West End do not attract their Epping clientele, and stick to traditional fare on a blackboard menu which changes daily.

On my visit this included skate wing with pink peppercorn butter, marinated rump of lamb with roast garlic, an excellent mushroom and tarragon risotto and belly of pork with apple sauce. Starters are also traditional: mussels, salads, smoked salmon and chive pancake, as are puddings, of which creme brulee was exactly right; a warm pancake filled with banana, caramel and rum was very adequate.

Many other standard dishes can be found on the regular menu: sausage and mash, confit of duck, lamb shank and a plentiful supply of pasta dishes. A three course set lunch is a mere £12.50.

The wine list is a short but comprehensive selection of European and New World, all modestly priced, with a few available in half bottles. Staff are attentive and helpful, and opening hours 11 a.m. until last orders at 10 p.m.

Richard Baker August 2007

Clocktower Restaurant and Bar,
4 Station Road Epping,
Essex CM16 4HA.
Tel.01992 575 707

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