I’ll hold my hands up – I’ve been slacking. Not at eating out in general (oh no… that I’ve been incredibly good at…), but in exploring new restaurants around the area I’ve moved to on the East London/Essex border. Other than trying Luppolo in Wanstead, I’ve not yet tried many new places around where I’m living. In an attempt to rectify this we visited The King William IV, Chigwell for a mid-week lunch.
The King William IV falls somewhere between a restaurant and a pub – definitely nearer the restaurant end of the spectrum in price, atmosphere and menu but still very much has the layout and look of a pub – especially from the outside. It’s a short walk from Chigwell station but it also has a decent car park for drivers amongst you. It’s right next to Hainault Forest (picture from our very stormy walk there last Spring) making it the perfect spot for lunch after a weekend stroll or quiet evening meal.
I was driving so no cocktails for me and Paul had a cold, so chose not to have a starter. I had a blackberry “mocktail” to go with my “Scallops of the Day” (£7.95) – nestled on top of pea puree and chorizo. The three scallops were cooked perfectly. They were juicy and sweet and I loved the pea puree and chorizo combination. It was a really light and fresh starter. The chorizo was very thinly sliced and I got the feeling it might have been from the ready-sliced packets as opposed to cut from a sausage. I could be wrong. Either way, it was tasty.
My main course was an indulgent savoury feast of ‘Nduja-stuffed, buttermilk fried chicken breast with sweet potato fries, apple slaw and lemon aioli (£15.50). If you’ve read my reviews of any of the pizza places on here, you’ll know that ‘Nduja is my go-to pizza topping, so I was intrigued by it being stuffed into deep fried chicken. I loved the concept and overall the dish was great. The apple slaw cut through the fattiness of the dish and was much needed. The chicken was well-cooked, crispy on the outside but not dry at all in the middle. The generous amount of ‘Nduja in the middle was certainly spicy but somehow seemed to be lacking some of the rich, deep flavour of other ‘Ndujas I’ve had. The sweet potato fries were lovely; perfect for mopping up the ‘Nduja juice and dunking in the aioli.
Despite the fact that I’d already had two courses, I was led astray by the Bramley apple and blackberry shortbread crumble (£5.95). I’m glad I was as it was absolutely delicious. Served with lashings of smooth, not too thick, not too runny, custard and with lots of proper chunks of fruit buried underneath sweet crumble – perfect!
Overall, I really enjoyed my meal at The King William IV. It’s popular with locals too which is always a good sign. I do think that for somewhere that calls itself a pub the food is particularly good, but the price reflects that. I think if you popped in as you drove past for a nice pub lunch, you might wince a bit when the bill arrives. However as somewhere to go for a nice meal out, especially with visiting family, it’s great. They also do some really good deals throughout the week, including a set menu with 3 courses for a very reasonable £15.95, and bottomless bubble options.
East London/Essex dwellers: where else do I need to try around Epping/Loughton/Chigwell/Wanstead/Woodford etc? Let me know in the comments below.
Nearest tube: Chigwell