EDWARD Moon in Chapel Street, Stratford is a long-established award-winning English brasserie which comes with plenty of its own history.
Serving up high quality food using local English ingredients, the extensive menu offers a mouthwatering selection with something to suit every palate.
With these promises ringing in my ears, I accepted an invitation for my family and I to head down and sample their fine fare for ourselves.
As well as the a la carte offering, there was a Specials blackboard on display which only served to make the choice even more tantalising.
Among our choices were a delicious Steak and Ale Proper Pie with hand cut chunks of steak braised in full flavoured real ale and horseradish sauce and accompanied with piping hot chips and vegetables.
My Beef Bourguignon (pieces of braised beef in red wine, pancetta and shallot sauce served with gratin potatoes and seasonal vegetables) was tasty and tender and I was very happy with my choice.
My son’s 8oz chargrilled Rib-Eye steak is direct from Barry The Butcher in Stratford and comes with a choice of stilton, green peppercorn or red wine sauces. It was beautifully cooked to specifications and heartily devoured.
Stand-out starters include Moon’s Scotch Egg with Black Pudding, Thai Spiced Fishcakes, Deep Breaded Brie and Oak Smoked Salmon and Prawn Salad.
Main courses range from Moon’s Signature Shank of Lamb and Homemade Steak Burger to Asparagus, Pea and Wild Mushroom Tagliatelle, Slow-Roasted Belly Pork and Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry.
Time for desserts came around, and for those of us who still had room, the dark chocolate brownie proved a real hit. Generous portion sizes too.
Other tempting treats included Blackcurrant and Vanilla Crème Brulee, Caramelised Zesty Lemon Tart, Traditional Bread and Butter Pudding and Banoffee Pie as well as additional choices offered on the Specials menu.
If you don’t have a sweet tooth, the cheese board is impressive with five different cheeses specially selected from around the UK.
So who is Edward Moon to whom their branding is dedicated?
He was apparently a travelling chef working in the British Colonial service in the early 1900s. Employed by governors and ambassadors around the globe he was famous as an eccentric capable of creating a culinary ‘Little England’ wherever he was posted. The banquets he cooked for, serving his traditional recipes and dishes became legendary amongst diplomatic circles.
Edward was also a creative cook, enthusiastic and excited by the local ingredients, cooking styles and methods he encountered on his exotic travels. He retired to England in 1940 and recorded his experiences, philosophy and recipes in a book ‘The Travelling Cook’s Companion’. It is the spirit described in this book that has helped inspire our restaurants.
And the owner’s mission to aspire to this spirit certainly shines through in the menus and service in Chapel Street.
Hearty simple English fare done well – I can vouch for that.
In terms of value, it stacks up pretty well for Stratford prices. The pre-theatre menu is a particularly good proposition at two courses for £13.50 (12-2.30pm) or £14.95 (5-6.30pm).