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Restaurant review: Brown's Bar and Brasserie, Bluewater
When I head to Bluewater nowadays for an evening of after-work retail therapy, I go as much for the dinner following the shopping spree. The great thing about Bluewater is the abundance of different eateries and each time I visit, a cluster of new restaurants has popped up.
On this occasion, a hefty queue on the M25 cut shopping time short and we went straight to dinner. My friend Cassie and I opted to try out Brown’s Bar and Brasserie, which is nestled away close to the entrance to Glow. Although only a few steps from the shops, Brown’s is the last restaurant on a walkway known as The Plaza and if you weren’t looking for it, you could be forgiven for completely missing it.
After we’d been welcomed inside, the actual restaurant opened up in front of us and it wasn’t until then we realised just how elaborate and big the restaurant was. It was 7.30pm on a Wednesday and it was busy. With dimmed lights and subtly toned music, the friendly atmosphere welcomed us and we sat down at our table-for-two, which was spaced nicely away from the next closest couple and didn’t feel cramped.
Sitting in a queue on the motorway gave Cassie and I an appetite so we began with a starter to share and I must say, this was the best decision of the day. I’m not usually one to get excited about starters but you must try Brown’s flatbreads. Our waitress Kerry – who was exceptional throughout the night; friendly, on the ball and really helpful – described it as a cross between pizza and garlic bread. We chose the garlic, rocket and Italian Hard cheese option - it was exceptional. With a trickle of vinegar on top, there was plenty in this one portion for us both.
A bit of a steak buff myself I opted for the aged sirloin steak whilst Cassie chose the recommended Brown’s burger for main course. The steak came with all the trimmings – roasted tomato, baked mushrooms, watercress and chunky chips and at a reasonable price of £18.95. The chips were excellent, accompanied my well-done steak to a tee and tasted really great with a dash of salt. I also ordered a peppercorn sauce to accompany the steak and this was a great addition.
Cassie’s Brown’s Burger was served with the same crispy chunky chips and came loaded full with more than you could imagine. The list just goes on and on, but the Brown’s Burger officially contains beef, bacon, lettuce, mayonnaise, tomato, garlic, pickle and even a hint of apple. For just £10.95, this burger tasted better than others we’ve paid considerably more for elsewhere. Great value for money.
We needed an hour-long break before we could even contemplate dessert so we sipped on glasses of Merlot. This wine was also the perfect accomplice for my steak but being the nominated driver, there was only so much I could have.
When Kerry delivered the dessert menus to the table, it was only me who chose to order. I fancied a brownie and chose the dark chocolate option, although in hindsight there may have been a better option. Sitting at the top of the menu was the chance to try a ‘Brownie Indulegence’, sampling three of Brown’s different brownies. Don’t get me wrong, the dark chocolate brownie was great but I could have enjoyed as well as the ginger and milk chocolate brownie and the white chocolate and raspberry blondie too. Based on the dark chocolate brownie, the other two will be equally as tasty.
I’d recommend Brown’s to anyone. It has Miller and Carter feel about it, but the menu is more varied here. The atmosphere was great and judging by the variety of customers enjoying a mid-week meal, it appeals to a wide demographic. Whatever you do, give the flatbread a go for your starter – you won’t regret it.