Author Topic: Tapestry Dining. Witham, Essex  (Read 1187 times)

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Offline tempest63

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Tapestry Dining. Witham, Essex
« on: September 20, 2016, 09:52 PM »
Tapestry Dining: Witham, Essex
01376 519988

Me and herself  opted to try this new restaurant in Witham town centre rather than the more familiar Mudmee Thai near to London Liverpool Street station. We had chanced upon it on a rare excursion into town and given its claim to provide authentic Bangladeshi cuisine, we chose it for a Friday night, after work meal, close to home. We had seen no advertising or promotion of the restaurant prior to our first meal there.

The restaurant is housed in a former function room of the Spread Eagle public house. In former days the same location housed, what outwardly seemed a successful Greek restaurant; large portions and low prices drove that venture to extinction. Then followed a BBQ/smoke-pit style restaurant that disappeared before the coals had cooled down. Witham is a desert for decent restaurants so a  quality eatery serving well prepared food from that part of the world would be warmly welcomed.
 
Traditional heritage Bangladeshi food is far removed from the high street British Indian Restaurant (BIR). Tapestry Dining claims to provide genuine Patil cooking. Each individual dish is slow cooked with specific spices to impart their own unique and distinct flavours This is the authentic way of preparing curries as done over centuries in the Indian subcontinent, far removed from the standard one-pot fare churned out in most BIR's.

The chef, Abdul Barry, has a prestigious CV; he was once in charge of the state banqueting for visiting heads of state to Bangladesh. He has vast experience of presenting "Bangladesh on a plate" to such luminaries as former Prime Minister James Callaghan and Ex-President Bill Clinton. He believes that the restaurant menu provides the very best of recipes from different regions of Bangladesh.

We started our evening with a couple of fish starters, Pomfret fry for my wife, a highly prized Hilsa fish with ginger, garlic, onion juice and white-pepper  fried off in a thin batter. I chose Golda King Prawn; giant king prawns treated with Bangladeshi herbs made into crispy fried "snowballs" which are supposedly served on the shell. The shell was missing from the prawn but both dishes were full of flavour and very well presented. The accompanying sauces complimented the dishes.

For the mains we initially chose two beef dishes, but the knowledgeable waiter stated they were very similar and to get an idea of the diversity of flavours we may want to choose differing  curries. We opted for Lamb Kata Masla; Lamb in a rich flavoured sauce, slow cooked with fresh ginger, garlic, onion, sun-dried red chilies and spiced with cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and cassia leaves and  Beef Mezbani Mangsho, a dish where the meat is braised with cumin, black pepper, garam masala and other heritage Bangladeshi herbs. The chef claims a special secret mixture is used to give this particular dish the unique flavour of Chittagong.

Both of these dishes were excellent although the portion sizes were small. They both packed big punchy flavours and were very similar to the slow cooked traditional dishes that we prepare at home. The meats were cooked to perfection, soft but with a bite. Overall really, really good.

Two vegetable side dishes of asparagus bhaji and purple sprouting broccoli along with zafrani pilau completed the meal. Bright tasting, and well seasoned with a light hand. The individual flavours of the vegetables stood out well, very different from the heavily spiced and sometimes cloying side dishes encountered in a BIR. The rice was also lightly spiced and the taste of the grain really shone through.

We shared a bottle of some instantly forgettable red wine and declined tea and coffee. The bill was staggering; a shade under £100!

Whilst the quality and unique flavours of the food cannot be questioned the balance between cost and portion size must be improved. A meal for two in any of the other local restaurants, albeit Thai, Indian, Chinese etc., would have, at the most, cost £70.

When we arrived at the restaurant there were two other couples, but we left with the place empty. I fear that this restaurant will not survive in Witham. It is not the right location for a niche  eatery and it would be competing against Omars; another niche restaurant in nearby Hatfield Peverel that is long established and has a bit of a cult following. Personally Omars is not one I use as I don't like the quirkiness of the place or the menu.

I hope Tapestry survives. I would love to work through the menu, but though the food is beautiful, cost and portion size may prove its downfall.

Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Tapestry Dining. Witham, Essex
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 09:58 PM »
First-class review, Tempest -- well done.
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Offline redman1212

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Re: Tapestry Dining. Witham, Essex
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2016, 10:02 AM »
Great review - also interesting to hear about Mudmee's, I've look it up next time I'm in London

Offline tempest63

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Re: Tapestry Dining. Witham, Essex
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2016, 02:43 AM »
Mudmee Thai Restaurant and Noodle House
12a Artillery Passage, Bishopsgate, London.

Small place off of Middlesex Street (Petticoat Lane). Can become very busy during the evening and there is no reservations.


Offline redman1212

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Re: Tapestry Dining. Witham, Essex
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2016, 08:49 AM »
Looking online they also seem to have a place in Munster road (199) - menu looks good

Offline tempest63

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Re: Tapestry Dining. Witham, Essex
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2016, 04:55 AM »
We ate in the Artillery Lane restaurant last night. It was as good as ever. We have never been let down in there.

Offline tempest63

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Re: Tapestry Dining. Witham, Essex
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2017, 07:49 AM »
As I suspected, Tapestry Dining closed down within a few months of opening. I suspect the lack of footfall due o the high cost brought on its demise but the local rumour mill said that the governments immigration department played a role.
T63


Offline Ghoulie

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Re: Tapestry Dining. Witham, Essex
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2017, 12:22 PM »
Good write up - shame they priced themselves out of it from sound of it.  I have always believed that an excellent quality at a fair price will attract enough punters to maintain a business. 
I know what you mean about the immigration scourge.  It is often reported in the local Manchester papers that certain well known local eateries are hastily shut down for a time re illegals found working there in sufficient numbers for the place to close immediately.
This has even happened at my corner Nisa shop - where a crackdown on Iranian / Polish linked traffickers caused a closure for a few days.  This was linked to a wider NW problem.  Ringleaders jailed.
nil carborundum illegitimi


 

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