Tuesday, 25 August 2015

'ACANTEEN' - AREVIEW ( 21 / 08 / 15)

You would never have guessed that this little treasure was nestled away in a county infamous for fake tan and birthing the creator of the word 'fusey'...

This place.

*The deepest of breaths*

I have so much to say.

There is so much to share.

Acanteen encompasses everything I could ever ask for, its entirely my taste and I'm so contented by its existence.

I'll begin by setting the scene.

I finished my job in retail on Thursday, and I felt that this happening warranted a special treat, so I decided to commemorate and celebrate this moment with my favourite meal of the day - breakfast. (Any excuse.)

I asked my beloved Mother to accompany me, and the search began. We didn't feel like trekking into London, so I googled - because that's obviously a legitimate verb now - where to find some breakfast in Essex, but to no avail. I was very close to succumbing to some form of pub/eatery hybrid that you can find very easily within this county - UNTIL...

The food establishment of my dreams appeared before my eyes.

1) The reviews: POSITIVE
2) The website: MINIMALISTIC 
3) The decor: DREAMY
5) The fact that they have a bakery and a store within the restaurant: EMOTIONAL

The feeling of wholeness and completion had settled in. 

The decision was made. 

'Tucked away by a canal, Acanteen sits unassumingly, serving wholesome food with an undeniable authenticity.'

It's going to be hard for me to contain the effervescent passion I have towards every single aspect of this establishment, so I will try to be concise with my words of infatuation and appreciation. 

The menu is perfectly balanced; the ideal mix of traditional and modern, and attractively inclusive of other popular international breakfast options. 

I am deadly serious when I say I wish I could've had one of everything.

 A charming quality of the menu is the fact that they thoughtfully cater for all dietary requirements. I find this to be a very welcoming, informative touch, even if you're not vegan, or veggie, and don't have any food intolerances.

I had already planned on ordering a coffee, as I choose to classify it as a treat nowadays, and also because I wanted to capture one of those infamous shots like the one above. My latte was blissfully pleasant, and silky smooth. 

My Mum opted for the Seasonal Berry Thickshake, which, to be concise, 'tasted healthy.' It didn't have that abhorrent, artificial, cloyingly sweet taste that a lot of smoothies have, it tasted fresh, cleansing and nutritious.  

After establishing that my sweet tooth hadn't reared its head that morning, I decided to go for a classic, and a good first choice when trying out somewhere for the first time - A Full English - and by the end of it, 'full' I certainly was! 

An abundance of food landed infront of me within 15 minutes or so, and I was ready to dive in. The cost of the dish was £8.95 - and with that you get;

  • 3 Rashers of Bacon (I honestly couldn't believe there were 3 of these guys lurking under my bread!)
  • 2 Eggs (fried, poached, or scrambled)
  • Tomato 
  • Mushrooms
  • Heinz Baked Beans 
  • 2 slices of Toast (White, Granary or Gluten free) 
  • 1 Sausage 

For an extra £2 Mum and I got some black pudding aswell - and I, once again, couldn't believe it when I saw THREE slices of the stuff perched on my plate! I was simply astonished by the exceedingly generous portion size - talk about value for money!

My favourite component had to be the bread; it was so homely and thick and endearingly cumbersome.

A 'proper' plate of grub!

How could I not capture that visually satisfying moment?!

Also, considering the rise in awareness of everything consumable, offering a gluten free bread option is a highly desirable, attentive addition to the menu. It welcomes the health-concious; an option appreciated by celiacs and non-celiacs alike. Even though I didn't go for it this time, I would definitely like to try it.

I said to my mum - 'I think this is the first time in about 2 years I haven't finished a plate of food.'

I was defeated.

And I was satisfied.

Part of me thinks my enthusiasm and eagerness to photograph literally everything I laid my eyes on inhibited my ability to consume my plate full of food: I was like an excited child unable to sleep before Christmas Eve.

In conclusion; 

I cannot rave enough out this absolute treasure of a find. I have passionately shouted - not spoken - about it to everyone and anyone and would recommend it to anyone situated in the county. (and outside of it!) 

- A special mention goes to the lady who served me at the bar; I ordered poached eggs instead of scrambled for my mum, so I had to go back and see if I could change the order, but it was too late. Then she came out and found us a few minutes later to tell us she had managed to change the order before it began cooking - and its touches like that, its that kind of service that makes this place a real winner: an example of staff going the extra mile for their customers. 

'Home to accommodating, friendly, pleasant staff with a cheerful smile, Acanteen solidifies itself as a place passionate about good food, and offers an easygoing atmosphere; instilling a confidence in the customer with their seamless service.'

I am wholly certain in the fact that I will be returning to Acanteen many a time from now on, I'm already trying to think of when I can revisit! I am so eager to try more of everything they have to offer, and I will continue to recommend it to everyone and anyone. I already know of a few new customers coming your way very soon...

Originality in any field is hard to come by, and with food being a more popular topic than ever before, it must be hard feat to make your business stand out: but Acanteen does just that. The main thing that stood out to me was; a visit to Acanteen is a complete experience. Its unlike anything I've ever experienced before and that is what has ignited my spirited enthusiasm and zealousness.

Ever since my love and passion for food has deepened, my opinions towards chain restaurants has been tainted - and I briefly spoke about this to the lovely lady working in 'Astore'. Nowadays, I would much rather go out of my way to visit independent eateries because;

1) You get that warm fuzzy feeling knowing your helping out the little guy.
2) The prices are affordable, and justified.
3) The quality food is always marginally better...ALWAYS

Once again this was the case for Acanteen. 

I could go on and on about this place and provide 500,000 more words, but I will refrain. 

Acanteen, you have stolen my heart, and I will be a loyal customer forever-more. Thank you for the warm, and inviting experience. I will continue to promote you to anyone who will listen, and I will see you very soon. 

Keep an eye out for my post all about 'Astore' and 'Abakeshop'!

 *Pretty pictures, beauteous food, idealistic homeware and stunning decor pending.*

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