The name alone has become synonymous with fine dining in Essex. It has become the hangout for professional footballers and celebrities which you would expect, knowing the Lord Sugar owns the place.
I remember my first time at Sheesh a few years ago, it was far more relaxed. I was in my work uniform and trainers, I had a mixed grill which was delicious then got on with my evening.
Now, on the other hand, it's a dining experience. One that firstly, make sure you book in advance and be prepared to be disappointed if you haven't booked ahead. When you make your reservation they remind you that you need to dress smart and ensure you wear shoes. At this point, you begin to understand the experience you're about to have.
When you arrive you pull into the carpark and the valet helps you park, which is rare in the UK. Then as you enter the restaurant you are greeted by a doorman that insists you don't move until you can confirm your reservation. Security is clearly tight which is understandable, even though it was a Tuesday night and a casual 'date night setting', the table behind us was being hosted by premiership footballers which were able to relax and blend freely into the background. For this, I can't complain.
But let's get to the 'nitty gritty', the food! Spoiler alert* - It was fantastic!
To start, as we were at a Mediterranean restaurant I felt it was only natural to order the 'Cacik' (Cucumber, garlic & mint with fresh youghurt) which came with a selection of homemade bread. I also had to try my 'go to' starter of calamari or 'Kalamar Tava' (Pan fried squid in white wine, tomato & basil) which was delicious! While my partner opted for the mushroom dish, 'Taze Mantar' (Creamy garlic button mushrooms, topped with cheese) which was so special that when I was offered to taste, it soon became my second starter as my fork revisited the plate past the point of politeness.
Usually, the starter acts as a course that helps supplement the main and slow down your eating to build up to your main course. Not in this case. It was an appetiser that made me so excited as my mouth had experienced such flavours that I was curious to what my mouth was going to experience soon.
With the open kitchen and grill beside you, it's easy to find yourself looking over at the kitchen waiting for your main, despite the fact that your fork is still stimulating your starter.
... And then it came! Our steak dish, 'Biftek Mariana' (Fillet Steak with a mushroom, onion & creamy white wine sauce, 250g) Even whilst writing this a week later, I am taken back to how amazing it tasted. Accompanied by chips and spinach, with the steak topped with the mushroom which resembled the starters, this main was special. The cut of meat was to such a high standard and the quality of flavours and tastes were divine.
The atmosphere throughout the evening was relaxed and certainly a place you can be comfortable in, with a great ambience.
The venue does seem that it is occupied more for occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries, however, I would certainly recommend it as somewhere to eat as often as possible and try the vast menu... Don't leave it just for an anniversary, treat her just becuase!
Now for me... Time to get my membership.