What: A huge fusion restaurant and shisha lounge in Brentwood, Essex with space for up to 400 covers spread across three separate dining areas.
Who: Dusk is operated by restaurateurs Sharif Uddin and Shakil Islam, who also own the Essex-based Kushi Indian restaurant brand. The kitchen, however, is being overseen by former Great British Menu contender Stephen Gomes, who represented Wales in the 2015 series. The chef’s experimental approach to cooking saw his now defunct Moksh restaurant in Cardiff awarded two AA Rosettes while it was open.
The food: Gomes has previously been recognised for his use of molecular gastronomy, which remains a part of his cooking style here (CO2 features across the menu). The à la carte menu is split into a number of ‘chapters’ that correspond to the standard course list. Starters include a Lobster Atlantis that combines lobster with lemon foam, sea soil, wasabi cocktail sauce and CO2 smoke; chicken tikka cooked in a clay oven and infused with cumin smoke; and potato croquettes stuffed with dragon fruit and served with three homemade dips.
Signature mains feature Gomes’ take on fish and chips that sees battered John Dory served with rose-infused ketchup, grape tartar, chips, and a pea mousse; pan-fried black cod on a bed of cherry tomatoes and garlic, topped with rhubarb aioli and infused with C02 essence; and smoked lamb shank served with cinnamon in a jar, pilau rice and naan.
Desserts, meanwhile, include chocolate mousse with chocolate soil, Nutella donught and Jaffa Cake ice cream; and a sharing platter of apple tart tatin, banana milkshake and pineapple sorbet. A more casual menu, which features a selection of burgers and sandwiches, as well as pasta dishes and Mediterranean grill options, is also available for diners sitting in either the lounge or outside areas.
The vibe: Uddin and Islam are said to have invested almost £1m into Dusk, which explains the sleek look; plenty of smart furnishings and charcoal colours. It’s a large restaurant, with a suitably trendy appearance and extensive outside space, which also features a banqueting room for private events and weddings with room for more than 100 guests.
And another thing: No alcohol is sold on the premises, but the bar apparently boasts ‘the largest range of alcohol-free drinks in the UK’ with mocktails, wines and beers all available. Diners who would prefer something stronger, though, are able to bring their own booze with no corkage fee charged.
Ongar Rd, Brentwood CM15 9SS