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“Safe sums it up!!”
Review of The Starr Restaurant - CLOSED

The Starr Restaurant
Price range: US$17 - US$70
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Description: Set in an ancient flitch market town in the heart of Essex, The Starr in Great Dunmow combines the charm of an old English setting with an atmosphere that is calm and relaxed, but our approach is totally professional. At The Starr we believe that good food starts with good ingredients and our commitment is to serve the finest quality food, sourced locally and delivered as freshly as possible, with a great selection of exquisite wines to match. Whether you are popping in for a quick lunch, having a romantic night out or simply getting together with family and friends on a Sunday afternoon, our staff will make you feel at home.
Reviewed 17 November 2013

We really couldn't fault the food at the Star but the menu was very limited. It was the sort of meal you would say that was nice but forget what you'd actually eaten the next day-It all seemed so formulaic and too pretentious for our liking. Nothing struck me as fabulous or unforgettable except an excellent ginger sorbet that was totally mismatched with a lemon tart. Both would have been preferable on their own!
My husband asked for dauphinoise potatoes (these were on the menu with another dish) instead of the advertised fondant with his partridge and was told they would have to check with the chef as it probably wouldn't look good on the plate! I never been told in a good restaurant that chef might not like being asked! That was how it came over! I sincerely believe the dishes are made to look identical and taste identical every time - There seemed no individuality or flair to any of it
The atmosphere has been totally lost for such a wonderful building-we used to eat regularly years ago at the star and this was our first return visit. The soul has gone totally-I felt the lounge for our drink and canapés was more like a tea room and the furniture totally at odds with the oldness of the beamed fireplace. I would hardly call crisps and rather sad olives canapés and much fuss was made of the tiny salmon and cheese canapé which although pleasant again was instantly forgettable and totally underwhelming.
I imagine there is a returning clientele who like the old fashioned service whereby they are fawned over and made to feel important. It has the air of God's waiting room and I can only assume that for many it is a 'safe' bet for a meal. It is not bad - it just isn't good and I can only say I was longing for a bit more life and atmosphere. The staff were very pleasant but again I found the it all a bit insincere.
As for the cheese and biscuits-couldn't fault the cheese selection though much fuss is made over the choosing and serving which was long winded. The 2 biscuit choices were awful-just trendy on the plate-the whole lot could have done with a good 'water' biscuit instead. Years ago you were given a lovely selection - bring it back ?
All in all we won't be going back. Definitely stuck in a time warp there and not for real 'foodies'

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4  Thank 660LADYGARDENER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (73)
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23 - 27 of 73 reviews

Reviewed 6 November 2013

We have been to this restaurant twice now and have been very pleased on each occasion. The first time was for Sunday lunch, with quite a small but impressive menu, and the second occasion was on a Saturday and we dined from the a la carte menu. The food was exceptionally tasty and very well presented on each occasion.
The mascarpone sorbet was a delight, and the goats cheese panna cotta was wonderful. We were spoilt for choice with the desserts both times. My husband ate beetroot for the first time in more than 50 years when it accompanied his tuna dish and found to his surprise that he enjoyed it greatly!
The attitude of the staff is very pleasing, good service but not obtrusive.
The restaurant is quite pricey but lovely for a treat or a special occasion.

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2  Thank Sanda-Be
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2013

We visited this super restaurant this weekend for a family birthday celebration. The welcome was lovely, service pleasant but not intrusive, the food really excellent and even a couple of teenage boys managed to find something to eat on the menu, which I have to say is relatively limited but what the kitchen does is very good. I do wonder why restaurants do not include more vegetables with dishes, something that seems to be increasingly a rarity, which is odd, because vegetables are considerably cheaper than meat. There does not appear to be a vegetarian option on the Starr's menu.

However, the birthday girl was even presented with a specially produced plate of chocolates, with Happy Birthday written in chocolate. I have seen this before, on another family occasion at the same restaurant, where Happy Anniversary was similarly written. Very nice touch.

However, when the bill came, there was a 10% discretionary tip added, though not mentioned, which we did pay. When it came to pay it though, there was room for a further gratuity on the final bill. So you could be tipping twice. Be warned. It can leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth at the end of what was a very nice evening after being looked after by a very professional team.

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Thank 596Stacey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2013

very nice restaurant which does a very good sunday lunch, good selection, decent portions and friendly service. The food was very good and was worth the money

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1  Thank ggmck186338
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2013

The modern decor seems at odds with such an old building. The food and service are first class. It was fairly quiet on a Thursday evening which was ideal for a business meal. A 'discretionary' service charge of 10% is automatically added to the bill. I would certainly go again.

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1  Thank seanmcl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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