Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Walrus and the Carpenter

My home town Southend is many things, none of which are genteel or refined.  It has an edge to it.  Lots of cheeky chappies and kiss me quick hats.  But things have started to change including on the culinary front.  Mainly for the better too.

A short while ago, my brother Jan suggested we go to a newish restaurant called Toulouse on the western esplanade on the Southend sea front, just down from the pier.  They'd converted the former public toilets into a restaurant so this I just had to see.  Typical Southend indeed!

Former public loos
They did a pretty good job too as the restaurant was sleek and nice with no evidence of its former history either!  Mind you the Southend sense of humour remains.  The following is a note on the menu for patrons.

Following advice from the Food Standard Agency we feel it our duty to warn you, that by consuming raw seafood, there is 1 in 1000 chance of it causing a tummy upset. We also advise not to eat oysters and drink spirits as it can also cause a tummy upset.

Did that deter us? Not in the slightest!

On the menu were Maldon Oysters yet again!!  And of course we just had to have them by the dozen this time.  Jan is a big fan and Viv helped me out too.  The waiter asked if he could produce just one big tray but knowing my brother, I asked him to keep the orders separate as Jan's counting is notoriously patchy at times.

The evening was splendid and the restaurant did a great job of keeping all happy!

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?"
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.
Thanks of course to Lewis Carroll for the magnificent inspiration!

Toulouse Restaurant
Western Esplanade
Essex SS0 8FE

Tel: 01702 333731

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