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  5. Southend-On-Sea

Food by John Lawson

4.8
4.8
118 Reviews
£41 and over
Farm-to-table

"Our menu is inspired by the seasons using only the best produce, grown as close to the restaurant door as possible. For this reason our menu is set 4 courses, it can change daily depending on the delivery from our local farmers and fishermen. All food is cooked with health in mind, John only uses ingredients and techniques that are good for your health.

We offer a specially selected menu of organic wines and beverages with the option of having them matched to complement the food

All dietary requirements will be catered for just inform us upon booking.
Please note our kitchen uses nuts and nut milks so there may be traces of nuts.
Due to our small restaurant we do not have facilities for pushchairs or wheelchairs."

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable booking network.

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Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Farm-to-table

  • Hours of Operation

    Wed - Sat 6:00pm - 11:30pm Sunday 1.00pm - 5.00pm

  • Phone number

    01702 840904

  • Payment Options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress Code

    Smart Casual

  • Executive Chef

    John Lawson

  • Area

    Southend-On-Sea

  • Parking Details

    There is street parking outside the restaurant or a large car park on the corner of Leigh Road and The Boardway approx 5 minute walk from the restaurant.

  • Additional

    Beer, Cocktails, Gluten-free Options, Wine

Menu

View menu on restaurant's website

What 118 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.8
4.8 based on all time ratings
  • 4.8Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 4.5Value

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  1. MB

    MrsB

    London

    131 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    131 reviews

    Dined on 13 April 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    This restaurant is no longer on the site.

  2. SA

    SueA

    Essex

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 7 April 2019

    overall4food5service4ambience5

    We had a lovely meal. There was a mix up with our booking so we had to wait 45 minutes and there was no cheese left at the end of our meal. This was a shame as all the courses were superb and staff good. We have already recommended for our friends to make a booking and we hope to return soon.

  3. PJ

    PaulJustHappyWithGoodFood

    Essex

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Reviewed on 3 March 2019

    overall2foodserviceambience

    Great concept but food was ok. At this price point and brand placement I was expecting a restaurant aspiring to a Michelin guide audience. This isn't close in my opinion (Its my review after all), cool cabbage several ways didn't do it for me but the wine pairings were great. Top quality dining shouldn't automatically mean tiny portions but these were, and on their way to plain mean (one oyster, thumb sized portions etc). As the cliché goes, I had to eat again on the way home.......

  4. l

    londonlawyer2014

    Exclusive

    31 reviews

    4.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on 20 January 2019

    overall4food4service4ambience5

    My partner & I have been to Food by John Lawson many times (including for Sunday lunch). We took some friends for Sunday lunch last weekend. The pork loin was no where near as good as previous roasts (for example, the beef on previous visits has been excellent). We also missed a course - the first dish should have been mushrooms on toast according to the menu but the waiter brought us the second course (beetroot) as our first course. We didn't realise until after main courses. The food was still really good and service was friendly, but the operation was not "as slick" on this occasion compared to previous visits.

  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 19 January 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Always goid

  6. AL

    AliceL

    London

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 30 December 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Brilliant; highly recommend. Great food, wine and service but not for fussy eaters.

  7. HG

    HenryG

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 29 December 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Food was experimental and exceptional, service was some of the best I’ve ever experienced, and the wine list was varied and good value. Shall definitely return when I’m in the area!

  8. WA

    WayneA

    Essex

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 29 December 2018

    overall4food5service4ambience4

    John and the team have a great concept here, completely different from any local dining experience. Don’t go expecting to see a menu, this is the “USP” the best advice is trust your taste buds, you won’t be disappointed. Nice selection of wines, and a lovely attentive dining experience. Worth a visit.

  9. l

    londonlawyer2014

    Exclusive

    31 reviews

    5.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on 29 December 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    We’ve been to Food at John Lawson a few times before but this time was particularly special. My partner and I visited for dinner on 29 December as an early NYE celebration and we were blown away by the food. The menu was beautiful and everything we ate was cooked to perfection and absolutely delicious - swede and sardine snacks, celeriac soup, poached Place with Brussels tops & bacon, the pork belly and purple sprouting mains and apple tart and maple ice cream. I can not recommend this restaurant enough. Great setting, fantastic food and charming staff/atmosphere. It’s one of my favourite restaurants in Essex at the moment.

  10. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 24 December 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Fabulous hidden gem in Leigh. Loved the ethic of sustainability and zero wastage. Really cosy intimate restaurant with great service. Food was excellent, and designed around seasonal and local produce. The pork belly was superb. The free flowing cava was a nice addition! Would definitely visit again.

  11. WS

    WendyS

    Devon

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 24 December 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Wonderful evening, wonderful food and wonderful service! We had a great Christmas Eve meal, the atmosphere was just perfect as was the food. Thank you we will be returning.

  12. IA

    IanA

    Essex

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 24 December 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Another excellent meal at this unique and comprehensively enjoyable establishment. John and his team always produce the same high standard of healthy, excellently-prepared food, but at the same time the event and the occasion are always different, and manage to include the unexpected.

  13. RM

    RobynM

    Essex

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 21 December 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    We came here for a friends 30th, I’m a bit of a fussy eater but the staff couldn’t have been more friendly & accommodating!! I’d definitely recommend it, nice to do something a bit different for a special occasion!

  14. GC

    GC33

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on 21 December 2018

    overall2food5service1ambience1

    outstanding food. Ambiance, service, information, hospitality and the overall feeling did not match this for us.

  15. g

    gwc333

    London

    352 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    352 reviews

    Dined on 8 December 2018

    overall4food4service4ambience4

    Amazing experience. Creative and interesting food and drinks. Great place for a friend's get together

  16. p

    petert

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 7 December 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    A bit daunting not knowing what you will get as there is no set menu. But don't worry the food is fantastic as are the staff. We will be returning in the new year for a family celebration and can't wait.

  17. NQ

    NormaQ

    Essex

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 1 December 2018

    overall3food3service3ambience4

    We were a little disappointed as our table was right by the door and every time people came in or out it was not pleasant. The wine is not left on your table which can sometimes be a little annoying especially when you have to ask for it also at the end of the night two of our glasses were cleared away with a little wine still in them. The food was obviously healthy but very small portions and perhaps not to our liking . But it was our choice and we knew the deal. We would not rush back.

  18. W

    Willforth

    Essex

    7 reviews

    3.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on 25 November 2018

    overall3food4service3ambience3

    The food was good and ambience was good too. Friendly place. Salt and Pepper can be hard to come by so order it early before the meal arrives! Would happily visit again and recommend

  19. AP

    AliP

    London

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 24 November 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Loved the food, the ambiance and the great service. Was also so impressed with the sustainability and zero waste philosophy. Thanks for such a special night.

  20. SV

    SabrinaV

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 24 November 2018

    overall4food5service4ambience4

    My husband and I read about John Lawson's story and the idea behind this restaurant and we immediately wanted to try it. We are all for tasty, yet healthy food! Also, That is the sort of place you usually find in London, so we were happy to learn it was only 20min from us (we live in Rayleigh, where restaurants are not exactly amazing)! We loved the casual setting, and the fact that the space wasn't crammed with tables. Food was absolutely gorgeous, never thought I'd enjoy vegan butter, but that was delicious. We had cod and duck - the latter not my fave, but I must say it was very well prepared, with a great combination of ingredients! Frankly, we weren't really impressed by the apple crumble, and we also thought that the extra £6 for truffles in your soup (p/person) wasn't really worth it as we could barely taste anything! I didn't have any wine, but my husband did, and despite the fact that we were charged £7 for a very small glass of red, he said it was worth it. So overall it was a very good experience and I'd definitely recommend to someone who is not expecting tonnes of food and is into healthy eating.

  21. MB

    MrsB

    London

    131 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    131 reviews

    Dined on 24 November 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Always great service and delicious food.

  22. IA

    IanA

    Essex

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 23 November 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    John's place remains a truly special occasion, he and his wonderful team under the watchful eye of Jo produce a delightful meal in unique and memorable surroundings. His personal touch inspires everything from the choice of menu and ingredients to the style and ambience in an experience that reflects his own experiences and beliefs about the role food plays in our lives and our wellbeing.

  23. R

    Rudyd

    London

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 18 November 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    We went for the Sunday roast and it was great. I would go as far as to say it is the best value roast in the area given that it is 3 course plus a couple extra bits and has free flowing cava. You will not find a 3 course meal of the similar quality for the £35 never mind cava on top of that!

  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Essex

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 18 November 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Lovely food, friendly staff. We will be back.

  25. CM

    CatherineM

    London

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on 10 November 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    We booked the 6pm sitting as later sittings were fully booked, so we arrived with other couples as the doors opened. We were welcomed by my name (I’d booked it) which was a nice touch. The service throughout was professional, just friendly enough (I’m not a fan of over enthusiastic waiters) and they explained each course as it came up. When I’d booked I notified them that I don’t eat shellfish and my friend doesn’t eat red meat, and this was confirmed on arrival with one minor adjustment to one of the courses. Although it’s a fixed 4 course menu, don’t be afraid to let them know if there’s something you really don’t eat, but my advice otherwise is go with the flow - it’s actually quite refreshing not having to make any decisions! John himself brought out some tasty bites, both veggie, to start which were delicious. We were then given some gluten free bread and nut butter which was incredibly tasty. Be in no doubt, this is seriously lovely food. Our starter was pumpkin soup, followed by skate, then partridge. All gorgeous, with so many elements, each of which you can taste individually. Our dessert was a delicious apple crumble with a tasty nutty topping, followed by raw cacao with CBD oil added - incredible! This isn’t a cheap evening out - we paid £125 per couple but that included 4 beers, soft drinks and a bottle of wine (very reasonably priced). But, if you enjoy eating exceptionally delicious food, made with obvious love, organic and locally sourced, this is the place to eat.

  26. MG

    MikeG

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on 9 November 2018

    overall3food2service2ambience2

    Service slow food mediocre not worth £40 a head no way

  27. KM

    KerriM

    Berkshire

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 4 November 2018

    overall5food5service4ambience5

    We went for our anniversary - first time there, loved it. Had the free flowing bubbles Sunday roast - lovely food. Fresh, hot, perfect sized portions. Great ambience. Dark cosy lit. V attentive service but not at all overbearing. Can’t wait to go back

  28. l

    londonlawyer2014

    Exclusive

    31 reviews

    5.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on 4 November 2018

    overall5food5service4ambience5

    I have been to Food by John Lawson for dinner a number of times. This was our first time trying the Sunday Lunch menu. It is brilliant! An excellent Sunday lunch and one of the best I have eaten in Essex - high quality well cooked meat; a great selection of creative side vegetables; good roast potatoes; yorkshire puddings for everyone; lovely wine list; and friendly, relaxed service. The restaurant space is small so I am not sure I would suggest this as a great choice for large groups but for 2-6 people this is a great option. One of the things I love about this restaurant is the healthy, but creative cuisine and the friendly, laid back service. I hate feeling rushed or like my "time is up" when I go to a nice restaurant and I have never felt that here. Highly recommended. The free from menu is a brilliant perk as well and can be hard to find in Essex.

  29. DJ

    DrJules

    London

    19 reviews

    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on 4 November 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    A lovely experience all around! Great food, great service.. great ethos.. loved it! Will definitely be returning!

  30. MB

    MrsB

    London

    131 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    131 reviews

    Dined on 2 November 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    We have been meaning to go to this local restaurant for a while and now wish we’d booked in sooner. The food was mouthwateringly delicious in a lovely simple and stylish setting.

  31. BL

    BrigetteL

    Essex

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 2 November 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Dining at food by John Lawson was an experience worth sharing with family and friends

  32. JC

    JanC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 1 November 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience3

    Lovely food full of flavour, great service, a wonderful evening well worth the money.

  33. GW

    GlennW

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 28 October 2018

    overall5food4service5ambience5

    Staff extremely helpful and considerate, the food was excellent and the whole ambience very relaxed. We had Sunday lunch but we will be returning for an evening meal very soon. The authenticity of the chef /owner Jon Lawson to serve food that is almost holistic in intent is a fantastic and innovative culinary masterpiece. Glenn W & Lynn T

  34. SL

    StuartL

    Essex

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 19 October 2018

    overall5food5service4ambience4

    We went to food for a date night and had a lovely experience. The food was amazing with some really interesting combinations. The young apprentice Jasper has a very bright future ahead of him if his cinnamon ice cream is a taste of things to come.

  35. VW

    VictoriaW

    London

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 14 October 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    a very classy understated eatery with superb service. whole feel of restaurant is ethical and unpretentious. lovely staff who go out of their way to ensure you have an optimal experience.

  36. DB

    DennisB

    Essex

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 14 October 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great food, well presented. Unlimited bubbles went down well - should have left the car at home and walked! Not rushed. Excellent, friendly service.

  37. PB

    PeterB

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 13 October 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    Wow! A great find. High-End food not to be missed. Unfortunately for us, it is a 100 mile journey. If it were closer we would be regulars at Food by John Lawson. This is a chef that understands ingredients and has a natural ability to transform them into lasting memories. Couple this with the friendly, efficient front of house team and you have a foodie heaven. I cannot wait to return.

  38. S

    Sars

    Essex

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 12 October 2018

    overall4food4service4ambience4

    Great service and friendly hosts. A great concept with the menu and a good pairing with fine wines.

  39. T

    Tims

    London

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 11 October 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    What an amazing restaurant we have in Leigh-on-Sea. I cannot rate Food by John Lawson enough. Everything about the food, ambience, service and wines were incredible. Please don’t miss out on this little gem of a restaurant.

  40. EH

    EmHess

    Yorkshire

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 7 October 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    First time visiting the restaurant for Sunday Lunch and it was lovely! Food was amazing as always and there was the added bonus of it being free flowing cava instead of a glass of wine, which was unbelievable value for money. Service was excellent , it was a perfect sunday afternoon date.

FAQs

Food by John Lawson is rated 4.8 stars by 118 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable booking network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Area

    Southend-On-Sea

  • Hours of Operation

    Wed - Sat 6:00pm - 11:30pm Sunday 1.00pm - 5.00pm

  • Cuisines

    Farm-to-table

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress Code

    Smart Casual

  • Parking Details

    There is street parking outside the restaurant or a large car park on the corner of Leigh Road and The Boardway approx 5 minute walk from the restaurant.

  • Payment Options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive Chef

    John Lawson

  • Additional

    Beer, Cocktails, Gluten-free Options, Wine

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