Food by John Lawson

4.8
84 reviews
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£41 and over
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Farm-to-table
Top tags:
  • Local Ingredients
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasions
"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."
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Farm-to-table
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Hours of Operation
Wed - Sat 6:00pm - 11:30pm
Sunday 1.00pm - 5.00pm
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Phone number
01702 840904
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Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Smart Casual
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Executive Chef
John Lawson
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Private Party Facilities
We offer the restaurant for private dining please contact us for more information.
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Private Party Contact
Jaime Lawson : 01702 840904
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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.
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Special Events & Promotions
2018 Events:
Catch of the Day with Paul Gilson - 28th February
Mothers Day Lunch - March 11th
The Raw Chef Evening - 21st March
For more events please see our website.
Additional
Beer, Cocktails, Gluten-free Menu, Wine
What 84 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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VW
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

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DB
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

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PB
1 review
Dined on 13 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

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.

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S
Essex
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

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

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T
London
2 reviews
Dined on 11 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

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EH
Yorkshire
1 review
Dined on 7 October 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

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TC
Essex
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We were using a voucher I received for my birthday
Food and drinks all great my least favourite was desert ( pear/ ice cream)

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JW
1 review
Dined on 29 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant was recommended to my son by Neal Martin (wine journalist) when he was in Singapore. I booked at the last minute & had a table for 6 at 18.00. Everything about the evening was perfect & the food was excellent. My son will certainly want to visit again when he is over from Singapore next time.

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SM
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a fantastic place this is! The food is outstanding and the ambience and service make it even more special. Go if you can!

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JS
London
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really delicious food and a lovely atmosphere. Thank you!

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AL
1 review
Dined on 21 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome little personal restaurant, great food and wine

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JG
Essex
2 reviews
Dined on 16 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

As always, we had a wonderful experience and were superbly looked after by Jo and Millie. I could happily eat here every day!

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DH
London
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow - what a fantastic dining experience. Exceptional food with fabulous paired wine in a cozy and comfortable environment.

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P
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was the second visit to Food by Lawson for us. Once again it did not disappoint - in fact even better than last time if that's even possible. !
Every course was just an explosion of flavours - the pork main course was exceptional.
I love the concept of this restaurant - clearly if you are a very fussy eater you may struggle but we had a chocolate allergy and a cucumber aversion on our table and they could not have been more accommodating
Would recommend letting them know before hand - only polite to do so!
The staff are really friendly and yet professionally attentive to detail. The atmosphere has a relaxed 'bistro' feel and not as formal as I first thought it may be. A perfect balance. I think we are very fortunate to have such a place in Leigh. And for £45 per head - all hand prepared and locally sourced - I think its a bargain !
Well done Food by Lawson.

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WS
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow, we have eaten in some of the best restaurants in London and I cannot believe how lucky we are to have this restaurant on our door stop. The food was amazing, without fault, carefully sourced and an inventive menu. We had a vegetarian with us and her menu was equally brilliant
Every mouthful from the starters to the dessert were sublime, the partnered wines were also excellent, although I chose the home brewed kombucha! Stunning.
The atmosphere is friendly and the tables spaced perfectly
The staff were all very helpful and made you feel very comfortable as you walked through the door. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough and thank you for a wonderful evening. We have already booked Christmas!! :)

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IH
1 review
Dined on 13 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a real "find"! I know the word "unique" is overused, but in decades of dining in several countries I have not encountered anywhere quite like John's - or anyone quite like John. He has his own approach to food and dining which eschews the usual commercial approaches to even the finest of dining, and the result is an extraordinary experience which will remain in the memory for a very long time.

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GS
London
5 reviews
Dined on 1 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really enjoyable food with great wine paring and fabulous service!

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TO
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Friendly and helpful staff in a lovely cosy atmosphere The food was excellent but not for fussy people as you are not given a choice although the staff will try and provide an alternative if there is something you really wont eat. Will definitely go back again. Only criticism would be the some of the courses could be more generous.

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DM
Essex
1 review
Dined on 25 August 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent- first time and will go back. I would without hesitation highly recommend ‘food by John Lawson’

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GH
London
1 review
Dined on 24 August 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was the best I've had in Southend. Not big portions but you get a lot of different courses. Would 100% recommend the wine menu that goes with every dish . I thought it made a big difference with the flavours . Staff are very friendly and helpful. I can't wait to go again

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LD
1 review
Dined on 11 August 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely LOVE this place...without a doubt the best restaurant outside of London that we’ve ever come across if you want actual flavour from a chef who knows what he’s doing and not adding sugar and all sorts of other cheap additives. You definitely get what you pay for here and it’s well worth it 👌 not for people who prefer food of the beige variety!

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LQ
1 review
Dined on 11 August 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

We were disappointed with this restaurant after hearing so many rave reviews. We were seated by the toilets which were continually in use and the door often left open. We arrived hungry and left dissatisfied. We had to ask for our water to be topped up regularly and the bottle wasn't left on the table. I have never been served such miniscule portions at dinner before. A small bowl of nuts and two radish as part of the starter was laughable. The tomato console tasted vinegar. We are all the bread course just to fill up. We waited 45 mins between main course and dessert which was unremarkable. The much anticipated "treats" tasted like frozen berries. Wine was great though and the young waitress very sincere. All in all a disappointing experience.

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m
London
3 reviews
Dined on 4 August 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A wonderful restaurant with local seasonal and organic food beautifully prepared. A real delight

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CB
1 review
Dined on 4 August 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best food and service I have experienced will definitely be back ASAP

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JF
1 review
Dined on 2 August 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really good food. Wish we stayed for the cheese course. But had a lovely time.

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P
Essex
3 reviews
Dined on 27 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We went last Friday evening in July. This restaurant was recommended to us and we ere not let down.
I suppose it’s not for everyone, you don’t have a menus but they will talk you through what you were having to eat.
All 4 of us thought it was fantastic, the food, service,drinks were delicious.
Would definitely go again and very happy to recommend.

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JG
Essex
6 reviews
Dined on 20 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fantastic food, ambiance and service would recomnmend and plan to visit again

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L
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a fantastic experience!
Great food, Great Service, Great atmosphere....cannot not recommend enough
Hidden Gem

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BB
1 review
Dined on 18 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An evening of food and cocktails. An interesting blend of ideas but it worked really well. The cocktails fitted perfectly with the four courses. The service was impeccable and we are delighted that the restaurant is only 70 yards from our front door. We shall return.

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BC
London
1 review
Dined on 18 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We attended taster menu with pairing cocktails. Food was exceptional and all cocktails matched each course supberbly. Attention to detail and how each course was described. It was a wonderful experience. Loved it all. Don’t normally write reviews but John Lawson and his team deserve high praise. Thank you. We will return soon.

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EG
Essex
1 review
Dined on 14 July 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

2nd time and food as beautiful as the first even though the main was lamb and that is really not a favourite of mine everything else was mind blowing. Who'd have thought beetroot could taste that good! The whole experience was just wonderful.

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j
Kent
2 reviews
Dined on 7 July 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff and John Lawson were welcoming and very informed about the food which was very unusual and tasty. The online booking we made did not alert that one of us is vegetarian but nonetheless we both enjoyed our meals. The veg alternative was very similar to the ordinary dishes just without the sole and lamb. We also noticed that other people were offered cheese but we werent. We wondered if it was because we didnt add the wine tasting to our meal. We intend to try another tasting menu later in the yeasr.

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JM
1 review
Dined on 30 June 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of the best meals I have ever eaten. It is also one of the most pleasurable restaurant experiences I have ever had. Great ambience, fantastic service and real value for money.
We can’t wait to go back.

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W
1 review
Dined on 28 June 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our fourth visit and it just gets better each time. We have taken friends the last three times and they have all raved over it. This time there were two vegetarians, a vegan and I went pescatarian. We were all catered for superbly.It is so enjoyable to be surprised with a taster menu that healthily caters for everyone. Thank you and well done John and staff.

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LS
1 review
Dined on 27 June 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

lovely evening with amazing food in a relaxed atmosphere as always and great wines from Portugal served by the Vino Vero team and their expert knowledge.

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RH
1 review
Dined on 23 June 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

2nd time we have been, and experienced a new menu.
Only complaint and it is minor was the fish course was a bit small, but exceptionally cooked.
Great place.

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NB
1 review
Dined on 17 June 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Second visit to Food by John Lawson. Lovely local restaurant with a brilliant menu. Local produce beautifully cooked. Lovely staff who couldn't do enough for you. Had the wine pairing which was perfect. Can't wait to go back.

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L
Essex
2 reviews
Dined on 17 June 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great concept, excellent food, good atmosphere equals favourite local restaurant!

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OT
1 review
Dined on 16 June 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Arrived at time of booking and shown straight to table. Wine options were satisfactory if not wine pairing with meal.... white Rioja at £20.00 felt reasonable.
Food was very good, well seasoned and well presented.. in fact very tasty.
We ate for just over two hours and the time past quickly as each course was served and explained.
We left with a good feeling but this is not a place to eat to feel full when leaving. A great dining experience all the same!
Value for money... yes!

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J
1 review
Dined on 1 June 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

First visit on their first anniversary so free glass carva on arrival.Attentive but not intrusive, adapted menu for my taste, everything fresh, original ,locally sourced( big thumbs up!) Bottle of wine sensibly priced.Portions small but felt full not stuffed so perfect for me.Cant really fault it.Classy.Definately go again.

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