TV chef Stephen Gomes has been head-hunted to lead DUSK, the large new Mediterranean and Asian fusion restaurant and shisha lounge in Brentwood, Essex. Following a soft opening in June, the restaurant launched on Thursday 11th July, with an invitation-only party, and open full to the public the following day.
With three discrete dining areas each with its own menu, the restaurant, which will cater for up to 400 customers, has been transformed with an investment of almost £1million by restaurateurs Sharif Uddin and Shakil Islam. The restaurant was designed by Seesaw Studios in Hackney.
Located on the Ongar Road, Dusk lies in the Essex countryside adjacent to Bentley Golf Club, and is set in over two acres of its own landscaped grounds.
DUSK’s Executive Chef Stephen Gomes, has won numerous awards, including 2 AA Rosettes for Moksh in Cardiff, noted for its exquisite tasting, molecular gastronomy with spectacular displays using smoke and dry ice. Leading a talented team of 18 chefs, Stephen has created an eclectic menu, fusing the best of Mediterranean and Asian cuisines.
“We are delighted to have captured the talents of a top international chef like Stephen, said DUSK co-owner Sharif Uddin. “It wasn’t easy. We didn’t interview him, he interrogated us, before agreeing to take on the project.”
Sourcing the finest produce from local farmers, butchers and fish mongers, Gomes has designed a menu which requires a second reading to appreciate fully. The ‘Fish and Chips’ is in fact John Dory in a premium batter, with rose infused ketchup, grape tartar sauce chips and a peas mouse. Another signature fish dish is Black Cod, pan-fried and served on a bed of cherry tomatoes and garlic, topped with rhubarb aioli, infused with CO2 essence, served with steamed rice. A unique Turf and Surf, pairs lamb shank with lobster.
There is also a DUSK Till Dawn dish, featuring a prime marble 3-5 wagyu ribeye steak, with a stilton cheese sauce, quail’s egg, roasted potatoes, sautéed pakchoi and C02 tomato gazpacho.
For vegans, there is a Tofu Shashlik with almond milk roux, served with rice and chips – and special versions of the Momo, Ratatouille, Hakka Noodles, American Chop Suey, and on Sundays, a Toad in the Hole.
No alcohol is sold on the premises, but customers may bring their own. There is no corkage charged – representing a considerable saving for connoisseurs of fine wines and premium spirits.
The bar stocks the largest range of alcohol-free drinks in the UK and serves a vast array of mocktails, still and sparkling wines, and beers.
The extensive shisha menu features Savacco, Sarbuzz and Al Fakher flavours, priced from £25. The premium Shapes Shisha costs £130, with a £15 premium for the ice upgrade.
Inside DUSK there is space for around 130 diners to sit in the main restaurant, with an occasional pianist and an open kitchen barbeque area.
For weddings and private functions, there is a separate banqueting room overlooking the golf course, which can cater for parties of more than hundred dinners.
Business partners Sharif Uddin and Shakil Islam, own five other Essex venues. The portfolio comprises Aladdin’s shisha lounge in Ilford, Empire shisha lounge in Romford plus and three Kushi Indian restaurants in Lakeside, Canvey Island and Gidea Park.
With parking for over 500 cars, a short distance from junction on the M25 (J28) and served by a fast train service from London’s Liverpool Street Station, “The intention is to make DUSK a truly unique destination restaurant, with a choice of fine or casual dining and shisha,” said Shakil Islam.
Outside, there is another 150 seats in the alfresco dining area in pergola with detachable roof where people can smoke flavoured shisha and eat from the street food menu.