There was a time fine dining meant a perfectly sculpted piece of beautifully presented food that might not fill you up in the first instance.

While there is still a place for quennelles of food served in a jus with a few pieces of garnish, day-to-day diners appear to be returning to heartier fare that is no less artistic in its production.

Recently chefs on the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen even mentioned howwhile Michelin intricacy still has its place, there was a definite move towards high quality, locally produced food, served up generously.

This has meant the resurgence of hearty meat-based dishes including those that might have fallen out of favour in recent years.

Pork belly, chateaubriand and other cuts of steak are all enjoying a resurgence with diners.

Rob Ely, owner of the Chop House, in Braintree, says its ethos is to serve hearty food to diners which will leave them feeling full up.

He believes the turn around in tastes for food comes from people wanting to get value for money.

“There will always be a place for minimalist food but I believe you can have a plate full of food that is as high in quality.

“People also want to know exactly where their food has from, they want it to have travelled very little distance to their plate and for it to have been produced in good conditions.

“It used to be that a lot of, mainly chain restaurants, would order their stock from a long way away and you had no idea where it had come from.

“That is not the case now,” he adds.

Rob launched the Chop House almost a year ago having taken over from previous owners, changed the name and revamped it.

He says the name is from traditional Chop Houses which were prominent from the late 17th Century and used by businessmen who wanted a place serving good quality food in large quantities while also conducting business.

Rob says: “We have continued that tradition but we also wanted to make sure that people had a really good night out.

“So I do not put any pressure on people to eat and leave, there are no quick turnarounds and if a party books a table for 7pm I would not then be expecting them to leave so someone else can come in at 9pm.

“If someone is going to come in and spend £24 on a good quality steak meal for example, they want to be able to enjoy it in the surroundings or they could have stayed at home.

“And I want them to go home feeling full up and that is one of the only complaints we ever get – the plates of food are too big !”

Keeping to the current trend of knowing the provenance of food is becoming even more popular than ever. Essex and Suffolk have a wide range of independent producers including Wick Farm Meats in Colchester and Blixes Farm, run by the Humphreys family, in Chelmsford where the Chop House gets its beef from.

“All the beef we serve is 28 days matured and because we get it from a local producer we know exactly what goes in their diet and that it has virtually no carbon footprint.”

It also gets its pork from Panfield in Braintree, fish from the Little Fish Company in Kelvedon and even its mussels have barely travelled, coming from Maldon.

“I try and go to all the producers to see how they are produced. The chicken comes from a producer that does not use any additives, preservatives or antibiotics, which a lot of mass producers do.

“Customers now expect, and deserve, that level of attention to detail,” adds Rob who says the first ten months of trading have exceeded expectation.

There is a similar ethos at the Chop Bloc, in Chelmsford, where they employ a farm-to-table approach and specialise in steaks and burgers in the 18th Century premises.

All its steaks come from Hereford cattle in the UK which graze on grass on farms adhering to strict animal welfare practices.

It is one of the country’s oldest native beef breeds, originating in the County of Herefordshire in the mid 1700s.