If you’re going to open a restaurant in Folkestone, then you couldn’t pick a better spot. It’s right on the harbour quay, opposite a number of fishmongers. Which is pretty handy, if your menu is going to major on seafood. So, that’s location and ingredients sorted out. What else do you need? Well, a chef who can cook. Box ticked – chef/owner is ex-Gordon Ramsay head chef Mark Sergeant. You also need a competent front-of-house crew. Box ticked – staff are enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
There was good sourdough bread. And it’s not enough to just bring butter. There’s also a very smoky taramasalata to spread and whipped pork fat. I could hear my arteries crying out for me to stop eating.
Shrimps were advertised as being “potted”. They weren’t. But they were in a tangy mayo based sauce and came with more sourdough, this time toasted. The other starter did what it said on the tin – mussels, lardons of smoked bacon, cooked in a local cider and cream sauce. Really good.
For mains, there was huss cooked in anchovy butter, with a garnish of peppery landcress. There was a side order of al dente tenderstem broccoli which gave nice texture contrast. The other plate was “frito misto” – Italian sounding but a very restrained British version of frito – mullet, skate cheeks, huss and cod. That came with a garlic and lemon mayo which worked well and a handful of salad. We shared a bowl of excellent chips.
For dessert, we both went with the local gypsy tart. We thought it might have been cloyingly sweet but, no, this was a well balanced caramel filling in a thin, crisp pastry tart. A quenelle of cream sat alongside. Our waiter said that, when he was a lad, his mum always served slices of apple alongside gypsy tart – a little sour to balance the sweetness. He reckoned an apple sorbet would work well in the restaurant. Damn right it would.
There’s not too many good dining options in the immediate area. This will be our first port of call next time we’re passing through.