Restaurant Review: The Ambrette, Canterbury in Kent
Are you a lover of traditional English cuisine? Do you also posses a healthy appetite for flavoursome Asian food? If so, look no further than The Ambrette.
Situated in the heart of the historic city of Canterbury in Kent and lying on the River Stour, The Ambrette is a trendy fine dining restaurant that offers a deliciously imaginative experience. In addition to immediately enticing you in with its contemporary, spacious design, this delightful eatery also provides a comfortable, relaxing experience for parties looking for the finest food at a very reasonable price (three courses for £19.95).
The restaurant provides diners with the real taste of Kent and helps to sustain nearby businesses by locally sourcing the majority of its ingredients, and judging by the taste, you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Born in Orissa in Eastern India, and having graduated from the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied nutrition in Kolkata, Chef Dev Biswal’s passion for cooking is evident from the outset. A beautifully presented pre-starter arrived, to our delight, which immediately aroused our taste buds and left us looking forward to what was to follow. The pre-starter consisted of an Asian styled sweet potato dumpling, complimented with a fresh crunchy poppadum. A simple dish, but one that instantly portrayed Chef Biswal’s talent of successfully combining traditional English dishes with authentic Asian flavours.
For our starters, my partner Helen opted for the home cured venison whilst I was intrigued by the possibility of a warming lentil soup to fend off the winter chills. Both dishes arrived within a good amount of time and were delicately presented and tasted as good as they looked.
For main, despite our curiosity of the zebra haunch that was on offer, we opted for the English grain fed beef striploin and the corn fed chicken and we were not left disappointed. Upon arrival, our food was presented on a wooden board on the side of our table and was accompanied with homemade gravy and a delightful trio of homemade sauces, that the ever so attentive waitress recommended trying.
The presentation was impressive but the real test, as you’ll know, is in the taste. Chef Biswal doesn’t only manage to pass the test but passes it with flying colours. The stunning cut of pink beef was perfectly cooked and succulent in taste, as was the chicken, but the combination of flavours in both dishes were vastly creative and unlike anything I had previously tried. The Indian spices enriched the entire dish, from the fluffy sweet potato and wild nettle hash to the spiced pan roasted cauliflower and it worked beautifully. For dessert, the melt in your mouth rose and vanilla crème brulee and the rich chocolate tart cashew nut brittle, topped off an unforgettable dinning masterpiece.
The Ambrette’s attempt to infuse flavours from a number of different cultures into its food pays dividends. If you enjoy quality food, with an abundance of flavour and at a reasonable price, then I would strongly recommend The Ambrette. Both our meals perfectly showcased why this restaurant stands out as a must visit and why afterwards, you’re still reflecting on your experience for a number of days.
Address: 14-15 Beer Cart Ln, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2NY