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|Address:||101 Tankerton Road, Whitstable, Kent CT5 2AJ|
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With the internet acting as a constantly-updating source of information, the reputation of any individual or business of-ten precedes them. That’s not always a positive, but I can say that the East Coast Dining Room in Tankerton served me a meal justifying its good online name.
The team behind the successful Three Marin-ers at Oare and the lively Anchor Inn in Faver-sham come with a history of atmospheric venues offering very good food.
So the opening of the modern-styled eatery in Tankerton’s now-flourishing high street should be music to local culinary fans’ ears.
The menu, scheduled for “the week commenc-ing”, instantly feels fresh and progressive. Out came bread with oil, salt and butter, fol-lowed by an appetiser of miniature savoury choux buns filled with Gruyere cheese – no charge – which was a delicious mouthful to ease the tough task of choosing from the menu.
To start, and recommended by the waiting staff, I chose the slow-braised pork belly with kimchi and vegetable spring rolls.
The heat and spice of the succulent pork con-trasting with the cool, marinated vegetable of the kimchi gave the taste buds something to think about – very nice. My guest went for theblack pudding with warm poached rhubarb and watercress salad. The black pudding was rich and flavoursome, while the rhubarb had disap-
peared before I had a chance to steal any.
We were accompanied on the Wednesday evening by a very large group of visitors on the other side of the restaurant, which can often be a tall order for the kitchen when there are others to serve, but there was no delay in our orders and the front-of-house staff were friendly and attentive. A large bowl of creamy chowder decorated with mussels and pieces of salmon was topped with a piece of cod. The light and tasty
fish sat on a bed of buttered Swiss chard and made for an excellent dish at a reasonable £16.
At the other end of the table arrived a slow-roasted shin of beef accompanied by horseradish mash, roast carrots and parsnips in onion gravy.
The small venue is still able to create a good atmosphere and it is a pleasure rather than a chore to wait for dessert with the sound of happy clients bouncing off the walls.
An iceberg pavlova arrived, topped with poached pears, warm toffee sauce and Chantilly cream. The presentation was excellent and the pavlova was light, crunchy and not over-filling.
My guest went more traditional with a crème brûlée sided with poached rhubarb and short-bread biscuit
Three courses for two people came out at £59.50 before drinks. There was no added serv-ice charge, allowing guests to tip as they chose.
They do all the right things, they offer a great service and the menu is brilliant. As reputations go, the team at East Coast Dining Room should have theirs enhanced further.