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|Address:||507 Lower Rainham Road ME8 7TN|
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Set back from the lower Rainham road, small enough that you may miss it if whizzing past, lies a quaint building not in keeping with its surroundings whatsoever.
The Barn restaurant looks quite literally well, like, a barn thrust into the future from medieval times with its white walls and dark wooden beams.
But there is no roast dinners for a fiver and pensioners eat for free in this eatery that you may well find in others bearing the same name in Kent.
The touch of class hits you from the moment you open the door, modern décor and stylish tableware compliment the setting as you are lead through the intimate dining room and up a narrow set of stairs to the bar. The journey through is not ideal but makes the best of a small space.
Up in the roof bar we were served drinks on our comfy sofas and allowed good time to make our selections before we were called for dinner. Our host saw to our every need, making sure there was water on the table and cold drinks being poured as we arrived downstairs relaxed and ready to devour.
Myself and my partner opted for what we had heard about so many months previously, the British style tapas.
Brilliantly served and skilfully presented using different slates, plates, copper tins and shot glasses, our five selections each at a total of £29.99 per person arrived.
As an amuse bouche we were handed a sharing platter of homemade breads, fried local sprats a homemade prawn salad and confit lemon.
A number of the dishes were served with homemade crisps that blew away any salty packaged snack you could ever taste.
To start we went for the salmon cherville and spring onion fishcake, which was far larger than I thought it would be but perfectly cooked.
My favourite part of the whole meal also came as a starter, the quail egg “scotched” in duck meat balanced on a seared black pudding. Again it was beautifully cooked with a mixture of flavours that make my mouth water again just writing this.
My other half went for the chicken boudin with pea and mint mousse, a cheeky trial let me taste the very different flavours that have been carefully chosen together.
Our final starter was the mustard, smoked apple infused Welsh rarebit, potato rosti which looked delightful but I had to leave that to my guest as I saved room for the middle course.
Along came the confit leg of Gressingham duck with apricot, ginger and rhubarb salsa. For what was meant to be a tapas, again I was pleasantly surprised by the large size of the duck portion. No hint of dryness and a very complimentary sauce made for an excellent dish.
Hold on, actually the next course was my favourite as the boar, sage and apple “toad in the hole” was brought to the table. Now this really was the British tapas that I had been expecting, with the tiny Yorkshire pudding sitting atop a glass that hit the much larger boar sausage. Devoured in the blink of an eye without offering it to my guest says it all really.
Although she did have to contend with both the gammon, mustard and apple pie as well as the breast of chicken, chorizo and tomato dressing. Nods, winks and small tastes confirmed further excellence with the gammon confirming itself as very much an unsung hero of the meal.
Our side dishes were also included in the price, a savoy cabbage with pancetta fricassee and chorizo, tomato and haricot bean cassoulet adding extra flavours but we probably over did on the meat dishes to be honest.
A delicious plate of home made brownie and chocolate sauce ended a meal that was fit for a British king, despite its Spanish orientation. The relaxed atmosphere and attic bar and roof terrace would make the Barn a perfect location for further drinks long into the summer night and all for just over £88. There are other options with the tasting menu and more traditional dishes available. Whatever you go for, a trip to the Barn in Rainham is a must.