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|Address:||Pett Bottom, Bridge, nr Canterbury, Kent CT4 5PB|
|Price: £30.00||Wine: £14.95||Champagne: £48.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 10am-11pm|
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Sometimes it’s just the little differences that can set a restaurant apart from so many others.
It’s not just the quality of the food or the attentiveness of the waiting staff – it is the added extras that many of us may not even notice.
The Duck Inn at Pett Bottom near Canterbury has a golden history. Not only does it feature in James Bond novel You Only Live Twice, as well as being a regular watering hole of writer Ian Fleming. But it also has a rich history in producing good food.
Having acquired a Michelin star between 1974 until 1981 the village boozer could be considered the first ever pub to do so – years before The Stagg Inn at Titley, Herefordshire, was heralded in 2001.
And having new owners take on the small eatery late last year I was keen to see if the historical reputation still fits.
The bar and restaurant area is dimly lit and boasts two open fires. It is romantic and cosy a setting as you could ask for deep in the Kent countryside.
There is an extensive wine list for such a small, rustic venue as well as a number of draught ales.
The first treat was olive bread arriving in a basket with deliciously salty butter. It was joined with a small bowl of pitted olives which sat in chilli water – detail. And a mouth watering appetiser at no charge.
We chose two Whitstable native oysters served with shallot vinegar as a starter plate which were fresh and flavoursome.
These were swiftly followed by tasty fishcakes, packed with salmon, potato and dill covered in breadcrumbs and served with a home made tangy tartar sauce. They were again excellent although the size of the pair made them rather filling.
My guest took on the bresaola – thin slices of cold cured beef covered in a beetroot relish and parmesan. The dish provided a really different option to the other warmer. more wintery starters and went down equally well.
For the mains I chose a classic braised shin of beef bourguignon – served with button mushrooms, onion and bacon in a red wine sauce
The meat fell apart in your mouth and was brilliantly cooked. A pot of vegetables including cauliflower, mashed potato and long stemmed broccoli were served separately in butter. The whole course was truly sumptuous.
My guest took on the Scotch egg risotto. Brought to the table covered in a melting parmesan sauce, the dish looked like a breadcrumbed Christmas pudding.
The risotto was stuffed inside the pork meat along with the soft boiled egg. It sat upon a pea and leek puree and showed off the more decorative capabilities of the chef.
A small taste and an empty plate confirmed its quality once again.
Last up was the chocolate sundae served with raspberries and honeycomb. It was sweet to point of eye watering, but then who needs dry eyes. Delicious.
The whole meal, including drinks came to £67.20, a snip for the quality we enjoyed.
There is no doubt in my mind that word of the Duck Inn will spread quickly and the culinary glory days will be recaptured.
It seems this quirky little boozer may live more than twice.