The West House
The West House
The West House
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SquareMeal Review of The West House

Silver Award

Squirrelled away in a row of Flemish weavers’ cottages, The West House isn’t short on genuine Kentish character. The dining room may play up ‘Ye Olde English’ look with its weathered beams, open fire and bare floorboards, but smart, sympathetic restyling has added some easy-on-the-eye modern touches. It’s an unstuffy platform for chef/patron Graham Garrett’s confident, fine-tuned cooking, which is also reckoned to be “fantastically priced”. His highly accomplished repertoire is driven by imaginative sourcing, and the result is “incredible food with bags of creativity but no pretentiousness”: consider eclectic ideas such as warm oak-smoked haddock with quail’s egg and bacon dressing, BBQ leg of lamb with spiced sausage, artichoke and white bean barigoule or chorizo-stuffed rabbit leg partnered by white asparagus, Welsh rarebit and hazelnut crumb. For afters, we’re intrigued by the malted milk jelly with ‘nuggets’, yoghurt powder and smoked milk ice cream. Service is praised to the skies, and the line-up of top-notch ‘natural’ wines by the glass or carafe is also greatly appreciated. “We always come out very happy”, notes a regular. 

Good to know

Cuisines
Modern European

The West House is featured in

UK's Top 100 Restaurants 2016

Location for The West House

28 High Street, Biddenden, Kent, TN27 8AH

01580 291341

Website

Opening Times

Tues-Fri & Sun 12N-1.45pm (Sun – 2.30pm) Tue-Sat 7-9.30pm

Reviews of The West House

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2 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Dunlop

Minimalist Nouvelle Cuisine. Were we really in the Garden of England?
30 October 2019   - Verified Diner

This was a Birthday treat for our 28 year old son. It started well. The House Bread with butter and dripping was delicious. The breaded cheese tubes with grated parmisan were a "wow". The three of us all chose different starters and mains from the two or three course set menue selection. My wife's mushroom tart was excellent and I would thoroughly recommend, but my mini mackerel starter ( i've never seen such a tiny mackerel,) although beautifully cooked, was tastless despite a dressing. Being treated my son was too embarised to comment.

With the help of the lady in charge we chose a White Ricoh which was brought to the table already opened. Pleasant but in a restaurant in the Michelin Guide working on 200% wine price margins I expected something better. 

So Great Expectations (sorry Charles I know you were frightened to death on the Headcorn straight a few miles from here,) for the main course. For the Birthday boy it was venison. Two tubes approximately 30mm in diameter beautifully cooked and tasty but vegetables?  My wife loves fish and chose Hake but couldn't identify any flavour and vegetables? For me Pork. Two pieces, one mouthwatering in a beautiful sauce the other inedible beyond my powers of mastication, and vegetables?  Here we sat in the garden of England, a longstanding fruit and vegetable wholesaler just 300yds down the road. Huge artics speed along the Headcorn Tenterden road collecting produce from the local farms presumably heading for supermarket shelves but not the West House. One of my dishes said spinage. I love it. The West House version, a single leaf 120mm long and 8mm wide. This is all about decoration, presentation not the tastebuds.

Feeling hungry we shared a cheese plate. Once again delicious date bread and an excellent selection of cheeses. My wife had green leaf tea beautifully presented for four pounds.

Conclusion? I'm a great believer in "the devil's in the detail". Here at the West House the detail was good but at the expense of the basics. We all have different views on value. £176 for three in the West End, but minimalist main ingredients in a small Kentish Village?

 

 

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Ms/Mrs. Kimberley R

03 August 2010  
We so wanted to love this restaurant…The dining area was clean and spacious so not sitting on top of fellow guests or participating in each other's conversation. That's the positive. The disappointment came from the lack of flexibility in the small menu. We understand that chefs like dishes to look the same and to be experienced as they like them so not wanting to adapt the dish but some of us have dietary requirements or plain simple difference in taste. My partner chose the lamb for his main course which was, he said, very good…not that he'd been asked how he liked it cooked. And if you are vegetarian or have dietary requirements and haven't read their website you must ring in advance to warn, then they will most certainly accommodate you, the problem we had was not being familiar with this set up and therefore was not prepared with a contingency plan for eating after as we were still hungry! And the price is fixed for three courses, even if you don't have three courses…I should have ordered a starter just for the hell of it but wasn't told that was the set up in pricing. That said, you can most certainly feel the passion the owners have for the place but too blinkered on where the passion extends. Price was reasonable. Overall, good quality food (if you like the choice) just lacking in flexibility to accommodate its paying guests.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

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