Monday, September 30, 2013

No "Sweary Scots"

We just happened to be in Folkestone around lunchtime and found we had nothing to do for the rest of the day so immediately thought about lunch.  So asking around and receiving the recommendation of "Rocksalt" which apparently was down by the fishing port, we decided to give it a go.

The recommendation came with a bio of the chef who was some kind of celebrity chef although not Gordon Ramsay so we presumed it would be sleek, slick, new and pretty expensive.  Right on all counts!

This is what the Guardian has to say about the restaurant:

Bankrolled, like so much recent regeneration here, by Roger de Haan, ex-boss of the Saga group, Rocksalt has serious culinary pedigree: it's run by Mark Sargeant, one-time head chef at Claridge's, who, like Jason AthertonMarcus Wareing and Angela Hartnett, has jumped ship from the SS Ramsay. But, like the sweary Scot, "Sarge" seems also to have had his fill of sweaty kitchens, and is leaving the actual cooking to others.
A sleek, dark timber and glass wonder bang on the old harbour front, Rocksalt is a state-of-the-art pillbox that's a world away from the whelk stalls and tackle shops next door. Inside, it's no less impressive, with the entire seaward side given over to a panoramic glass wall, and the rest done up in the power browns and greens of the moment. It's all so "now" that the room seems custom-built for wedged-up wallet-wavers down from London and the Garden of England's commuter belt.

When we arrived around 12.30 pm the tide in the harbour was out and as we sipped our pre-lunch vodka Martinis (pretty good actually) we watched a fisherman in wellies tramping across the mud with an oar dragging a small skiff to the start of the water where he floated the boat, hopped into it and paddled out to one of those little fishing boats that crammed into the small harbour.  So this really was a fishing port, and a working one at that!

Now I'm a sucker for oysters and Rocksalt had 2 varieties, one from Guernsey the other from Maldon in Essex.  Being an Essex boy myself I of course had to have some of both: the Guernseys were chubby whilst the Maldons were smaller and more flavourful.

Now onto the dry white wine and Lemon Sole for me and Plaice with Razor Clams for Viv.  Both were very nice indeed.  Viv was moved to say that if we lived in Folkestone she could become their best customer.  Praise indeed.

So if you're in Folkestone and like new and trendy, try Rocksalt.  It was pretty darn good.

4-5 Fish Market
Kent CT19 6AA

Tel: 01303 212070

Sandwich Boards and Rain

We would never have gone to Deesons if it hadn't been raining or if I had been watching where I was walking.  But fortunately the rain was hammering down as we walked along one of Canterbury's small cobble stoned side streets and I had my hooded rain coat in full working order with the hood pulled down as far as I could when I tripped over something and banged my shin.

It was a sandwich board.  A smaller than usual one, shin height in fact, with what looked like a chalk drawing of a pig on it under the banner "We only use Kentish, home grown pork".

A Bunker pig -- very nice indeed!

This knowledge at that particular moment provided no joy as the damn thing hurt and made quite a clatter as it bounced along the road immediately after impact but later on when we were wondering where we could go for dinner I remembered it well.  Actually it was the picture of the pig that I remembered most.

Deesons is proud of the fact they grow their own produce which then goes into their menu every day.  The website has a neat video about the 'Bunker', their own small holding outside Canterbury (check the link --

The menu isn't large but good and interesting.  I had the seafood platter because I hadn't eaten whitebait for ages, Viv had the seared scallops but both of us of course just had to have the Bunker Pork -- a scrumptuous combination of belly, loin, pig's cheek and pulled pork bubble & squeak cake.

This was a veritable pork smorgasbord.

Very nice indeed.

Deeson's British Restaurant
25-27 Sun Street
Kent CT1 2HX

Tel: 01227 767854