Posts Tagged ‘Ramsgate Restaurants’

Royal Harbour Brasserie – How dramatic

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Locations for a new cafe/restaurant opening don’t come much more dramatic than the newly opened Royal Harbour Brasserie on the extreme tip of Ramsgate Royal Harbour. On a freezing but sunny day there can’t be many venues with views to rival this one with sea on both sides and views of Ramsgate’s Victorian skyline.

As the cafe has just newly opened the menu has been limited. A wise move in order to judge its popularity with the local and visiting clientele. While I was there it had a good turn around of customers and the venue had a cosy atmosphere. The decor has a nautical feel without going over the top. A nice touch was the hessian sacking used to upholster some of the seating.

As a lone diner, I was not in a position to try more than one item on the menu, so I settled for the big breakfast which while not the cheapest in Ramsgate (£6.00) was better than the average with a nice runny egg and savoury sausages.

On my way out I was struck by some quirky touches like the toilet signage and toilet roll decor. Sounds dreadful but I was amused.

The Chef Patron of Royal Harbour Brasserie is Adrian Mowl, formally of the Turner Contempory Gallery Cafe, Adrian has cooked for a few VIPs, like the Queen when she visited the aforementioned gallery and he was also executive chef in the London Olympic Village 2012 catering for the likes of Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.  Wonder if they would get a kick out of braving the elements trying to get to this remote outpost when the weather gets interesting!

We certainly plan to return again to do a more comprehensive review in the Summer, where hopefully we can take advantage of the large outdoor terrace with great views of the Harbour, the Marina, the English Channel and even France.

Marks out of 10

Food 5.2  (based on one dish only)

Service 6

Ambience 7

View 8

Royal Harbour Brasserie on Urbanspoon

 

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Rokka Ramsgate – a fish out of water!

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

While doing a spot of Whale watching recently (a 45 foot Sperm Whale was beached at Pegwell Bay close to Ramsgate) I had the chance to try out Rokka.  A restaurant bar situated on Ramsgates Victorian Harbour front. Its modern styling does clash somewhat with its surroundings and on first appearance seems to be all flash over substance.  However on having lunch there I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by its friendly and welcoming staff and also the very tasty seafood pasta dish I had (No whales were harmed in the making of this dish). I also enjoyed a lovely dessert of Baklava with cream.

Rokka is out of place in Ramsgate Harbour, a bit of a fish out of water itself, but it is definately worth watching.

Marks out of 10

Food 5.8

Service 6

Ambience 5.5 (in the daytime)

Rokka on Urbanspoon

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Gone for a Burton – Blot on the Landscape!

Friday, October 29th, 2010

We had a quite a  few comments on our posts covering Harveys in Ramsgate, the consensus being that this celebrity chef inspired outpost was really, really bad.

See:-

However unlike the Foliage and Parc des Eaux Vives which also closed this year. Harveys closure was deserved. We can only hope that this prime spot on the harbour does not stay closed for too long.

We have also been cheeky using the tag line “Gone for a Burton” – a play on the celebrity chef John Burton Race’s name.  Isle One got in first with that one, but since they seem to have used one of our photographs without crediting us (tut….tut) it seemed only fair that we copy their tag line.

UPDATE – November 2010

Jacks Cantina on the Marina

Harveys has now been replaced by Jacks (The Cantina on the Marina) . I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Why the council gave the go ahead to deface this building situated in a prime location on a Victorian Harbour is beyond me.  This really is in bad taste and we haven’t even tried the food yet!

UPDATE May 2011 – The “Orange Blot” that was Jacks is gone, the building now has a new more suitable paint job. Wonder who will move into this prime spot next?  It would be a great location for Eddie Gilberts if they were thinking of expanding.

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Eddie Gilberts – reasons to leave London?

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Will Eddie Gilberts do for Ramsgate what the Sportsman has done for Whitstable?

Does it give gourmets a good reason to leave London?

Well, it is most definitely a find, already fully booked weeks in advance, and serving up top notch food that puts a lot of London Restaurants too shame.

Getting there is really easy now too, 1 hour 16 minutes on the high speed train from St Pancras to Ramsgate then a 5 minutes taxi ride.

It is located on Ramsgates’ King Street. Not the most salubrious of locations as it is a few streets away from the more attractive harbour area. However as soon as you part the chainmail curtains at the entrance to the fishmongers on the ground floor you just know this place is a quality establishment.

To start we had the scallops and what is fast becoming Eddie Gilberts signature dish,  duck egg and smoked eel soldiers, both delicious. Then came the main courses, we went for the turbot and the cod with chorizo, another two stunning dishes.  All the dishes were well cooked with nicely balanced flavours. You do get the impression that you could choose anything on the menu and not be disappointed.

We were also pleasantly surprised by the quality and presentation of the desserts. The only weak spot if we were being picky was the limited choice of dessert wines, from an otherwise fairly impressive wine list.  The Trimbach Pinot Gris was a good match for the dishes we chose.

This restaurant deserves the plaudits it has received from the national press. We certainly plan to return.

UPDATE : August 2011, added a few more pictures from a return visit.

Marks out of 10

Food 7

Service 7

Ambience 7

Eddie Gilbert’s on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

UPDATE: May 2013 – Sad to hear that Eddie Gilberts is closed, see Thanet Gazette article.

Ramsgate also has some other interesting venues, see our post:-

LOCATION INFORMATION
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Age & Sons – Eccentric & Professional

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

We had been planning to do a post on Age & Sons for a while. When it opened last year it was seen as a place that could put Ramsgate firmly on the Restaurant circuit. The chef is Toby Leigh formally of Kensington Place and gastro pubs The Anchor & Hope and Heston Blumenthal’s Hinds Head.

Age & Sons is actually more than just a restaurant. It is spread over 3 floors, the top floor is the main restaurant, the ground floor is a more casual dining area (laid out a bit like a french kitchen) and the basement houses a cosy rather stylish cocktail bar. It is not the easiest place to find. We arrived on an off season Saturday night to a fully booked restaurant whose clientele consisted of well heeled locals, out of towners, people from the yacht club and foodies like us. I particularly like this places eccentricities – the eclectic range of “Granny” style side plates, the squeaky cheese trolley. It is definitely not one of these manufactured venues with catalogue decor, it has it’s own style.

I started with sweetbreads and damsons. While full of damson flavour  it did religate the sweetbread to merely a texture rather than a taste. For main course I went for Kentish lamb and my companion went for the pork (as far removed from the pork I had in Harveys earlier that day, as it is possible to get). The portion sizes were huge so this was more comfort/hearty food than any pretension of fine dining.

What is also refreshing is that in such a busy place the service was professional and friendly. Taking the time for example to enquire how we enjoyed some of the more unusual cheeses in our cheese course.  On that front we  particularly enjoyed the whiskey flavoured variety from Snowdonia.

On leaving we noticed just how buzzing the downstairs was. This really made for a great ambience and one that most restaurants would kill for.

Marks out of 10 – October 2009

Food 5.5

Service 6.5

Ambience 7

UPDATE :  July 2010, Age & Sons now have a much larger outdoor space for drinks and food, it’s a  good spot to relax in the sunshine.  It even does tea and cakes (not a big selection – they only had muffins on our visit, but they were actually rather good, especially the marmalade and ginger one).  They were also selling  jugs of Pimms and Ginger Beer, which makes for a nice change from the normal Pimms and Lemonade option.

UPDATE : August 2011

We had a late lunch out in the lovely courtyard.  Age & Sons has really upped its game. My Mushroom and Ricotta Ravioli was particularly good.

Marks out of 10 – August 2011

Food 5.9

Service 6.5

Ambience 7

Age & Sons on Urbanspoon

UPDATE : August 2014

The Restaurant is now closed.

 

LOCATION INFORMATION
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Harveys Fish Market, Oyster Bar & Restaurant – still not the plaice to go!

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Harveys of Ramsgate now has an AA Rosette and a change of chef (or so we were told).  We thought we would give it a second chance, and see if our opinion of it differs now from our last rather damming post.

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Harveys Fish Market, Oyster Bar & Restaurant

We ordered the fixed price ‘grazing menu’, (which had a very limited fish selection)  2 courses for £12 (this certainly sounded like a bargain),  and a couple of glasses of pretty good wine. We also ordered a portion of their own baked bread which was okay. The starters arrived. Things were looking up as the presentation appeared to be not too bad. My salmon and beetroot with micro greens actually had flavour. Unbalanced but flavour none the less. My companion went for the butternut squash risotto. It also looked good but turned out to be completely lacking in flavour, basically just stodge ….oh dear as we were ready to amend our opinion and eat humble pie.

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My main course arrived. Apparently this was a ‘belly of pork’. Well it was like no cut of meat I had ever seen. It looked more like a cross section of spinal column (more cartilage than belly!). Only one word came to mind during this course and that I’m afraid was ‘Repulsive’.

Belly of Pork!

Belly of Pork!

My companions Plaice looked like it had been bitten by a Shark!. It was also over cooked.

Plaice and Potato salad

Plaice and Potato salad

When asked if we wanted dessert or coffee we decided to pass and left the restaurant as hungry as we went in.

Instead we had pancakes at Miles Cafe Culture – a genuinely buzzy and quality establishment.

Pancakes at Miles

Pancakes at Miles Cafe Culture

Our visit to Harveys was on a Saturday at lunchtime, only two other tables were occupied, so for ambience we had some background music and a baby crying in the corner. We were also a bit surprised that the fish slab was not  in use, to let us see what fresh fish was on offer.

We passed by again in the evening, on the way to Age & Sons, and noticed that the restaurant was barely half full. Which was interesting when compared to the completely full Age & Sons, which attracts exactly the type of clientel that Harveys are trying to target.

How the AA could award Harveys with “The only AA Rosette in Thanet” is beyond me. There are more deserving restaurants in Thanet, such as Age & Sons. It was also disconcerting to read the description of Harveys in toptable, it used words like “steller seafood” and intimated that Celebrity Chef John Burton Race was involved in the cooking. I am pretty sure he is not.

After two visits now, our conclusion was that Harveys would be an ideal candidate for another Celebrity Chefs TV show – Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

It’s great that so much money has been invested in Ramsgate, which does really need a good fish restaurant. We just don’t feel the investment has  been made in the kitchen where it really counts. It’s also good to know we are not alone in our views, as I have spotted a couple of reviews now that use words like “Dire” to describe the food in Harveys. So unless there are some major changes here, Harveys can relax as we won’t be reviewing them again.

UPDATE – November 2009 : Just read Jay Rayners recent review for the Observer, spot on. He was also brave enough to try the Oysters!

UPDATE – July 2010 : See picture below, this is amazing. It looks like they are actually using the negative review in The Observer to market the restaurant.

UPDATE – October 2010 : About time!  Harveys is finally closed – RIP please! For more information see post from Isle One.

Marks out of 10

Food 2

Service 3

Ambience 2

Harvey's Fish Market & Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

LOCATION INFORMATION
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Miles Cafe Culture in Ramsgate

Monday, July 20th, 2009

One of the highlights on the culinary front, in an area sadly lacking in good places to eat, is Miles Cafe Culture.  It is in a prime location overlooking the harbour.  It is open all day/every day.  It has a very good breakfast menu,  much better that the usual greasy all day breakfasts a lot of the places in Ramsgate do. The handmade sausages being a highlight.

The kitchen is pretty much geared up to provide an opportunity for all day food grazing, should you find it hard to leave!  On our last visit we were especially impressed by the “fresh” Calamari* rings that were made to order.

It’s also a good venue for a relaxed Sunday Lunch too. I would suggest booking for that, as there is limited space in the Restaurant section and this is popular among the more well healed locals and London visitors.

The wines are also of a good standard, from about £40 for the Amerone to about £13 for the Riddle Riesling-Gewürztraminer.

Marks out of 10

Food 5.5

Service 5

Ambience 7

Views 7

UPDATE – December 2013 : We paid another Visit to this vibrant bar, but were very disappointed when we ordered the Calamari*, it had been so lovely on my last visit, I just assumed it would be again. No such luck – something had definitely changed. It was like eating elastic bands. I love Calamari when it is done well and hate it when it is like this. So much as I like Miles Cafe, I think I will restrict myself to just ordering drinks in future.

Miles Bar on Urbanspoon

 

 

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Harveys Fish Market, Oyster Bar & Restaurant – not the plaice to go!

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Harveys of Ramsgate, part of Kent Inns of Distinction, is marketed as a dedicated seafood restaurant  using locally landed fish. A fabulous idea, in theory.

Celebrity TV chef John Burton-Race of the Michelin-starred New Angel in Dartmouth is connected with it, loosely I hope, based on the standards achieved here, both in terms off food and service.

I can not see this place, surviving  the winter. I certainly will not be returning or recommending this unjustifiably overpriced venue. Neither the food quality or the level of service matched the look of the venue. Bland Fish, and one of the worst deserts I have ever had (hard meringue!). Plates passed across my companion at the table, come on – anywhere that typically charges £20 for mains, needs to deliver something a bit special. Then there is the ambience issue,  sitting next to a large noisy table of 10 in a half empty restaurant is far from ideal. This is most definitely not my idea of “fine dining”.

Its pretension without the quality, delivering expensive badly cooked food. Just another “Faux Gourmet” experience.

They could have done so much more in this prime location overlooking Ramsgate Royal Harbour.

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UPDATE October 2009 : Made a return visit to Harveys after all, in light of comments and the award of an AA Rosette. For details see Harveys Fish Market, Oyster Bar & Restaurant – still not the plaice to go!.

UPDATE April 2010 – Back in Ramsgate, this time to try Eddie Gilberts. For details see Eddie Gilberts – reasons to leave London? (Eddie Gilberts 7, Harveys 2)

UPDATE October 2010 – About time!  Harveys is finally closed – RIP please! For more information see post from Isle One.

Marks out of 10 for Harveys

Food 2

Service 3

Ambience 3

LOCATION INFORMATION
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