Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Sportsman, Whitstable

A group of four (two couples) decided to take a little road trip out of London to Seasalter near Whitstable on Sunday. The drive was less than an hour outside of the city and the feeling of the salty air was amazingly refreshing.

The Sportsman pub (where we chose to eat lunch) has one Michelin Star and is well worth this accolade. Surprisingly the pub doesn't look anything special from the outside and the toilets, whilst clean and functional do not give a Michelin Star impression. However, the restaurant has a lovely rustic interior decor and friendly staff. It also has an unusual relaxed concept where the food menu is all written on a chalkboard and you must go up table by table to order! Book well in advance, we waited three months for a lunchtime weekend reservation but this is a great treat and worth the wait.

The restaurant has plenty of parking and is also a short few minutes walk to the beach, which you can wander up and down to help digest your meal! Equally you can drive into Whitstable itself and continue your day in this quaint little seaside town! The other amazing benefit of this establishment is your alcoholic drinks won't have London prices attached to them despite being in a Michelin Starred location! This was a pleasant surprise on our bill as between us we managed three white wine spritzers, three glasses of white wine, two lager shandy's, two pints and an espresso yet including service and the tasting menu at £45 each the total damage was £260. For all the food and alcohol you cannot really grumble at £65 per head!

So, the tasting menu! We started with a little appetizer, which was presented in half an egg shell. The dish was made from egg yolk and haddock and was creamy and delicious. Next up were oysters or salmon with the same toppings for those that weren't up for the challenge! The oysters were presented on a bed of seashells, which was novel. One oyster was poached with caviar in a creamy sauce and the other was raw and accompanied by some chorizo, which was a wicked combination.

Egg Appetizer 
Salmon Equivalent
Next up was pot roasted red cabbage with apple and fresh cheese. This was a really interesting concept and the flavors all worked very well together. The cabbage was followed swiftly with a selection of three different home made breads and thick butter. There was a white, brown and a rye bread. I am not sure what the rye was flavored with but it was absolutely mouth watering. The white and brown were soft with a thick crust and baked to perfection.

After our breads we tucked into a delicious sea bass dish with a crab bisque, which was definitely my favorite dish I tried. This was followed by a pork and celeriac concoction with roast potatoes. After a little pause we were brought the dessert board to choose as our tasting menu came with any dessert of our liking. We all went for different things. The boys tried the warm chocolate mousse, which was a generous portion. I went for the rhubarb souffle accompanied by a custard ice cream and my other friend chose a lemon tart with a meringue ice cream. The ice creams are all home made and the meringue flavor was amazing! We finished up with a strawberry ice lolly dipped into cake milk, which was milk with bits of fairy cake and was great!!!!

Rhubarb Souffle with Custard Ice Cream
All in all we were in the pub for almost four hours and loved every single second. The food is brilliant and presented really well. The staff cannot do enough for you and I think the prices are really reasonable. If you fancy an afternoon out of London definitely get on the waiting list and head down for some sea air and a fabulous meal.