Harveys of Ramsgate reviewed by Kent Life

With fish straight from the boats coming in to the bustling Royal harbour it overlooks, Harveys of Ramsgate offers great cooking in contemporary surroundings and the best of summer views

Harveys of Ramsgate reviewed by Kent Life

With fish straight from the boats coming in to the bustling Royal harbour it overlooks, Harveys of Ramsgate offers great cooking in contemporary surroundings and the best of summer views

 y Work Colleague is turning into a lucky charm. We’ve had a run of highly successful meals together and this month’s is no exception; it even inspired the self-confessed non-fish lover of the party to positively enjoy the fruits of the Kent coast.

Our destination was Harveys of Ramsgate, part of Richard and Sherry Martin’s Kent Inns of Distinction group, which boasts the services of TV chef John Burton-Race, no less, in a “development role” with the group.

Regular readers will be aware of my borderline obsession with seafood, so I was in my element here, sitting upstairs in an airy high-ceilinged room overlooking the lively and colourful Royal harbour where most of my lunch had come from.

I even matched the decor, with my turquoise top reflecting the choice of blue for the linen napkins, vases and candle holders: we made a nice contrast with the simple square wooden tables, padded cream leather seats, modern silver chandeliers and scrubbed wooden floors. Hard to believe this was once a real ‘spit n’ sawdust’ pub renowned for its boxing fights.

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MWC clearly knows her paint charts and informed me the walls were in duck egg and Renaissance blue (that’s pale blue and slightly darker to you and me). Whatever. They were a perfect backdrop for large framed prints of crab, mackerel et al, a clever reminder of what we were about to enjoy.

The sensible-sized menu offers a choice of six starters and six mains, plus two ‘signature dishes’ and a couple of dishes of the day, enabling chef to be bang up to date with the day’s catch. It was a no-brainer for me: seared Rye Bay scallops with chorizo combined two of my favourite things in one pretty white oblong plateful and offered a perfectly judged ‘wallop’ of contrasting flavours and textures. Bliss.

I even craftily persuaded MWC to go for the warm lobster served with crab and a thyme and chervil-laced potato salad in case any could come my way. Result! She adored her lobster but the crab was a bit too intensely well, er, crab-like I guess, for her taste. Fear not, it was swiftly stolen, and thoroughly enjoyed by yours truly.

Playing safe now, MWC opted for the familiarity of fish and chips to follow, but this was like no chippy we’d ever seen. Tempura batter coated a trip of cod, plaice and salmon with the lightest of touches, allowing the ultra-fresh fish to shine through – and not a bone in sight, my dining chum’s nightmare.

No detail is overlooked here: piping hot, square-cut chips are arranged on the plate like a small fortress, Bloody Mary enlivens the home-made tomato ketchup and the dollop of fresh pea pur�e had all the just-picked taste of the garden.

Lovely as the lunch menu was, I opted for the special that day of halibut with home-made linguini, peppers and chill sauce, an impeccably cooked and vividly presented dish that went beautifully with a glass of Loire Valley C�teaux du Giennois Sauvignon Blanc.  

Puddings maintain the high standard set, with MWC particularly admiring the execution of her local raspberry souffl� with a Champagne sorbet and my strawberries with Chantilly cream ending up way beyond that simple classic and involving strawberry sorbet and the lightest of shortbread bases too.

Service by the lovely Charissa Burnett was faultless and friendly and we enjoyed chatting to the kitchen double act of Japan-born Austin mmmm and Mark Hewitt, who like to keep it local with their suppliers: Chapmans of Sevenoaks for the fish (and directly from the boats just yards away), J C Rook for meat, while fruit and veg is picked up by the team direct from Wingham County Market.

Quiet on our lunchtime visit, don’t be fooled – it’ll be packed for Regatta Week and high days and holidays, so do book ahead, especially if you want a coveted upstairs seat overlooking the harbour.

CONTACT

Harvey’s of Ramsgate

Harbour Parade, Royal Harbour, Ramsgate CT11 8LJ

Tel: 01843 599707 Email: reservations@harveysoframsgate.com

Typical prices: seared Rye Bay scallops and chorizo Alicante, �10; tuna loin with minted new potatoes, �16; raspberry souffl� with Champagne sorbet, �7; Sauvignon Blanc C�teaux du Giennois, �19.95. Set two-course dinner: �19

Restaurant open: Mon-Fri 12pm-2.30pm and 6pm-9.30pm, Sat and Sun 12pm-9.30pm

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