Restaurant of the month – The Allotment
Using vegetables, fruit and herbs he grows, as well as produce supplied by local allotment holders, everything at Dave Flynn's Dover-centre restaurant is as fresh and seasonal as you could wish
The Allotment in Dover is on a prime site, in the High Street, right opposite the Town Hall. It is a perfectly relaxed and informal place, enhanced by the very friendly welcome from chef-patron David Flynn.
The restaurant, which was previously a caf� and before that part of a famous local vintner, features some glorious stained glass from a local glassworks. When David took the place over, he gutted it, discovering some great wooden floors under old carpet, which are now shown off with pride.
The walls were also found to be clad in some very attractive wooden panelling, which now also decorates the restaurant; the ceilings have been opened up and, together with the on-view kitchens, the entire restaurant has a pleasant, contemporary feel. In the summer there is an attractive courtyard area.
Based in this part of Kent, The Allotment is in a perfect position to benefit from local suppliers, with meat from butchers in Aylesham, fish from the Folkestone Trawlers, but the most exciting aspect of all is that the vegetables come, as much as possible, from local allotments.
Dave also grows vegetables and through spring and summer you will find all varieties of greens, salads and herbs, together with soft fruits, grown by the restaurant patron. In addition, he encourages other allotment users in the area to come in and sell him their produce. David is well on the way to self-sufficiency in vegetables and fruits.
Another restaurant innovation involves the wines. Dave chooses wines, using the vintner Tanner’s from Shrewsbury and these are on the list at an economic price. The wine list is short but offers excellent value for money, and I can certainly vouch for this with the wines we tried: a Sunnycliff Chardonnary from Australia, a Viňas del Vero Gew�rtztraminer from Somontano, Spain, a C�teaux de Languedoc and the very good house wine, the Rayon Carmenere from Chile.
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For our lunch, I selected a home-cured salmon with dill and white wine, which was very delicate. My partner chose Trevelez ham with celeriac and for the main, mushroom Parmigiano, both delicious. My main course was braised pork with porcini mushrooms, which was excellent - I particularly enjoyed the addition of that winter treat, red cabbage. I couldn’t resist the sweets and was offered a taster of cheesecake and a little lemon posset. These were both very good and suited my palate, which meant that they weren’t oversweet and just perfectly tasty. You can also enjoy breakfast here till 11.30am, as well as tea and home-made cakes in the afternoon.
Dave’s popularity with the locals and with visitors from further afield is totally deserved, as witnessed by the recent inclusion of The Allotment in the Good Food Guide. His philosophy of providing you with the purest ingredients he can find translates into excellent quality of the dishes you can enjoy here.
9 High Street, Dover CT16 1DP
Tel: 01304 214467
Open: Tue to Sat, 8.30am to 11pm, breakfast until 11.30am