One of the best things about moving to a new area has to be discovering something new, whether that’s somewhere to eat, taking the dog for a walk, picking up an antique bargain, or just finding somewhere pretty, and I thought I would take you all on a journey of discovery around Kent, my new home, in a new series I’m calling Kent Life. Here, you can expect reviews of great places to eat, things to do no matter the season, those independent shops I just adore, I’ve already found lots of cute interior boutiques, and basically everything else in-between. Starting off with my review of the Rocksalt restaurant in Folkestone that is run by Mark Sargeant, one-time head chef at Claridge’s.
We actually discovered Rocksalt by accident, we decided to head down to Folkestone while it was sunny and we literally found ourselves at the beach and couldn’t resist eating in here as it literally overlooks the harbour, which is looking extra cute at the moment as it is displaying one of the Richard Woods’ holiday homes floating in middle of it. Plus, I always feel that when the weather is nice enough, you have to sit outside and enjoy it right? and the decked area is the perfect spot for lunch.
As it was during the week, we went for the set lunch menu, which is served Monday to Friday 12pm to 3pm, and you can have two courses for £21.50 or three for £25, mainly because I saw the pudding selection and you guys know I something sweet. Rocksalt is renowned for its seasonal Kentish food, mainly seafood, which isn’t always my favourite, but the menu really does have something for everyone, even on the set menu.
After ordering and while watching the water come in enough for the fisherman to get their boats out of the harbour, the waiter brought us over a complimentary chef sharing plate, with seaweed crackers, fresh bread and radishes to dip in the oil. I love that it was totally unexpected and was the perfect start to the meal. The crackers were incredible.
Next up, starters, as I’m more of a sweet person, I didn’t have a starter, however, my husband went for the Tandoori Bone Marrow with grilled cucumber and crab apple chutney, and through the fact he scrapped every last bit of meat and filling out of it, I’m going to go out on a limb and say he liked it, a lot. The only thing he said was he would have liked more because it was so delicious. Other starter options included fennel and mussel broth and minted summer vegetable stuffed beef tomato with Sussex Charmer cheese.
For the mains, I went for the Free Range Chicken Breast with creamed corn and sage roasted squash, which can I just say that as well as the incredible presentation, seriously, how instagrammable is that, it was also cooked to perfection. The chicken was moist and tender, while the creamed corn was whipped perfectly, but the highlight had to be the roasted squash, which was simply yummy. If I see squash on a menu I generally go for it, I love it so much, but it can sometimes be a little of a let down as it is hard to get just right, but they certainly got it right at Rocksalt.
My husband went for the Smoked Salmon Omelette ‘Arnold Bennett’ with peas and broad beans, as he was wanting something a little lighter than the main menu meals such as steak or mussels, and he said that omelette might sound like a boring option but it was lovely, like having brunch in the sunshine. The vegetarian main was a Carrot and Rosemary Tart Tatin with onions and goat cheese.
Rounding off the set menu was dessert and there was one dish that instantly caught my eye, the Summer Berry Posset with gingerbread, and I’m so pleased I went for it as it was creamy, rich and so, so sweet, which was perfectly matched with the gingerbread, as it doesn’t compete with the fruit flavours, rather it complements and makes it refreshing, especially in the summer heat.
The other dessert options were: apricot and hazelnut tart or a Kent and Sussex cheese board, which the people over from us had and it looked amazing, and I think if it hadn’t been so hot my husband might have opted for that rather than an iced coffee.
Overall, what I loved about the Rocksalt, other than the amazing food, was the location, perfectly placed to watch Folkestone harbour and the tide come in, and the setting, the sleek timber decking was modern without been stuffy, so I didn’t feel underdressed wearing my summer maxi dress, and the staff were super friendly and attentive. If you aren’t in to set menus, don’t worry the a la carte offering features everything from fish soup to smoked salmon, grilled prawns and mussels, as well as steak, pork chops and ribs, while veggies can tuck into curried butternut squash and beetroot wellington, trust me you will find something you’ll love on this menu.
Rocksalt isn’t the only Mark Sargeant run eatery in Kent, just around the corner is a flashy chippy, The Smokehouse, while in Wye there is a cute looking tapas place, The Wife of Bath, and in Ickham is the Duke William pub, and I need to try them all out to see if they are just as good!!!
Have you been to Rocksalt? Or do you have anywhere you love to eat in Kent that I need to try out?