The plaudits for The Sportsman in Seasalter near Whitstable, are legion. In a nutshell it’s a pub doing simply brilliant food. Many a diner has booked a day return to Whitstable, or trundled down the A2 to enjoy it’s hospitality. And so if you’re interested in good British food, you’d be remiss not to pay it a visit. Consequently it seemed the natural choice for a birthday lunch.
We got there early, and so with 20 mins to kill we introduced ourselves to the locals.
Once inside, seated and whistle whetted by a pint of Early Bird Spring Hop Ale the tasting menu began. First up, pork scratchings and herring on soda bread
Next came smoked turbot roe with homemade cheese and nettle puree. This went down well with my 10 month old daughter.
The ever wonderful breads and homemade butter put in an appearance
A Baked oyster with Jersey cream and rhubarb granita was brilliant, rhubarb taking the place of a squeeze of lemon in providing a citrus hit. And gentle baking oysters adds to their creaminess. Again, popular with the nipper.
This was a delight, in the little tart was a curry style sauce that offered a little warmth.
OMG a little Dover sole with smoked chilli butter – stunning
The Sportsman’s home cured ham, with explanatory note. (There was more when it arrived, but we set about it before I’d picked up the camera.
Brill, with a smoked herring sauce. “It’s not often you see nice grey food” said Kate.
Lamb breast, breadcrumbed with mint sauce. Which was rather sweet, in a good way.
Lamb three ways with horseraddish greens.
Lemon posset, again popular with the little one
Lemon tart and ice-cream
Happy birthday to me! A nice final touch, and in all, a truly excellent lunch.
A tasting menu is an opportunity for a chef to tell you their story, to showcase their wares and take you on a bit of an adventure. Stephen does this and more I believe. He uses it as a medium for the conveying of happiness, that’s what this meal was to me, four hours of indulgence, laughter and enjoyment.