main, which was my next choice.
I opted for the fillet of beef served with confit potatoes, wild mushroom and beef red wine sauce, which was a stunner of a dish – glistening darkly on a deep blue plate, perfectly cooked to my liking and with a retro dish of baby corn, mange-tout, carrots and broccoli on the side. Dylan’s recommendation of a South African Freedom Cross Pinotage with its hints of blackcurrant and black pepper perfectly picked up the richness of the beef and its jus.
Keeping it classic, I finished with a dark chocolate mousse, which managed to be light yet dense and well, just heavenly – especially teamed with a first for me; compressed strawberries.
Prepared sous-vide to retain maximum juice and sweetness, this is a marriage made in heaven when teamed with chocolate. Sprinkled with tiny meringues to provide crunch and texture, this new favourite will be hard to beat.
Other dishes that caught my eye were the home-made tortellini with spinach and ricotta (the only veggie main) and blackberry mousse with deep-fried ice cream, which I must try!
Here is a chef not afraid to experiment, with a great eye for presentation and a mastery of flavour and unusual combinations that work and excite. Coupled with superb front-of-house service and an attractive, quirky setting, Kathton House is definitely one to watch. Next time, I’m staying over.
Fine dining in an elegant listed restaurant just outside Canterbury
Kathton House, 6 High Street, Sturry, nr Canterbury
CT2 0BD, 01227 719999, www. kathtonhouse.com
Lunch and dinner daily Tue-Sat and Sun lunch 12-4pm
Lunch £24 - £28.50, dinner £41-£48.50, Sun lunch £17-£29 The duck breast because of its Asian hints and the acidity introduced from the pickled damsons that accompany the dish so well. Mircea Niculescu, head chef at the Hilton Hotel Bucharest, as he taught me the basics and how to constantly improve. Jauca Catalin, head chef at Abode Hotel in Canterbury, was a good mentor and gave me the chance to develop myself. My plating tweezers, as they allow me to add the delicate finishing touches to dishes. When I worked at the British Embassy in Bucharest I had the pleasure of meeting and cooking for Prince Charles, and I can’t ask for more than that.