THE ES­SEN­TIALS

WHAT: WHERE:

Kent Life - - Food And Drink -

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.

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