Eight Thanet restaurants have been named as among the UK’s best in the 2018 edition of the prestigious Harden’s restaurant guide.
In Ramsgate The Empire Room restaurant at the Royal Harbour Hotel has been included for the first time. Ramsgate’s other entrant was Flavours By Kumar.
Another debutant is Stark, which joins Wyatt & Jones, in being included for Broadstairs. In Margate The Ambrette, Bay at Sands Hotel, GB Pizza and Hantverk & Found are featured.
The 2018 edition of the annual guide of the best UK restaurants – the 27th – is based on a survey of 8,500 diners who contributed 50,000 reviews of their restaurant experiences. Ratings are provided for food, service and ambiance, where a score of 5 is exceptional, 4 is very good, 3 is good, 2 is average, and 1 is poor.
Stark scored 5/5 for food. Harden’s said: “Ben Crittenden -formerly head chef at West House in Biddenden- and his wife Sophie opened this 12-cover, prix-fixe restaurant in Broadstairs just before Christmas 2016. Early reports from locals and Londoners can’t praise it enough. In a tiny space they conjure up superb food for a six course tasting menu with a very modestly priced but thoughtful wine flight.”
The Ambrette also scored 5/5 for food. Harden’s said: “Fine Indian food with a European twist, with some superb flavours and interesting combinations”and notes the consistent rave reviews for Div Biswal’s “relaxed” and “surprisingly great” restaurant.
The Empire Room ranks highly with 4s in each of the three criteria, with the Guide reporting: “Freshly landed fish straight from boat to kitchen, prepared by chef Craig Mather’s delicate touch . . . with the ambience of a private dining club . . . excellent value set menu.”
Hotelier James Thomas said he is delighted his restaurant has been recognised by the Guide.
He added: “Harden’s reporters are a demanding bunch with discerning taste, who really know their onions – our inclusion should help boost Thanet’s gastro tourism.”
The Empire Room has also just announced its Tiffin Club gourmet takeaway scheme, with reusable metal tiffin containers, aimed at reducing marine plastic pollution.
The Harden’s guide lists over 1,200 eateries at all price levels outside the capital.
It includes a slightly greater number of restaurants inside London, to create the most comprehensive of the UK’s guides.
Harden’s Best UK Restaurants 2018 guide is available from bookshops and online for £15.99 at www.hardens.com