Take cocktail syrups made on the premises along with fresh, home-made food focusing on intolerances, health and local ingredients, add a splash of ‘Summer’ colours and flowers and you get the newly-opened Zest café and cocktail bar in Ramsgate.
The venue, at the former Caboose site in Queen Street, opened its doors this month and is being run by Ramsgate couple Tyler Turner and Chris Clemson.
The pair, who got engaged last year, have combined their talents to create the café/bar with everything on offer from mixed grain salads to the fabulous Instragram burger and a range of cocktails inspired by Chris’s time working as a barman in Norway.
Tyler, 23, has been in the chef trade since she was 15 and has worked at venues including Marco Pierre White’s restaurant in Dubai and, most recently, at The Empire Room in Ramsgate.
She said: “We are trying to make it accessible for people with food allergies and intolerances. I have Crohns and so experience intolerances to foods including wheat, even tomatoes and garlic.
“There are a lot of vegan and healthy options because we are in 2018, not everyone wants pizza all the time.
“We do burgers and chicken wings but everything is 100% homemade, we know every ingredient that goes into our food. It’s all quite local, like lemons from Nash Farm, fresh and healthy.
“We also do the Instagram burger (above) on a black activated charcoal bun, Zest burger and homemade slaw, it’s quite magnificent, and we have salads, juices, things that we enjoy eating. It makes a difference when you are passionate about something.
“We will be keeping up with fashionable food trends and will be serving meals such as Ramen Japanese stew and noodles, slow cooked beef rib and a vegan option of Brazilian pulled pork using green lentils and shredded carrot.”
Cocktails are also on offer, many using recipes Chris picked up during his seven years in Norway.
The 30-year-old said: “All the syrups are handmade with ingredients such as lemon grass bought from the Oriental shop up the road.
“We had a little girl the other day who came in and really wanted a milkshake. We didn’t have it on the menu but I made one up using blueberry jam and oatmilk. We will probably put that on the menu now.”
The couple, who have spent just over a month overhauling the premises with the help of family and friends, say the Ramsgate business community and residents have ‘been really welcoming.’
Zest, at 18 Queen Street, is open:
8:30am- 6pm Tuesday and Wednesday;
9am- 10pm Thursday;
9am-11pm on, Friday Saturday