6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

The West House Biddenden - Restaurant Review

PUBLISHED: 15:59 14 December 2010 | UPDATED: 17:42 20 February 2013

The West House Biddenden - Restaurant Review

The West House Biddenden - Restaurant Review

The West House Biddenden - restaurant review....

The West House Biddenden restaurant review




The West House Biddenden restaurant review

Bread and dripping is not something one usually associates with Michelin Star dining, but when its home-made bread served warm in a little cloth bag with the lightest of thyme and farmhouse butter-laced pork dripping to spread on it, then it becomes something else entirely.

Its the first of many surprises at The West House on Biddendens pretty high street. Set in a 15th-century Flemish weavers cottage, a Grade II listed building, the family-run restaurant is tiny, seating up to just

32 at dark oak round or square tables.

A big recessed fireplace houses a woodburning stove and beams cover the ceiling and plain white walls, which are hung with modern prints of radishes a quirky but typical touch.

Then theres the chef-owner himself. Graham Garrett is still a real East End boy, utterly unpretentious and down to earth. I am not convinced he knows how good he is, despite gaining his Michelin Star six years ago (after just two years here) and having won many awards over the same period.

His welcoming wife Jackie looks after the front of house and the couple are now getting help from their teenage son and daughter, so its a real family affair. Out in the kitchen Graham, who learned his craft in London with Nico Ladenis and Richard Corrigan, is assisted by Ben Crittenden, from Ramsgate who,

we agree, really should move to Frittenden for the sheer rhyming fun.

The short dinner menu completely reflects Grahams style concise dish names hiding a great deal of skill and impeccable judgement of flavours. Thus tomato is actually tomato tartare with a fried courgette flower, feta cheese and black olive salt,

pork is slow-cooked pigs cheeks with carrots, turnips and chorizo cream while custard is vanilla crme brle with cherries and a brandy snap.

You get the picture.The West House Biddenden restaurant review


Bread and dripping is not something one usually associates with Michelin Star dining, but when its home-made bread served warm in a little cloth bag with the lightest of thyme and farmhouse butter-laced pork dripping to spread on it, then it becomes something else entirely.

Its the first of many surprises at The West House on Biddendens pretty high street. Set in a 15th-century Flemish weavers cottage, a Grade II listed building, the family-run restaurant is tiny, seating up to just32 at dark oak round or square tables.A big recessed fireplace houses a woodburning stove and beams cover the ceiling and plain white walls, which are hung with modern prints of radishes a quirky but typical touch.Then theres the chef-owner himself. Graham Garrett is still a real East End boy, utterly unpretentious and down to earth. I am not convinced he knows how good he is, despite gaining his Michelin Star six years ago (after just two years here) and having won many awards over the same period.His welcoming wife Jackie looks after the front of house and the couple are now getting help from their teenage son and daughter, so its a real family affair.

Out in the kitchen Graham, who learned his craft in London with Nico Ladenis and Richard Corrigan, is assisted by Ben Crittenden, from Ramsgate who,we agree, really should move to Frittenden for the sheer rhyming fun.The short dinner menu completely reflects Grahams style concise dish names hiding a great deal of skill and impeccable judgement of flavours. Thus tomato is actually tomato tartare with a fried courgette flower, feta cheese and black olive salt,pork is slow-cooked pigs cheeks with carrots, turnips and chorizo cream while custard is vanilla crme brle with cherries and a brandy snap.You get the picture.




The passion is all in the cooking, which relies heavily on the best of local produce fish from Chapmans of Sevenoaks, game and partridge from Necci Game of Staplehurst, fruit and veg from Friday Street Farm, all complemented by a carefully chosen wine list of about 80 wines (the new list will include some local Chapel Down favourites, we are assured).

Suitably intrigued, My Double-Barrelled Friend and I made our choices from a sensibly short selection of five starters and five mains. MDBF opted for ham and eggs, which turned about to be jellied ham hock, black pudding, a small but perfectly formed warm Scotch egg and the most delicious home-made piccalilli.

It tastes like proper ham should do! he said, with a note of surprise and there was a similar response to his roast Temple Farm chicken main, which had the subtlest and softest of flavours that only comes with a really fresh, perfectly cooked bird. Served with potato gnocchi, artichokes and girolles (and a glass of French Caves de Gaillac Sauvignon Privilege), this was a winning plateful.

Meanwhile, I kick-started my tastebuds into touch with a zingy selection of marinated fillet of mackerel and beetroot, accompanied by frozen horseradish and a shot of cucumber jelly a great palate cleanser before my meltingly tender roast fillet of venison served with Brogdale Farm cherries, the evenings special. Richly red and robustly flavoursome, this was the star turn

for me and worked especially well with a glass of Spanish red, Bodegas Pittacum Bierzo Tinto 2005.

My pudding transported me straight back to childhood: crunchie turns out to be white chocolate honeycomb parfait with dark chocolate sorbet (heaven for chocoholics),

while MDBF loved his strawberries and cream, an elegantly delicious combination of crme fraiche, pannacotta, local strawberries and rose water meringue with frosted tarragon.

The final word comes from Graham, who looks visibly more relaxed at the end of the evening. If I got fed up cooking, Id do something else but I still get excited by it! And long may that excitement and sheer inventiveness last.


The passion is all in the cooking, which relies heavily on the best of local produce fish from Chapmans of Sevenoaks, game and partridge from Necci Game of Staplehurst, fruit and veg from Friday Street Farm, all complemented by a carefully chosen wine list of about 80 wines (the new list will include some local Chapel Down favourites, we are assured).

Suitably intrigued, My Double-Barrelled Friend and I made our choices from a sensibly short selection of five starters and five mains. MDBF opted for ham and eggs, which turned about to be jellied ham hock, black pudding, a small but perfectly formed warm Scotch egg and the most delicious home-made piccalilli.It tastes like proper ham should do! he said, with a note of surprise and there was a similar response to his roast Temple Farm chicken main, which had the subtlest and softest of flavours that only comes with a really fresh, perfectly cooked bird. Served with potato gnocchi, artichokes and girolles (and a glass of French Caves de Gaillac Sauvignon Privilege), this was a winning plateful.

Meanwhile, I kick-started my tastebuds into touch with a zingy selection of marinated fillet of mackerel and beetroot, accompanied by frozen horseradish and a shot of cucumber jelly a great palate cleanser before my meltingly tender roast fillet of venison served with Brogdale Farm cherries, the evenings special. Richly red and robustly flavoursome, this was the star turnfor me and worked especially well with a glass of Spanish red, Bodegas Pittacum Bierzo Tinto 2005.My pudding transported me straight back to childhood: crunchie turns out to be white chocolate honeycomb parfait with dark chocolate sorbet (heaven for chocoholics),while MDBF loved his strawberries and cream, an elegantly delicious combination of crme fraiche, pannacotta, local strawberries and rose water meringue with frosted tarragon.

The final word comes from Graham, who looks visibly more relaxed at the end of the evening. If I got fed up cooking, Id do something else but I still get excited by it! And long may that excitement and sheer inventiveness last.


Contact

The West House Restaurant

28, High Street, Biddenden TN27 8AH

%01580 291341

) mail@thewesthouserestaurant.co.uk

Typical prices: 35 for three courses

at dinner, lunch 25 for three courses

or 22 for two, Sun lunch 35 (three courses) or 29 (two courses).

Restaurant open: Tue-Fri 12pm-1.45pm, Sun 12pm-2.30pm, dinner: Tue-Sat 7pm- 9.30pm


Contact

The West House Restaurant

28 High Street,

Biddenden

TN27 8AH

(01580 291341)

mail@thewesthouserestaurant.co.uk

Typical prices: 35 for three coursesat dinner, lunch 25 for three coursesor 22 for two, Sun lunch 35 (three courses) or 29 (two courses).

Restaurant open: Tue-Fri 12pm-1.45pm, Sun 12pm-2.30pm, dinner: Tue-Sat 7pm- 9.30pm

More from Food & Drink

From Creole-inspired seafood to rustic Italian dishes, Margate is rapidly becoming one of Kent's top places to eat. We've gathered 10 of the best places to eat in the town

Read more
Friday, August 30, 2019

No Sunday is complete without a roast dinner, and in the glorious county of Kent you'll be spoilt for choice with fantastic places to go. We have picked 12 great places where you can indulge in a roast with all the trimmings

Read more

Visit The White Horse in Dover for a slice of ancient and contemporary history, a huge welcome and hearty, homely cooking without any airs and graces

Read more
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Win one of five pairs of tickets to Bluewater Gin Festival on 27-29 September 2019 and one of five bottles of Anno B3rry Pink Gin, courtesy of Anno Distillers

Read more
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

From the classic battered cod and chips to vegan 'fish' and deep fried gherkins, everybody loves a good fish and chip shop. We have picked 10 of the best places for fish and chips in Kent

Read more
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Recipe by Mike Janey from Mickey's Plaice, fishmonger at Shipbourne and Hildenborough Farmers' Markets

Read more
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Working with Kent Farmers' Market Association, we put a different market in the spotlight

Read more
Thursday, August 8, 2019

If sipping a tipple in the sun is your idea of a great summer's afternoon, these pretty pub gardens will be heaven

Read more
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Christmas Day is about celebrating with loved ones over good food and conversation, so head to one of these fantastic restaurants or cosy pubs and have a festive feast

Read more

New kid in town Verdigris is making a real impact on Tonbridge's burgeoning foodie scene

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life