Restaurant Review: The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

15:46 Blogs by FA 78 Comments

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

Looking for some fine dining in Kent or Sussex? The Ambrette is definitely the place to be visited. Located in Canterbury and Margate in Kent and Rye in East Sussex, it offers Indian cuisine served using high quality exotic ingredients.


The Ambrette:

My husband and I were at The Ambrette in Canterbury last Thursday evening to sample their tasting menu and it turned out to be a fantastic pre-birthday celebration meal. I had already seen the online menu on their website so I had a bit of idea that the food would be excellent. We could easily locate it and I was glad it was slightly away from the hustle bustle of the town centre. 

Dev Biswal launched The Ambrette in 2010 in Margate (Kent) before branching out to Rye and Canterbury. Ambrette is an Indian flower known for its culinary properties, and this is where the name has been derived from. It offers seasonal  menu and the dishes are served using local and exotic ingredients. Influenced by Indian cooking, Dev seemed to be very artistic in creating dishes and so other global cuisines can be seen reflected on the menu as well. 

Biswal was awarded ‘Chef of the Year’ by The Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Food and Drink Awards 2015. Dev's birthplace was Orissa in Eastern India. He has a vast experience of working at various establishments in India and at Sheraton, Dubai. Later, he moved to London and then to Kent.It was great meeting him and learning about his journey to the launch of The Ambrette. 

Location & Parking:

The Ambrette (Canterbury) restaurant is located on the street very near to the Walton car park that charges £1.75 per hour and is less than a minute by walk from the bay. 

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK


Seating & Interior:

As I entered the restaurant, I was delighted to see the grandeur of the place which is not very common at the restaurants I have been to in Canterbury. We were greeted by a very polite staff member who even held the door for us to bring in BabyN's pushchair. The entrance was was wide, the seating area well spread out and the ceiling higher than usual, all to give the place an overall great spacious look and feel. They have a candle lit on each table that gives a romantic feel. They have both chairs and sofa setting available at the restaurant. 

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK



The Dining Experience

Once we got comfortably seated, Dev himself came to greet us, which was a pleasant surprise.  He was already aware of our dietary requirements, but he reconfirmed it again ensuring a memorable experience for us. We had opted for the sea-food and vegetarian option so he carefully prepared our menu, which was perfect! I loved the fact that Dev has carefully designed the menu with all the details of the ingredients used which gave me a feeling that I was eating healthy! 

Our welcome mocktail was the first to arrive. The drink already made the impression that the rest to follow would be super too! The mocktail had apple juice, chocolate, refreshing mint leaves and a slice of lemon and tasted great. Next to follow was Mushroom and Potato Dumpling coated with 22 carat gold and a North Indian styled samosa. The starter had  subtle flavours and was served with a swirl of warm chutney and sat on a squish of mango sauce - A perfect combo! 


The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

Then came Dosai which was a dish having gently spiced potatoes, mustard, onions and was served on a bed of coconut, pineapple and green pea chutney. I have had Dosa several times before as well, but that was always non-veg. This time we had opted for a vegetarian one, yet the dish was delicious. The flavours were just up to our preference, neither too strong nor bland. I do not prefer much coconut in my food but the dish was done so well, I enjoyed the whole combination a lot. Further, the sev (crunchy noodles) on the dosai gave a crunchy texture which was super enjoyable. Sev is an Indian snack that comes under the category of Nimco or Bombay Mix. If you want, you can buy it from various Asian sweet shops across the UK.

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

Kent forged salad with home cured salmon came with a selection of wild herbs and succulents such as sea-weeds hand picked from woods around Kent. This came with some sea-salt drizzled on the salad. In the first bite I found it a bit salty than my usual taste but my husband suggested me to mix it before eating after which it blended well and I could enjoy this salad. The best thing I liked about The Ambrette was that they used local produce which is carefully selected, thus making the flavours so amazing. 

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

Our next dish was Red Mullet & spiced fish cake topped with a slice of pickled star fruit and right after this was served, BabyN' also decided to wake up. I think he knew it was there and wanted to have a bite too.

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

I like eating fish especially if it does not have any bones. I remember my first bite, it was so flavoursome and so soft, it just melted in my mouth. I even gave very small portions to BabyN' and he seemed to enjoy having it. I am not a huge fan of fish cakes especially those sold by the frozen brand but this one was fresh and so it also tasted good.

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

Okay so by now we both, my husband and I, were quiet full, but there was still lots more to follow. We were served soft shell crab that came along with a beetroot cake and home-made crab raita. I personally wouldn't prefer ordering or cooking a beetroot cake at home, I just make a dry dish of beetroot with lamb occasionally but the beetroot cake had a crunchy texture from the outside and that made the overall taste good.

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

The lentil soup in an espresso cup was another between-course treat that was nice and the cup was perfect for BabyN' - He loved holding the tiny cup in his little hands. 
The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

I am a huge fan of mocktails and variety of drinks. I was not expecting another drink but to my surprise, we were served this mocktail. It tasted more like a mango juice and came with caviar and had a bubbly effect in the mouth. I remembering having it last at a high end restaurant at the Atlantis in Dubai. 

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

Our next course was Aubergine steak that came along with garlic flavoured aubergine mash and Kents goat cheese. At this point, I was extremely full, but did manage to clean my plate. As you can see below, the dish was served with lentils, aubergine pakora, cauliflower, kale and two chutneys. 

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

After having all this, a palate cleanser was a must! I felt a bit overwhelmed when we were served Popping Candy Grentia. It reminded me of my childhood days when I used to have popping candy that popped when it landed on my tongue. Okay so the last and final course was The Ambrette Chocolate Platter that came along with white chocolate silk and a chocolate tart. I had eaten a lot but who says no to the pudding, I don't. It tasted gorgeous too! 

The Ambrette, Canterbury - UK

End Note:

The cost of the Tasting Menu we tried is £59.95 per person but they do have other meal options. You can see their website here. Please note that the restaurant does not serve Halal meat. Also, check with them for any dietary requirements and they will be happy to accommodate you. I am extremely glad and thankful to Dev for having us and for such a lovely dining experience. 

Rating: 9/10


Have you dined at The Ambrette Restaurant at any of their restaurants in the UK? If not, then I would love to know about your best fine dining experience?


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Disclaimer: I was invited to The Ambrette, but this is an honest review and all the views are my own. 

78 comments:

  1. I am intrigued by your review of this restaurant. It seems like a fusion Indian and all the plates look simply amazing. I have only been once to an Indian fusion and indeed the food was amazing. I would go for that chocolate platter straight away!

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    1. Oh yes yes. Even I always look forward to desserts. They are the favourite part of my meal.

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  2. Now that is one rich meal; I can't believe that the dumplings are coated in solid 22 carat gold that is amazing. The drinks look good too.

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    1. Hehe :-) Yes, they were coated in solid 22 carat gold. I loved the drinks.

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  3. The food and drinks look amazing. I especially love the soft shell crap which looks divine! And could the cocktails look any more delicious! XO

    Anna || A Lily Love Affair

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    1. Have you tried cavier? You must definitely try soon.

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  4. Great post! I loved your review of the restaurant. All the food looks simply amazing! I haven't eaten Indian food in so long. Now I'm craving it!

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  5. I'll keep this in mind when I go to the UK. Looks like a great restaurant. The interior looks nice and the welcome mocktails are adorable!!

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    1. Let me know when you are around. I would love to meet you.

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  6. Looks like a lovely place to have a meal :) Shame there's not one closer to me... tell them to open one in Surrey :) lol x

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    1. They will definitely think about it if they are reading this. Hehe :-)

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  7. This meal looked incredible! If I ate that many courses I would be one happy lady but so full!

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    1. Haha yes! I was too full after eating all this.

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  8. You had me at the first photo with the wonderful wallpaper! It looks like you had a fabulous meal. :)

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    1. Yes indeed! Also got some quiet time to spend with my husband.

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  9. I loved your review of the restaurant. It looks like a great restaurant!

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  10. The plating on your gorgeous dishes is exquisite! What a total treat to eat there!

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    1. I am sure the owner must be feeling flattered after reading your comment.

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  11. Sounds like a great restaurant, I completely loved the presentation and your pictures made me hungry specially The Ambrette Chocolate Platter ;)

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    1. Hehe yes! The dessert was gorgeous and tasted SO good.

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  12. Lovely pictures! Everything looks so dainty and delicate and the decor is amazing too :)

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  13. The mocktails look fabulous- I'd love to eat at the Ambrette.

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  14. Seems like a nice restaurant to visit. The food looks good and the dessert looks delicious.

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  15. Seems like an amazing restaurant. I’ve never tried Indian food, but the photos look gorgeous, especially Sev and Kent forged salad! Thanks for sharing the review!

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    1. Then this should be your first Indian restaurant to try. I am sure you won't be disappointed.

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  16. This sounds lovely! Would love to visit someday :) x

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    1. I am sure you will have an enjoyable experience.

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  17. I have not had Indian food in a while now last time ended with bad tummy so be avoiding it purposely but I now want to give it another go looking at the pictures. What a lovely looking restaurant

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  18. It looks very quaint and dainty, the food looks delicious!

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  19. The place looks cozy and pretty and the food absolutely tasty. Would love to try this restaurant, seems promising.

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  20. Woah, this looks like a really nice place to go on a date at. It's really far from where I live, but maybe I'll go there someday, when I get the opportunity.

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  21. The place looks oldish in style and I like it. I don't find the new layout of restaurant interesting and fascinating. These kinds of restaurants don't feel homey to me.

    As with the food, I have to say that I am blown away. The food looks yummy and well-decorated. I say I love the Indian food. My mouth is watering now just by looking at those pics.

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    1. Hey Allan! I think you will be eating Indian this weekend then. Cheers!

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  22. This looks like the perfect date location!! Great blog post :)

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  23. eating gold wow :) that's pretty cool. I loved all the dishes and £59.95 per person seems about reasonable. It's on my list now when I visit UK again.
    Thanks
    http://europe.IamVagabond.com

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  24. This seems like one of those restaurants I would spend all my day at. So cozy and great for any type of meeting, dates, family dinners and so on!

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    1. Oh well. You will definitely have to spend at least 2-3 hours if you opt for their Tasting Menu :-)

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  25. Wow these are gorgeous plates of food! I always love a good restaurant! Although I don't think I will be in the area any time soon I will have to keep it in mind.

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    1. The restaurant is in Kent and Sussex. Suit yourself! :D

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  26. That's so clever of you that you saw the menu already online. I never tried dosa, would love to try that. Unlike your last restaurant's review, this has a lot better interior and looks really clean.
    http://www.ThatGrlInHighHeels.com

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    1. I always check the menu of every restaurant online before going there.
      I have been eating Dosa since I was a child. Remember there was Pandarosa Indian Restaurant opposite National Stadium. We used to go there often. Hot & Spicy also serves dosa. My uni friends and I were their regular customer so they gave us a free dosa for tasting and feedback. This one's high end dining. Did you check the price? 9600 PKR man

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    2. Forget mentioning, per person!

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  27. I loved your review of the restaurant. I think those photos are just beautiful and create a great atmosphere. I can feel like I could visited this restaurant. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  28. Your review bring me right to the table and have these wonderful meal with those delicious mocktails. I love the variety of the food, and the option they have either for meat lover and vegetarian.

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    1. I was happy to know about the options too. Otherwise, I wouldn't have gone there.

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  29. I like your reviews on restaurant....perfectly done...the place looks beautiful....that window side seating is awesome...Hope you had wonderful food.

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    1. I had a great time. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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  30. Description of food is yummilicious and of ambience is so soothing and relaxing..and not in Uk so cannot give u much feedback

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    1. Hey hi! Thanks for stopping by. I loved the quiet and peaceful atmosphere. I prefer such settings rather than extremely busy places. It's perfect for a date night with partner or husband.

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  31. Raising Young Believers9 May 2016 at 12:07

    I love visiting new restaurants. For me its not just about the food, but also the decor, the atmosphere, and the general ambience of the place. Eating out is an experience! I love the pics youve shared as well!

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    1. That's so true. Eating out is definitely an experience.

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  32. So unrelated but the first thing I noticed about the picture were your nails haha. Sorry :D

    22k Gold? How does that work? I mean is it actual gold that you are eating?

    The food looks my type but dont know what my hubby has against such angraizi food lol

    Hina – http://www.hinasworld.com/

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    1. Haha :-) They should be noticed too! :P
      Have you heard of chandi ka warq that is placed on desi (Pakistani) desserts such as kheer (rice pudding)? I am sure you have. So this was a soney ka warq. :) The food is Indian fusion, why does it look angrezi to you? :-)

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  33. You have beautiful hands, you should be told that.
    What a beautiful eatery! I loved the interior --- that floor tile!
    Food looks exotic - more like fusion but still Indian!

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    1. Hey hi hi! Thank you for such a lovely comment. The food sure was exotic and you are right, it's Indian fusion.

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  34. 22K gold? Sounds slightly elaborate...I'm guessing the prices were on the high side?

    Restaurant looks lovely..... the decor looks amazing and love that they held the door open for you, first impressions count.

    Not sure we would visit......myself and hubby prefer our desi currys and kebabs! I always find the 'fancy' dishes never have enough spice for our liking.

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    1. Yeah. It's like the silver warq used for desi desserts? It's £59.9 per head.
      Even we go for desi stuff but on special ocassions, we go for formal dining.

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  35. Yumm Yumm. Trust me, I have tasted most of the dishes here in their true original forms. The makeover is unbelievable. Gold leaves with dumplings! Oh my, I couldn’t believe that exquisite roll is humble masal dosa. How wise of the chef to serve bhurta with steak! It should please international audiences. I will try popping candy with pudding. Humble everyday 'dal' in expresso cups – I hope my kids would enjoy it too. Ahhh! Would really like to see what else do they serve there? Ambience seems great.
    I have would have loved to see you end your meal with an Indian desert. I wonder how the chef would westernize Rasgullah or halwa.

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    1. Loved reading your comment. I would like to see that too! A rasgullah for me please :D

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  36. What a meal! I love the contrast between the indulgent, rich food and the clean, contemporary interior design. For me, the interior and atmosphere of a restaurant is so important

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    1. So true! The atmosphere is very important for me too.

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  37. Omw so cute! Love all the pictures, and the food looks amazing. I want!!!! Thank you for sharing :) (www.beautywithzainy.com and www.spicyfusionkitchen.com)

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  38. I think the soup and desert would be enough for me haha. I love lentils soup, I'm a vegetarian and lentils must be one of my best sources of protein and iron. Thanks a lot for sharing the place looks lovely. And great pictures

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    1. This place serves non veg too but we opted for the veg option. You must try it out Ana.

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  39. I got so hungry reading this! This looks like it was just an amazing experience and it's awesome that they were so accommodating to your dietary needs. I hope to visit a restaurant like this!

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Thanks for stopping by. :-)