Tuesday, 3 June 2014
The Ambrette Restaurant to open in Canterbury
Dev Biswal, chef patron of The Ambrette award-winning restaurants in Margate and Rye, has announced The Ambrette @ Canterbury, with further openings on the horizon.
The TV chef, who champions a ‘curry-free menu’ of south Indian style dishes utilising locally sourced seasonal ingredients with a modern twist, has secured the site of the former Beer Cart Arms. Refurbishment works are under way, ahead of an opening expected sometime during July.
The two existing Ambrette restaurants are recommended by all the leading guides including Michelin, AA, Waitrose Good Food and Harden’s. Their numerous accolades include the prestigious Taste of Kent’s ‘Best Restaurant’ award.
Biswal, who still spends several days each week in the kitchens, has moved from Ramsgate to Canterbury as a more central location to his growing operations. A keen all-round cricketer, Biswal now overlooks Kent County Cricket Club’s St Lawrence Ground. Although his offer to fill as a No.3 batsman have been politely declined.
“Canterbury is a fantastic historic town with a great food heritage and perfect demographics for my style of cooking,” said Biswal, “We have over 2,000 people on our customer database with a Canterbury postcode who have already made the trip to the restaurants in Margate or Rye.”
Biswal was been looking for suitable premises to open a restaurant in the city after three very successful pop up restaurant events held at the Kent & Canterbury Club in October in 2012. Open to both members and the general public, the 8-couse tasting menu lunch and dinners, sold out almost immediately.
Canterbury will also serve as a training and development site, with centralised production of marinades and sauces, to ensure consistently high standards across the group, as operations expand.
Biswal hopes to open a fourth restaurant, somewhere between Canterbury and Margate specialising in seafood and vegetarian cooking, with the emphasis on gluten and allergen free foods. The chef has also set his sights on locations in Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, Brighton and London, as part of his planned expansion.
The Ambrette @ Canterbury site, with seating for around 100, will be larger than the existing the restaurants in Margate and Rye.
“We plan to explore all-day dining with an Indian accent and offer breakfast and afternoon teas,” said Biswal.
Biswal trained at the Dubai Sheraton, before moving to London in 2003, aged 26, for spells at Mangoes and Eriki. With fine-dining restaurants rarely working as scalable concepts, the chef is fully aware that others have tried to expand and failed. He has also tried to distance himself from the ‘fine-dining’ tag bestowed on him by food critics and customers alike.
“We are a mid-market restaurant with mid market prices,” he insists.”
As resident chef on the Channel Four TV series ‘Superscrimpers’, Biswal regularly shows viewers how to prepare gourmet meals on a budget using cheap ingredients, left over and wild plants forged for free.