Last night Steve and I went to The Pearson's Arms in Whitstable with my parents for my birthday dinner. I've never been here before and have wanted to try it for some time. It's a Richard Phillips pub, and we had previously been to and enjoyed his restaurant (The Swan) at the Chapel Down Vineyard in Tenterden (plus Chapel Down produce some of my favourite wines, and it's local!)
Located just off the beach near Keam's Yard in Whitstable, from the outside The Pearson's Arms doesn't exactly look like the sort of place where fantastic food is lurking inside. It's chalk boards, slightly grubby white painted exterior and the large bins near the entrance are not encouraging. However, like a geode, this place is a hidden little gem.
Please excuse the blurry nature of these first photo's - they were the last I took and by this stage I was none too steady on my high heeled feet (note to self, high heels and loose pebble beaches are not a good mix).
Once the parents arrived we were shown upstairs to the restaurant, past the kitchen hatch where my mother had to be forcibly removed from a perfectly cooked duck egg and wild mushrooms on bruschetta that was going out to another table!
The little nods to the nautical past of the building continue up the stairs with the rowing boat paddle bannisters.
Mum had the mushroom bruschetta to start with, Steve had potted shrimp, dad had lobster and prawn cocktail and I had the salt and chilli squid - the soy and miso dressing for this was such a nice contrast to the usual sweet chilli sauce most places provide and provided a nice depth of saltiness to the squid, which were perfectly cooked, not too chewy and a light, crisp batter flaked with shards of fresh red chilli and a smokey sea salt. We were all hungry so I completely forgot to get any pictures of the starters - you'll just have to go and see what it was like for yourselves!.
As my mum said, if that was the starter she was looking forward to the main.
They didn't disappoint.
Dad had the IPA beer battered cod and thrice cooked chips - complete in a kitch basket. I managed to snag a chip off him - crisp, fluffy and light.
Your meal is unhurried and you don't feel like the staff are hovering over you the entire time. Of course this was dinner on a Wednesday - it may be different on a Saturday night or a Sunday afternoon! It is a tad pricey, but worth it for a special occassion