Margate restaurateur Dev Biswal is perplexed by being declared by The Times newspaper as one the ‘Top 20 Secret Restaurants That Foodies Love’.
The report which describes Margate as “the scruffy seaside town done good . . . fast becoming a foodie destination” with The Ambrette at its heart.
“It’s always nice to be featured in the national press, but I didn’t think we were particularly secret,” said the bemused Dev Biswal. “We may be surrounded by water on three sides, away from the culinary attractions of a big city and not charging fancy London prices, but nothing about our operations is covert.”
The Times’ pull out restaurant guides to the best places to eat in the UK are produced in association with Harden’s prestigious restaurant guide. Founded in 1991 by brothers Richard and Peter Harden, their guide collates restaurant-goers’ feedback to produce statistical analysis and ratings. This year more than 9,000 dinners participated in their surveys that form the basis of the 2014 guides, which list more than 3,000 restaurants.
The Ambrette which has been winning plaudits for its fusion of fresh local produce subtly seasoned with exotic spices for over 4 years, is recommended by all the major restaurant guides and has around 6,500 Twitter followers. Leading food critics from every national newspaper have travelled to the Kent town to review The Ambrette’s noted cooking. Unusually for an independent provincial restaurant, The Ambrette regularly appears on tabloid news pages.
Its trophy cabinet is crammed with national and regional awards galore and The Ambrette is already short-listed for several more in 2014.
Dev is also the resident chef on Channel 4 TV’s ‘Superscrimpers’ programme and has also appeared on BBC1, ITV and Radio 4’s Food Programme’ in addition to his numerous features in the local media.
Diners regularly travel from London, the Continent and beyond to sample The Ambrette’s unique culinary creations. So popular is the restaurant that booking is strongly advised throughout the week. Actor Blake Edwards, star of the ‘Inbetweeners’ hit TV series had to be turned away disappointed recently, out of season on a Monday lunchtime, because it was full.
“I’d thought I’d done a half decent job publicising The Ambrette and bringing food and travel journalists to the town,” said The Ambrette’s crest fallen PR man George Shaw, adding “Perhaps I should retrain for MI5 or join the Masons”.