Harveys Fish Market, Oyster Bar & Restaurant – not the plaice to go!

Harveys of Ramsgate, part of Kent Inns of Distinction, is marketed as a dedicated seafood restaurant  using locally landed fish. A fabulous idea, in theory.

Celebrity TV chef John Burton-Race of the Michelin-starred New Angel in Dartmouth is connected with it, loosely I hope, based on the standards achieved here, both in terms off food and service.

I can not see this place, surviving  the winter. I certainly will not be returning or recommending this unjustifiably overpriced venue. Neither the food quality or the level of service matched the look of the venue. Bland Fish, and one of the worst deserts I have ever had (hard meringue!). Plates passed across my companion at the table, come on – anywhere that typically charges £20 for mains, needs to deliver something a bit special. Then there is the ambience issue,  sitting next to a large noisy table of 10 in a half empty restaurant is far from ideal. This is most definitely not my idea of “fine dining”.

Its pretension without the quality, delivering expensive badly cooked food. Just another “Faux Gourmet” experience.

They could have done so much more in this prime location overlooking Ramsgate Royal Harbour.


UPDATE October 2009 : Made a return visit to Harveys after all, in light of comments and the award of an AA Rosette. For details see Harveys Fish Market, Oyster Bar & Restaurant – still not the plaice to go!.

UPDATE April 2010 – Back in Ramsgate, this time to try Eddie Gilberts. For details see Eddie Gilberts – reasons to leave London? (Eddie Gilberts 7, Harveys 2)

UPDATE October 2010 – About time!  Harveys is finally closed – RIP please! For more information see post from Isle One.


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9 thoughts on “Harveys Fish Market, Oyster Bar & Restaurant – not the plaice to go!”

  1. Any restaurant can have an off dayand I gather there’s a new chef behind the scenes.

    I find the main problem is getting in the door. Booking is essentia at weekends and advised miweek.

    I’ve been to Harvey’s several times now and although it was a tad pricey, they’ve increased the portion sizes and introduced a £24 pre fix menu, which is good value.

  2. When we were there we noticed a number of fundamental problems that needed to be addressed rather than just an off day. However it’s nice to know that changes are being made. We certainly think Ramsgate deserves to have a good fish restaurant.

  3. Perhaps i’m just unlucky, but I’ve been to Harvey’s 3 times now – and yet to have a bad experience

    The service has been good, the ambience pleasant and relaxing by day and buzzing at night.

    The food has been outstanding.

    No it’s not cheap, though the set price “gazing” menus are good value. But just expensive enough to keep out local riff raff.

    House wines at £13.50 are a bargain and very drinkable.

    Maybe I’ll have a crap time when I’m next in.


  4. Thanks for your feedback. We have been advised of a recent change of chef, so maybe we should try again on our next visit to Ramsgate! Perhaps on the fixed price meal deal to see if we can see any improvement (not keen to spend too much more money in a place that I felt had ripped me off). It would be interesting to know if you have tried Age & Sons in Ramsgate to make a comparison. We found that Age & Sons although far from perfect, was a lot better than Harveys, i.e., a nicer environment and better food.

  5. After some dreadful reviews in the Torygraph and Observer, Harveys has sacked it’s PR.

    Smart move. Why address problems like over priced, poorly cooked food and crap service when you can just shoot the spin doctor?

    The staff that haven’t walked out have apparently been exiled to Siberia.

  6. I think Harveys of Ramsgate’s days are numbered. It always seems empty. Now summer is gone, the place is dependent on locals who’ve tried it and won’t becoming back in a hurry.

    The word on the street is that Eddie Gilbert who runs the fishmonger cum chippie in King Street is going to be opening a very smart up market fish restaurant above the shop.

    He’s got a Michelin-stared chef in and the waiting staff are going to be polite! Prices are meant to be nearly half those of Harveys.

    Whatever next?

  7. Interesting recent comments, we had heard during our last visit to Age & Sons about Eddie Gilberts plans. It does sound good and he certainly won’t have any competition from Harveys, although the King Street location is not so good.

    Harveys is also pulling out all the stops on the PR front with a planned TV crew visit to film John Burton Race who will be cooking. Lets hope they get a better meal than we did.

    Top marks for at least trying to salvage the place. We certainly hope things improve.

  8. Eddie Gilbert’s received a brillant full page write up in The Observer this weekend (21st March): “A Ramsgate institution that will reel you in with its perfectly good dishes”.

    Jay Raynor also took the opportunity to have another go at the “medocre” Harvey’s and the “rancid” John Burton race….

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