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.

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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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Omero – arugula to die for!, I don’t think so!

Omero has lots of positive reviews, I would definitely ignore them, this place is not worth the taxi fare to get to the foothills of Florence. One noisy guest could be heard at the top of her voice saying “the arugula was to die for”, she must have been a Vegetarian, as nothing we ordered was worth shouting about.

We could not get out of the place quickly enough, we did not even bother with dessert, instead we struggled to get a waiters attention for the bill and a taxi back to civilization.

Marks out of 10

Food 3

Service 3

Ambience 3

 

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Craft – Short sighted? No, just don’t see the attraction!

Tom Collichio’s Craft restaurant in New York is the epitome of style over substance. Not clever to make the menu font so small, to justify the gimmick of giving out reading glasses to the “short sighted”.

My main problem with the meal was that you are meant to mix and match the elements that you order. Excuse me but surely that is part of the art in preparing a course and one that the chef should take care of.  He or she should be the expert in matching the ingredients on the plate. That’s what I’m paying you for.

This video explains why they choose this mix and match concept:-

Did not work for me, not surprised it lost its Michelin star.

Food  5

Service  0 (the man at the next table was choking and was ignored! – eventually with a lot of effort his wife managed to get him a glass of water).

Ambience  !! (not important if everything else is wrong).

 

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Hibiscus – too much hype!

For a while Hibiscus seemed to be the most talked about place.  Everyone just raved about it. We even had it recommended while in L’Astrance in Paris.

The conclusion from our visit on a Saturday evening when they only do tasting menus (a rather mercenary approach in my view), was that it was over hyped, overpriced rather boring food.

When the best dish in a £175 a head meal (food with matching wines) is the cheese course, then there is something wrong.

This restaurant is currently number 56 on the S.Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants list. It has 2 Michelin stars and 4 AA Rosettes, so it should have been superb or a least very good, as at this level there really should be no off days.

Very disappointing

Marks out of 10

Food 4

Service 4

Ambience 7

 

 

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Abode – not so inviting!

Before I visited Abode in Canterbury, I had read a  review by a well known food critic which I thought was a bit harsh, this is after all one of Michael Caines projects.  Boy was I wrong, if anything he was being too kind!

When we arrived we were left waiting for what seemed an age as there was no staff in the dining room. Not a good start.

The food when it arrived was totally underwhelming, some of it was just downright unpleasant.  One desert tasted like play doh© and another tasted like cigarette ash.

The kitchen also recently came under criticism from other sources, see Caterersearch.

The service was in general chaotic. What was particularly hard to swallow was that they charged London Michelin star prices. You would get better value taking the train to London than eating here. Sadly another “Faux Gourmet” experience to chalk up.

Abode apparently merits 2 AA Rosettes – the definition for this is “Innovation, greater technical skill and more consistency and judgement in combining and balancing ingredients are all needed at this level.”

On leaving our opinion was that the only talent there was the busker playing outside.

 

 

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