on the Green, Hythe, Kent
blooming in terms
that can hold their
own with award-
Not only that but
they are achieving
without the usual
Maybe we will see
the prices creeping
up when they are
better known, so
time to visit...
OUR LATEST FOODIE FIND
is Saltwood on the Green at Saltwood, near Hythe. Chef Jeff Kipp's CV reveals
broader skills that you might expect. Ambition to be the best has, naturally,
been a core motivator; starting out as a 'dot-com creative' before changing
direction to work his way up in a diversity of internationally-acclaimed restaurants,
including Gordon Ramsay's 3-star Hospital Road.
Jeff has now made a lifestyle decision to leave behind the extreme pressures
of life seventeen-hour days were the norm to start his own restaurant.
Even so, there is no relaxation of the standards he has set himself for Saltwood.
many of us, the wine is an integral part of enjoying a memorable meal
Saltwood's wine list is diverse and clearly each wine choice has been carefully
on the Green
may be small and
less than a year old but
it packs a punch and
must be one of the best
kept secrets in Kent.
Better things, tis said,
come in little packages
indubitably they do at
Most people dismiss rosť wine as the default choice for non-wine drinkers but
Saltwood's rosť, from Provence, fully justifies its presence on the wine list;
excellent length added to its clean, clear flavours and the appearance in the
glass can be compared to the tints of a pink tourmaline.
The restaurant room in a high-ceiling old former village general store is most
welcoming with a light and airy atmosphere that's evocative of an intimate New
England rather than Scandinavian ambiance. This theme is followed through to
the food which is fresh, light and contemporary with a menu offering 'Lite Bites'
and 'Something Sweet' for those who prefer to have several small accompaniments
to a traditional main course.
However, for a bargain price of £15 for two lunchtime courses (or £18 for three)
you can take your pick: a 'must-try' is the home-made pretzels with rarebit
spread I defy anyone to tell me that they have tasted better!
There is no better way to start a meal than with a cocktail and Saltwood's innovative
and delicious mixtures really make you feel festive. To start, we ate skate
with pickled samphire, citrus mayonnaise, and herb salad; the carrot soup with
pickled vegetables followed by pork with fennel and braised beef reflecting
a Thai influence.
Of course we were tempted to sample the desserts, accompanied by a glass of
wine: the cheese cake, confit orange, cardamom and honeycomb was served with
a South African straw wine and the rhubarb, pistachio crumble, sabayon and rhubarb
sorbet with a glass of Monbazillac. Absolute heaven.
Plenty of restaurants talk about local and seasonal produce, but Jeff really
does try his hardest to go for the very best ingredients; his technical expertise
is evident in his cooking, which relies on real craft that surely deserves a
Michelin star in the not too distant future.
Together with Gianpaolo's chatty, personable front-of-house style they ensure
that not only does all run smoothly but even the children are kept happy. Yes,
this is an informal affair where everyone is made welcome.
Saltwood on the Green may be small and less than a year old but it packs a punch
and must be one of the best kept secrets in Kent creativity, excellent
service and interesting wines, you will find it all here.
We both left with a warm and friendly glow and will be spreading the word to
but a chosen few. Better things, tis said, come in little packages indubitably
they do at Saltwood's! Bonnie Stevens
Saltwood on the Green
01303 237 800