Monday, 22 August 2011

Going Coastal - Whitstable

Grabbed a strong cuppa from Espressoteria I jumped in the car with the Persian and we headed to the coast.
Couple of wrong turns later and we where at Whitstable - ( 1.5hrs from East London without the wrong turns).  And that old song is true "i do like to be beside the seaside"... light air and water and jovial day trippers all happy to escape the smog for a day.

First stop was at one of the small markets on the beach for a takeway tray of oysters, sploshed with tabasco and lemon juice, some small and firm others plump and creamy - never sure about the creamy ones but they all tasted grand.

Then a bit further along revelling in the holiday atmosphere we stopped at the next fish market for a tub of cockles and vinegar - weirdly i never buy these from the man in the market on Bethnal Green Road but here it all made sense and I woofed them down like a rescue puppy's first bowl of Chum.

We then wandered and strolled amongst wanderer and baby stroller until we reached our destination: the Whitstable Oyster Co. in the Royal Native Oyster Stores building.

We booked a table and sat outside whilst we waited drinking a shifty pint of Oyster Stout dodging rain and the occasional escapee from The Only Way Is... A quick look round the town and the menu at Wheelers almost tempted us away from the seafront setting we'd booked into - if we go back it will definiately be to Wheelers.

Back at Whitstable Oyster Co. We started with Dabs & Garlic Mayo which was lovely.

Then razor clams - wasn't 100% sure about how these had been cooked. Again a nice garlicy butter and chargrilled taste but the clams themselves too chewy for me and although i know nothing about razor clams they look a bit squiffy and I longed to be down the road eating something much more exciting.

Then the sun properly came out and I suddenly didnt care. Ross Kemp sat down at the table beside us and I knew we were in the right place ;).

Lobster and crab salad tasted great - simple, in the sun, glass of wine all good in hood!
Tomato salad to accompany and tucked in.

But again I thought of the lobster lasagne with roe on the menu at Wheelers. Only the sun brought me back from my reverie.

An afternoon nap on the beach, quick paddle in hipster jeans then ice cream from a shack before home.
Thinking back on it all the setting of Whitstable Oyster Co. makes it a great spot. But for damn near £90 for two with one glass of wine and no coffee/pudding it has to be simple done really really well.  But we loved it - the setting, the escape from london, fresh tasting lobster, cold wine and Grant Mitchell in case it all kicks off!

Still can't help but wonder if we shouldnt have gone to Wheelers!

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