Sunday, September 5, 2010

Whitstable Oyster Company, England by Bureaucrat

When I arrived in the UK back in December, in the dead of winter, I was feeling most miserable (still am miserable) about the food, weather and people. So when I read in Lonely Planet's guide that if I wanted to escape London, not see any churches or castles, and feast on oysters, then one should go to Whitstable - and Whitstable I did go.

I've been to the Oyster Co twice, and both times we were (understandably) greedy and ended up struggling to finish the mains and weren't able to order dessert. The following is a selection of some of the dishes that we had ordered.

A dozen oysters to share with the Lawyer. Big, fresh and tasting of the sea. Divine.

King Cromer crab.! This was delicious! The crab was the size of the plate, full of brown and white meat. I had ordered this as my main but had to quickly enlist the Lawyer to help finish it. Between the two of us we struggled to finish the crab - there was just so much meat! Usually I'm not a fan of cold seafood (I much prefer the ginger and spring onion stir fried crab you get at Chinese restaurants), but this definitely was finger-licking good.

Grilled scallops. My mother ordered this. I tried one of the scallops, it was nice. I liked the fact that they kept the roe with the scallop.

Grilled mackerel w salsa. I've taken quite a liking to mackerel. This was quite nice and the salsa worked really well with it.

In addition to the above, we've also tried moules mariniere, pasta w scallops in a cream sauce and grilled sardines.

Most of the dishes at the Oyster Company are prepared in a plain way - which is a good thing. There are some dishes with cream-based sauces, but I suggest that you avoid these so you can taste the delicate sweetness of the seafood.

There's also quite a nice looking dessert menu. I haven't had a chance to try any of them, but I really wanted to. The food is quite reasonably priced for the quality and serving size.

Whitstable is a 1.5 hours train ride south-east of London. It's then a 20 minute wander from the train station to the centre of Whitstable - the path is marked out by signs.

There's not much to do in Whitstable, it's a sleepy English seaside town. After feasting on seafood, you can waddle through the amateur art galleries and the high street and then hop back on the train back to dreary London.

Whitstable Oyster Company
Horsebridge Road
Whitstable, Kent CT5 1BU

Telephone: 0122 7276 856

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