I heard Deesons restaurant had launched a new tapas menu, so I thought I’d check it out.
Deeson’s is a real fave of mine, which I would frequent more if only there weren’t the beastly parking charges in Canterbury. Recently I’d paid my parking fees via Ringo and whizzed into a meeting with a new client, then on to my bank for another meeting which ran over. I duly topped up parking adding another £3. So far so good, then met my New Husband and we went for a quick supper at Cafe Mauresque , where as I waited for my tajine I tried to top up Ringo’s insatiable appetite yet again; £9 so far! Alas, no Wifi or phone signal to be had, so I wolfed my meal instead of savouring, charged back to the car ten minutes late and had a ticket for over 29 quid. My brain has blocked the exact amount – it was too painful.
But I digress; back to Head Chef Ross Barden and team – keen for us to try modern British tapas.
I’d expect nothing less from Deesons than tapas with a twist and so it delighted me to find dish upon dish of invention. The staff are super and the three of us (I’d invited my Chef posse) were welcomed by Hayleigh, who served promptly. I do love to eat the unexpected and with so many restaurants in Canterbury – more than the shops now on offer! – there has to be some innovative food to tempt diners to return.
We actually sampled the entire menu (yes- I know!) and were generally impressed but my mystery Chef friend did feel that maybe Ross was trying too hard and would be better to do fewer dishes to simplify the grand effort he had made.
Dishes that worked really well and were outstanding were a twice-baked “Old Winchester” cheese soufflé with a carrot pureé. Now Mystery Chef wanted a little more seasoning, but here we disagreed as I’m not a gal who cooks with lots of salt, though I do love seasoning – and I’d rather err on less than more – it is quite a debatable subject and p’raps one for another column and a vote!
We all raptured about the Confit Hen’s Yolk with buttered leeks and crispy chicken skin soldiers – comforting, creamy and inspired.
The Crispy Haggis with a poached egg and parsnip crisps was also flavoursome but technically the haggis was a tad dry from over-frying/baking, so it needed the soft egg to add liquid!
Cider Braised Beef Shin with apple juice and ginger with mash and cabbage was a wonderful dish – sauce just right.
The Spring Greens with wholegrain mustard worked beautifully as did the charred broccoli with cheese sauce and flaked almonds, whilst the picturesque so-fresh salad was divine.
We all commented how good the veg and salad ingredients were – naturally the Kentish Pork ( a dish from the a la carte menu) was a winner; I’d expect nothing less from Deesons.
The Smoked Cod Kedgeree was a good idea, but we thought we would find it more pleasing to the eye served as small balls – and Mystery Chef (himself well seasoned) suggested a good livid coloured curry mayonnaise was much needed to moisten it.
The Pork and Potato Croquette served with an an apple butter was also oversized and would have been better smaller and perhaps served as a threesome. The apple butter on the tapas version did not pack the same punch that it did when served with the a la carte main course of Pork Tenderloin along with Black Pudding crumb and candied walnuts and a cider jus (to die for). A must order!
Deeson’s has come up trumps with something different from the many run-of-the-mill chains so go and support our independent eateries. I will certainly return.
Deeson’s British Restaurant
25-26 Sun Street
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