Peter Kang’s Blog

Regurgitating Stuff from Posterous

The Sportsman Seasalter, Finally

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My buddies and I are in London this week, and one of the planned highlights was a visit to the eastern part of England to eat at The Sportsman, a gastropub in Seasalter Whitstable. I had read about this place on Chowhound and also came across some favorable reviews, so I really looked forward to the trip.

We booked a Zipcar and drove about 1.5 hours outside of London. Our reservation for a full tasting menu was at 12PM.

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After some narrow and winding roads, we finally came to our destination, located near the water among what looked like rundown fisherman shacks and trailers. Because we were a bit early, we walked along the waveless beach (it was low tide) full of rocks and shells. The weather was chilly and wet and the skies as gray as they could be. We threw around some rocks trying to hit things before it was time to get started with lunch.

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And what an epic lunch it was. The thing with tasting menus is that it just never seems to stop. We had at least 13 different types of dishes, a good number of which were based on the scallop, and even though the meal was very well-paced, it was really difficult to finish everything without feeling uncomfortably full. But this is not to say that it wasn’t a memorable lunch. This locally-oriented restaurant that cures its own hams and churns its own butter had some amazing qualities. The sourdough bread was one of the best I ever tasted and the briny oyster with apple puree was awesome in that it didn’t give me an allegeric reaction (apple allergy). I’ll have to append the menu from this meal sometime, but the pictures should do their work. Some other highlights included a dish using brill (a turbot-like fish), a very rich pork tenderloin and pork belly dish, and a watermelon sorbet topped with pop rock candy.[[posterous-content:pid___11]]The tasting menu, plus a pint of beer and 3 shared bottles of wine (among a party of 7), came out to around 75 pounds per person, which is around $120 give or take. Not bad for what we had, but certainly a luxurious and expensive meal. I’m not very fond of tasting menus in general since they never fail to leave me feeling lethargic, but I think this was a nice opportunity to taste some of the bounties of English soil.

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Food aside, what I’ll take away the most from this day trip is probably the scene of the receded coastline, the low tide leaving an open and muddied plain, and the hues of dark green and gray that seemed to reinforce whatever preformed image I had about England before I came here — a culmination of some books I read in high school, movies and TV shows I’ve seen over the years, and, more recently, the novels by my favorite English authors. There’s definitely some romance to it and I wish I could’ve walked along the shoreline alone for a while, but, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help feeling a twinge of longing for a brighter and more familiar place. Oh, how I miss New York.

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Written by peterkang

January 12, 2011 at 4:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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