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TV chef Dev Biswal’s Ambrette restaurants in Kent and Sussex – which have won no fewer the 50 national, regional and local food and drink awards in the past four-and-a-half years – has received three more, in as many weeks.
At a glittering award ceremony at London’s Hurlingham club on 30th June The Ambrette was named one of the country’s Top 10 best eateries at National Restaurant Awards, alongside Heston Blumenthal’s internationally acclaimed ‘Fat Duck at Bray’, holder of 3 Michelin stars in Restaurant Magazine’s Diners’ Choice ‘Fit For Foodies’ category. The top 10 was determined by more than 325,000 online reviews submitted submitted by customers who had booked, dined and paid for a meal.With the sheer quantity involved, vote rigging is virtually impossible and the ratings are widely respected within the industry.
The following week, The Ambrette received a BIBA (Best in Britain Award) accolade from the Federation of Specialist Restaurants and Mood Food Magazine, putting it on a par with London’s top Michelin-starred Indian eateries; Tamarind, Benares and Quilion. Also in this year’s top 50 are TV chef Cyrus Todiwala’s Cafe Spice Namaste, Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon Club, the ornate La Porte des Indes, Cinnamon Club, Gymkhana and Bombay Brasserie. The Ambrette also edged out several other famous Indian eateries, including London’s Chor Bizarre, Eriki, Gaylord and Veeraswamy, which received ‘High Recommended’ accolades.
Ambrette has now featured in the prestigious Square Meal Magazine’s Great Britain’s Great Restaurants list of the nation’s Top 100 venues outside London, at #51, ahead of many Michelin-starred venues. Inclusion is based 2,400 votes from Square Meal’s nationwide team of reviewers, magazine readers and food bloggers.
Kent and Sussex are well represented in the London based magazine’s list with, #12 The Sportsman (Seasalter), #36 Apicius (Cranbrook), #38 Restaurant Tristan (Horsham),#43 The Pass (Lower Beeding), #45 Chapter One (Farnborough Common), #46 The Curlew (Bodiam), #53 West House (Biddeden), #56 64 Degrees (Brighton), #57 Nobles (Battle), #65 Thackeray’s (Tunbridge Wells), #69 Gallivant Rye, #72 GB Pizza Co (Margate), #75 Wild Mushroom (West Field), #80 Chilli Pickle (Brighton), #84 Jo Jo’s (Whitstable).
Journalists hospitalised in restaurant PR stunt15-07-2014
Journalists hospitalised in restaurant PR Stunt
A Brighton eatery’s publicity PR stunt, of feeding the “UK’s hottest burger” back fired, when two journalists on the Evening Argus local newspaper ate the ‘XXX Hot Chilli Burger” were rushed to hospital. Burger Off owner Nick Gambardella made the pair sign a liability waiver before serving a £3.90 burger made with an Indian sauce reportedly 1,400 times hotter than Tabasco. Reporter Ruari Barratt, who "thought he was dying", suffered severe stomach cramps after taking a bite of the burger, before he lost the feeling in his hands and his eyes rolled back in his head. News editor, Arron Hendy, suffered similar symptoms, and both were taken to A&E.
“We do try and take a certain level of responsibility,” said Gambardella, “I tell people it will ruin their weekend”.
Giggling Squid spreads tentacles to Sevenoaks12-07-2014
Giggling Squid, the ‘Thai Tapas’ restaurant chain, is to open in Sevenoaks on 5th August, creating 20 new jobs. The new 100-seater, split-level restaurant, which Giggling Squid has refurbished at a cost of £250,000, is located in a former church on Dorset Street, on the site formerly occupied by Strada restaurant. The latest addition takes the group into double figures. The Sevenoaks launch will be followed by another in Maidstone during the autumn.
The company is also set to exchange contracts on two further properties in the next few weeks. It is in advanced negotiations on several additional sites across southern England and expects to open at least 8 more openings in the coming 12 months.
Giggling Squid currently operates vnues in Brighton, Hove, Crawley, Tunbridge Wells, Henley-on-Thames, Reigate, Stratford-upon-Avon, Marlow and Horsham. Its most recent opening, Horsham, has weekly sales averaging between £25,000 and £30,000.
Meals are freshly prepared in the kitchen from scratch, and its healthy tapas menu, had proved universally popular, especially at lunchtime with office workers, “yummy mummies and “ladies who lunch.”
The lunch menu offers a choice of six Tapas-style ‘tasting sets' that allow diners to sample several of different dishes in at a single sitting, costing between £8.00 and £10.50 with 16 individual dishes priced under £4.00. “Big” dishes with rice cost £6.50 to £7.95. “Combi” meals with starters are priced between £6.00 and £7.25.
The evening menu is more extensive with over 50 dishes available. The ever popular Thai Green Chicken Curry is £8.95.
Historic East End Pub Scoops CAMRA Award - with female appeal11-07-2014
The Dispensary Pub & Dinning Room at Aldgate East has been named CAMRA’s East London Pub of the Year, largely because of its appeal to female beer drinkers – despite its links with “Jack the Ripper”.
With period features dating back to when it was the ‘Eastern Dispensary’ hospital for poor East Enders in the 1870s, now updated with contemporary furnishings and subtle shades of Farrow & Ball paintwork, The Dispensary is especially popular with a loyal female clientele. A cast iron spiral stair case leads to a gallery seating area overlooking the main bar. Original artworks in the pub were painted by the pub’s patisserie chef, Charly Webber.
The pub’s appeal to female drinkers endures, despite its historic links with “Jack the Ripper”. One of the prime suspects in the unsolved serial killings was Queen Victoria’s surgeon, Sir John Williams, who practiced medicine in the building located a few hundred yards from where most of the murders took place.
Eschewing the more usual spritzers, insipid Pinot Griggios and bland Chardonnays consumed by many female drinkers in other City and East End watering holes, The Dispensary serves a high proportion female real ale drinkers attracted by its welcoming ambience and wide selection of craft beers.
Glass for glass, beer is less calorific than wine and rich in fibre, iron, minerals and vitamins.
Three Degrees of Hot Chilli Pepper Chocolate08-07-2014
Fudge Kitchen has added Chocolate Chilli to its gluten-free Drinking Fudge 11-strong range, with three levels of heat - mild Habanero, medium smoky Chipotleand, its hot Scotch Bonnet.
With other flavours including Classic Chocolate to Moreish Mint to Tangy Orange and Sea Salted Caramel, Drinking Fudge can also be mixed with syrups and toppings as an indulgent alternative to hot chocolate and coffees or blended with cold milk, fruit, ice cream or crushed ice to create frappés and smoothies.
Fudge Kitchen is available in individual sachets and gift packages
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