Grrrrr…..I just can’t find time to blog. And I’m trying I promise.
I’ve got to tell you about Buoy and Oyster in Margate. What a find! Bravo to my lovely friend Anna (the birthday girl) for a brilliant choice of eatery for her celebrations. It’s been quite some time…actually scrap that, I’m not sure I’ve ever had a night out in Margate, but this was a joy to behold. Buoy and Oyster is directly opposite the beach and by night I nearly missed it. The shop front is marketed as The Hut, a beach themed cafe serving fresh seafood (sounds scrumptious in it’s own right) and the main restaurant is above. From the moment we entered, we were warmly greeted and nothing was too much trouble. Decor wise, it’s wood tones were warm and there was plenty of soft lights adding ambiance to the place. First stop, the cocktail list. Now I lurve a mojito, but I think they are quite tricky to get right. A good mixologist is like a good masseur – rare and worth paying for! Luckily they employ a skilled mixer and I’m very pleased to report my mojito was perfect. A great balance of lime and mint and totally refreshing. Five different cocktails (and one beer) ordered and five (six) happy punters. Great start!
Onto the menu. Well it seemed only right and proper that we all indulge in a fresh oyster. Even those that weren’t keen, were game. They aren’t for everyone but I like ’em. I like them even more with all the condiments added. Namely shallot vinegar and tabasco. I think the fiery after punch of the tabasco reduces the fishy after tang that so many people dislike. I’m a one chew person but I think those that chew a lot struggle with the tang. We washed them down with Chapel Down sparkling rosé to toast to the birthday girl. Perfect choice.
Onto the mains and I am indecisive at the best of times, let alone with a great looking menu in front of me. Luckily the lovely ladies I was with were happy to share, so we decided upon three dishes; the catch of the day which was a skate wing with clams and seaweed butter; octopus, king prawn and clams with a white wine and saffron risotto; and finally mussels in Biddenden cider. The skate literally fell of the bone and the little salty clams gave the soft flesh of the fish some texture. The risotto was a resounding success with the boys dipping in and commenting that they’d order it next time (hint). The mussels were a really good size and cooked perfectly. I have to say that generally I’m not sure about the use of cider with mussels though. It’s totally a personal choice, and don’t get me wrong I ate them – every last one – but it is the sweetness I’m not sure about. I’ve had them at a couple of places before and if I had to choose, I think RockSalt done them best.
On to the fellas and to match every cliché about men eating meat (no fist bangs on their chests required), all the boys opted for carnivorous mains: a 32 day aged 10oz ribeye steak (delicious); succulent beef cheek with mustard seed mash (so rich and tender); and my personal fave the Kent lamb rump (absolutely divine). How do I know this? Well I am bloody lucky really, as every one of the boys knows my food obsession and duly parted with a mouthful of their dinner. Incredibly generous on their part and fortunate on mine. Why is it that I’m always overweight again…..??
Anyway, the restaurant service was fab. The girls who served us were aware we were going to the Winter Gardens for a show after, and were duly cautious of timings to not cause us delay. This perhaps rushed our dining but not the experience. The menu wasn’t huge but I prefer that, there was plenty of choice for fish and meat eaters so everyone was happy. I’d definitely recommend it and will be sure to pop into The Hut when we are next visiting the beach. Thumbs up Buoy and Oyster!