Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Review – Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company Fish Restaurant

Matthew Steeples visits one of Whitstable’s best-known restaurants

 

Credited with reviving interest in oysters, the current owners of the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company, the Green family, have very much led the transformation of Kent’s answer to Burnham Market in Norfolk or Salcombe in Devon into a fashionable destination for foodies and art lovers.

 

Review – Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company Fish Restaurant, The Royal Native Oyster Stores, Horsebridge, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1BU. Telephone: +44 (0) 1227 276856 – The Steeple Times
The Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company Fish Restaurant

 

After taking over a firm that “was practically defunct, with large debts and unfashionable product” in 1978, the Greens opened a fish restaurant in the old oyster stores and began production of the Whitstable Native Oyster. Their investment in sustainable production paid off and aside from developing a thriving trade, in 1997, their beds were granted Protected Geographical Status by the European Union.

 

Overlooking the beach and simply styled with brick walls, gingham tablecloths and chairs you’d typically find in a French brasserie, the Greens’ restaurant is popular with tourists and locals alike. Well-known photographer John Stoddart and Italian chef Antonio Carluccio are fans and locals are as likely to be found enjoying themselves at the bar as Chinese tourists in search of authentic seafood are to be seated in the main dining room.

 

Review – Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company Fish Restaurant, The Royal Native Oyster Stores, Horsebridge, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1BU. Telephone: +44 (0) 1227 276856 – The Steeple Times
As well as their famed oysters the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company Fish Restaurant also serves some especially fine lobsters
Review – Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company Fish Restaurant, The Royal Native Oyster Stores, Horsebridge, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1BU. Telephone: +44 (0) 1227 276856 – The Steeple Times
John Stoddart enjoying a glass of rosé at the bar

 

Aside from sampling the aforementioned oysters (£16 for half a dozen), lobster from tanks beneath the restaurant is a must (£26 with a herb and potato salad). Other options number deep fried local cod in beer batter with chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce (£16.50) and a whole roast local sea bass with garlic and rosemary (£24).

 

Whitstable can be reached in just under an hour and a half by train from London Victoria but for those looking for a place to stay, the proprietors also own the Hotel Continental and a selection of self-catering accommodation known as The Fisherman’s Huts.

 

Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company Fish Restaurant, The Royal Native Oyster Stores, Horsebridge, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1BU. Telephone: +44 (0) 1227 276856.

 

 

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    9 COMMENTS

    1. What a charming idea. I shall head down there with my wife and children for a day out. Any other tips for what to do whilst there?

    2. Some great walks – head to the beach and turn left towards Faversham – after a couple of miles you are suddenly in amazing open country with the Swale on your right and open fields on your left. You can walk all the way to Faversham, but it can be a bit muddy after wet weather. I am about to make myself unpopular, but I have not found a decent pub in Whitstable.

        • The last couple of times we visited the Neptune there was no food to be had and the choice of beers was not to our taste. I’ll try the other two you mention. Curiously, Herne Bay which is within walking distance has a fine selection of pubs.

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