On a return visit to Oscar and Bentleys in the centre of Canterbury I was delighted to discover that the chandeliers were still sparkling, the welcome was still warm and above all that the tasty selection of gluten-free food was as delicious as I remembered.
The newly-launched summer menu features a wide range of choices to cater for all – from starters, mains and classic dishes, including their famous beer batter Fish & Chips, to wraps, light bites and enticing summery salads.
Sarah Ormond-Smith, who runs the restaurant with her sister Katherine Durio, is elated that the business is doing so well after opening two years ago. Sarah explained their plans for further expansion upstairs to extend seating capacity, which will be opening soon.
They are still basking in the success of having won the national Free From Eating Out Award (Best Restaurant) at the end of last year. “We were absolutely delighted to win,” smiles Sarah, “we were invited to London for the award presentation and had no idea that our names were going to be called out!” It is a testament to the care that Oscar and Bentleys takes to ensure that all their food is strictly gluten-free and allergies are taken into account, while at the same time serving delicious tasting dishes created by Mark Kennett, their talented chef.
For a starter I selected the Smoked salmon pancake, flavoured with Parmesan and spring onion and served with creme fraiche and crispy capers. This was light, fresh and delectable as was the attractively presented baked portabello mushroom with pesto, pine nuts and mozzarella that my guest selected.
For the main course I opted for the exotic Bengali curry. My dining companion was very happy with her choice of baked cod, tomato and herb crust, that was a generous portion and soft and succulent.
The imaginative dessert menu left us spoilt for choice and the brownie and poached pear options that we chose were an excellent end to our satisfying meal.
• Oscar and Bentleys, 10 Guildhall Street, Canterbury CT1 2JQ, call 01227 454544
Words: Catherine Sherwood