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The Ambrette

44 King Street Margate CT9 1QE 01843 231 504

We say

The Ambrette, perched unassumingly on the edge of Margate's Old Town, in what was once an old boozer, is the kind of place you could easily hurry by without a second glance. From the outside you might mistake it for a standard British curry house, the cookie-cutter kind that can be found on high streets the length and breadth of the country. But look again. In fact, the Ambrette offers stylish, modern Indian food that’s leagues ahead of your standard chicken tikka or balti, racking up rafts of accolades and awards in its wake. Chef Dev Biswal uses traditional recipes, many of them from South India, where there is more of an emphasis on fragrance and flavour than heat and spice. Ingredients, however, aren’t entirely traditional – Gressingham duck or locally reared partridge, may well feature, along with Kentish lamb and, unusually for an Indian restaurant, pork. Local veg, salad and even wildflowers play a starring role, all presented with a hint of delicate nouvelle cuisine panache. If it’s on the menu, try the aromatic freshwater Nile perch, grilled with peppers and fenugreek – it’s Biswal's signature dish.

The tasting menus can cater for vegetarians or pescatarians, and they’ve now added a brunch menu that brilliantly combines Indian and British breakfast classics– think South Indian dhosas, Mumbai street food or the Full English with a spicy twist.

You say Average Rating ★★★★☆

A Margate must ★★★★☆

If you were going to create a recipe for revitalising Margate, you’d be hard pushed to find a better ingredient than the Ambrette to build on the good work of the Turner gallery. It’s a treat – and it’s not too expensive by foodie standards (about £30 a head plus drinks for dinner – while lunch is a steal at 2 courses for £14.95). The clunky tea-room decor won’t win any Michelin awards but the food is really creative and – as the review above suggests – highly original in its fusion of British/local ingredients and Indian spice. The stand-out dish for me was a starter of soft shell crab, served with raita and a dab of caviar. Chocolate samosa was a pretty good dessert, too.

The Ambrette reviewed by on December 31st, 2013

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How much?

<p>Starters from £5, main courses from £10; one-/two-/three-course lunch menus £8.95/£14.95/£19.95; tasting menu (Tues–Sun) £40.</p>


  • Bar
  • Fine Dining

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<p>Mon–Thurs 11.30am–2.30pm &amp; 6–9.30pm, Fri–Sun&nbsp;11.30am–2.30pm &amp; 5.30–10pm.</p>

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