Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Salt Marsh

I have trouble making up my mind. Think about it, choice is not always a great thing, and sometimes there’s too much. There are times when an endless list of variations, stretching way down to the infinity of a menu do nothing but dazzle. And I chose by a mixed up process of elimination, guess work, and a desperate plea to the waiter for some enlightenment.
 
 

 
 
This is the beauty of the Salt Marsh’s tapas menu –it’s all done for you. You don’t chose, they do.
 

 
I was there last Thursday evening and a band was playing in the Duke, which shares its premises with the Salt Marsh. I was sitting outside after a day at work, listening to live music, enjoying sun-downers and the best tapas, ‘Salt Marsh’ style in town.  For £25 a head the waitress brought out platters of salad, diced tomatoes on bruchetta, sea bream, roast potatoes, creamy garlic mushrooms with toast (absolutely breath taking), spicy lamb, chicken and roast vegetables followed by coffees and a choice of home-made desserts.
 
 
 

 
 

So I went back on Saturday night. The menu was slightly different, and King Prawns in garlic butter had made their way into the mix. Desserts were not part of the menu on Saturday, but there was Irish coffee.

I wanted a break from the Salt Marsh, much as I love it, but it’s not to be. Friends are coming down this week and they want to go back there again.

It’s a laid back, feel-good kind of place that epitomises Whitstable. It’s a place to sit outside on the garden patio on a warm summer evening around wrought iron tables. There’s an olive tree, a scattering of terracotta pots, tin cans, coffee posts and glass wear and wooden boards with strange fish like designs painted on. Its bohemian and informal.

About a year ago I booked the Salt March (again) for a group of about 20. They have an indoor section, at the back of the Duke and can accommodate large groups fairly easily. They brought out platters of seafood, salads, vegetables, mushrooms, and a variety of cooked meats so everyone could load up their plates with whatever they liked. It suited meat eaters, vegetarians, and lovers of seafood.