Bearsted, in Kent, is an exceptionally pretty English village and has all the amenities you would hope such a place might offer: a village green, Tudor houses, old-fashioned pubs and several excellent restaurants. It was in one of the latter that I found myself today, having a delicious lunch with Lisa J.
‘Fish on the Green’ is renowned for its “trawler-fresh” fish and seafood. Listed in the Michelin Guide and the proud holder of two AA Rosettes, it’s located in a converted stable block which was originally part of the neighbouring coaching inn, ‘The Oak on the Green’. These days it’s an elegant dining room which we found to be warm and cosy on this chilly November day.
The menu features mouth-watering fish dishes on an à la carte and a set menu, as well as offering several meat and vegetarian options; everyone is catered for.
After much umming and aahing, we plumped for the à la carte menu, because of its irresistible starters. I tucked into Seared Scallops with a Parsnip Puree and a Honey, Apple and Shallot Dressing, while Lisa devoured her Crab Arancini with Saffron Aoli, Parmesan and Mixed Leaves. Our silence while doing so was, I feel, far more eloquent than any words could be.
Choosing our main courses proved equally difficult, but eventually I opted for the Steamed Fillet of Brill on Crushed New Potatoes with Charred Leeks and Mustard & Brown Shrimp Dressing. Words cannot express how much I enjoyed this dish. The brill melted off the fork, the vegetables were divine (including the creamed spinach that we’d ordered as an accompaniment) and as for the sauce; well, I could have devoured an entire bowlful. I can’t remember the last time I found a fish dish to be delectable as this one – and Lisa said the same about her Sea Bass with Saffron Sauce and Wilted Greens.
All of the above were washed down by an excellent English white wine whose name, regrettably, I didn’t write down and there’s no mention of it on the restaurant’s website. However, it was dry, flinty and a perfect match for our fish – and from a local vineyard, which is always a bonus.
The desserts sounded tempting but alas, we were both full: the spirit might have been willing, but the flesh was not playing ball (the olives and home-made bread that I forgot to mention earlier may have played a part, too).
This is the third time that I’ve been to Fish on the Green and I cannot praise this consistently excellent restaurant highly enough. The food is outstanding and the welcome always warm: just one hour by train from London, I strongly recommend that you visit as soon as you can.