Cool Place of the Day: The Ambrette, Margate

Every day, a new place to discover or explore from

Click to follow
The Independent Travel

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. 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, beef and pork.

Local veg, salad and even wildflowers play starring roles, 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 just launched a brunch menu that brilliantly combines Indian and British breakfast classics – think South Indian dosas, Mumbai street food, or the Full English with a spicy twist.

Cool Places is a website from the creators of Rough Guides and Cool Camping, suggesting the best places to stay, eat, drink and shop in Britain (