Rocksalt: a lesson in simplicity and seasonal food
The ethos of Rocksalt is modestly understated: seasonality, locality and simplicity, and its delivery is outstanding. Stunning sea views, sophisticated simplicity and seasonal seafood await at Kent’s award-winning Rocksalt, a restaurant you’d be foolish to miss out on.
The award-winning restaurant itself is cantilevered over the gentle waves of Folkestone’s Harbour, offering stunning views across the bobbing boats and harbour arm, which, timed just right allows for the most stunning sunset views afforded from the floor-to-ceiling windows of the main dining room or indeed from outside terrace on those balmy summer nights.
It is truly beautiful.
Having a prime location along the South Coast not only affords those stunning views but also gives enviable access to some of the best local produce, from the day boats in the harbour to the local countryside farms, which is evidenced throughout the well conceived and mouthwatering menus that change seasonally to take advantage of local catches, which can often be found on the daily specials board.
Arriving on a mild summer eve my guests and I were primely placed to take in those sunset views made even better with one of Rocksalt’s infamous gin cocktails of the week and the refreshing crunch of seaweed crackers and salted butter.
Dining with two pescatarians, my guests were in menu heaven as their dishes of crispy mackerel – a generous helping of crispy battered fresh mackerel with Mexican slaw and patron and chipotle mayo, a huge tankard of grilled prawns, and the daily special – skate cheeks with cockles, cauliflower and sherry caramel were delivered, while I bucked the table trend and opted for the orange-smoked pork belly – sticky, rich, flavoursome pork with a fresh lentil and shallot salad and green sauce.
Portions were so generous and tasty that we proclaimed they could have been had as mains, which of course we soon retracted with hungry eyes as soon as the mains arrived.
Heaving plates of skate wing with romesco and spring leeks, pan-fried Dover sole with Café de Paris sauce, a whole Rye Bay plaice with brown butter, and my own Rocktop-beer battered cod with mushy peas (which of course we accompanied with Rocksalt’s divine beef dripping chips and their equally good veggie alternatives) all washed down with a crisp glass of Gusbourne sparkling wine.
Only because it would be rude not to, and to prolong our seaside evening (not just because we are total gluttons), we also opted for pudding, sharing our way through a classic gypsy tart, a zesty blood orange cheesecake, a moorish cold chocolate and passionfruit fondant and some palate refreshing ice cream, for which there were so many amazing flavours that we left the choice to the Rocksalt team!
With so many tasty à la carte options, changing daily specials and a great value lunchtime menu, there are plenty more reasons to return to this little seaside gem.
Rocksalt Folkestone, 4-5 Fishmarket, Folkestone Ct19 6AA