Deesons Restaurant – Canterbury
It might have been chilly outside but the lights of Deesons Restaurant in Sun Street, were inviting and our welcome was as warm as the rush of air that hit us as we pushed open the door. Before we knew it we were seated at a polished wooden table which was casually, yet smartly dressed, with a lit candle, white napkins and gleaming glasses and cutlery.
I am a menu ditherer. Menus worry me – I never know what to choose. And this menu was no exception – so many dishes that I knew I would enjoy. In desperation I threw myself on the mercy of Maitre D’ Nick and asked for help and recommendations. Having gathered that we both enjoyed lamb and pork he suggested we had one of each so we could share and try.
Nick told us how Deeson’s source as much of the items on the menu locally as possible. Not only that but they actually grow and rear much of it themselves on the Bunker. We were intrigued by the name. Nick explained that the land was a former WWII command centre complete with Nissan huts and underground bunkers – they are still there today.
Unfortunately I can’t remember what Kerstin had for a starter, but her plate went back to the kitchen clean. I on the other hand had pan-fried pigeon breast and it was terrific.
The Salt Marsh lamb served three ways and the Trio of Bunker pork – shoulder stuffed with black pudding, loin and a braised pig’s cheek – were both fabulous. More than generous portions, all beautifully cooked. Unfortunately we had no room left for the enticing looking desserts.
It was a quiet Monday evening in early December and Chef Craig Edgell was able to leave his kitchen long enough to tell us more about the Bunker.
The Bunker, it turned out is Deeson’s own five-acre smallholding on the outskirts of Canterbury where they do indeed grow and rear their own produce. They even have their own bee hives. Along with a number of rare breed livestock and poultry they also grow a large selection of vegetables. Sometimes he said it could be a bit daunting, not knowing quite what was going to turn up in the kitchen – but he was smiling happily and obviously enjoyed the challenge.
We awarded the chefs full marks for their creative and imaginative dishes. What we were eating could not have been fresher – picked that morning and on our plates at lunch or dinner. www.deesonsrestaurant.co.uk
For information on the Foundry Brew Pub and Goods Shed restaurants, see our Produced in Kent article.