Having recently decided to explore Kent, it was important that I found somewhere that served up my favourite dish and did it well.
After a bit of research, one place kept coming up at the top of the search engine and that was Brettingtons restaurant in Rochester.
As with a lot of the local restaurants in Kent, with their old fashioned, chic design, the website made the place look homely, greeted with a mouth watering cut of meat on the grill and as you scroll the page you notice the outline of the cow, dividing it into each cut so you can understand the meat you’re about to taste and where it comes from. Admittedly, as a frequent diner, I do find that when a business educates their customers in this way, they do tend to know their meat and it’s usually cut to perfection.
My drive through Rochester town centre was interesting, it felt like a throwback, several decades back which was interesting. It makes you feel aware of the town's history and the reason why the buildings are listed and not adapted with the times.
But that awareness also comes with a sense of comfort. Once I entered the restaurant it was far more upbeat and comfortable. We were greeted by a host who informed us that our table wasn’t ready yet however offered us a seat at the bar. The drinks menu was vast and you could hear through to the restaurant the atmosphere was lively. It was like each stage you went through, you got more from the experience. Once we got through to our seats within the restaurant, there was another bar, this time with a mixologist, spinning bottled and throwing drinks around which instantly made you want to sample the cocktail menu, which we did.
Brettingtons, being a steak and lobster house combined my two favourite foods, which made the decision process extremely hard… Or, well, pretty easy, I went with both! It was an occasion after all.
The menu was strong so we started with deep fried calamari, a firm favourite of mine as a started wherever I go, accompanied by ‘Peel & Lick Shrimp’ (dressed king prawns cooked in garlic butter and their own BBQ spiced rub) and BBQ chicken wings.
The menu really does have a lot of options across both fish and meat. I opted for my steak from the ‘Steak Specials’ section of the menu. Getting Brettingtons Porterhouse T-Bone, 28 days mattered British grass-fed cattle coming in at 26oz (750gr @ £34.95) In my opinion, if you’re naming a steak after your restaurant then you must be confident. It’s like when you name your child, Jr. You command a different level of respect. And it can be hard to come across a good T-Bone so it was surely a win/win. I won even further when I made it ‘surf & turf’ by adding grilled prawns and a large lobster. Don’t judge me, I love to indulge.
But less about what I ordered and more about how it tasted. I think that when you open a business outside of a major city you need to be really competitive or have such great food and service that people come back and you spread with word of mouth. Well, the latter certainly is the case here.
The staff were clearly trained to a high level while the food was top quality. The steak cooked well and the cut of meat was spot on. The quality of the king prawns across both starters and mains were perfect. They felt ‘meaty’ and full of quality while seasoned well bringing out the flavour.
The lobster did not feel commercial which I feel over the past few years, lobster is a dish that is becoming more and more degraded. It’s becoming a fashion statement and restaurants are getting away with pushing out low-quality fish, over priced to say they serve lobster. This certainly wasn’t the case in this instance.
You certainly could tell this establishment specialises in quality meat and fish.
After some great starters and a perfect main course, it was only right to try the dessert menu... And it certainly did not disappoint whatsoever. The waffles topped with strawberries with a side of strawberry ice cream, really did round off a perfect evening.
Overall it was a great dining experience and one I would certainly do all over again.