Eating Out: The Ambrette, Rye

It’s been a while since we had food on Fridays, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been eating less! I wanted to write this because I had such a good experience, having lunch at The Ambrette in Rye. The Ambrette is a gourmet Indian restaurant, and we picked it for a birthday lunch out without the kids after reading some great reviews on Tripadvisor, where it was the top ranked restaurant in Rye.

I love going to Rye, because it is somewhere that I used to go as a child when my grandparents lived there. I like going with DH rather than the kids because the cobbled streets make pushing the buggy a pain, and the kids don’t really appreciate the great range of independent shops and tiny boutiques. Eating curry at lunchtime was the deciding factor in getting a babysitter and running away for a couple of hours to have a grown up birthday celebration!

The restaurant is in a lovely old building – like most places in the centre of Rye – and you get a really good welcome from the staff, with an invitation to sit down, browse the menu and enjoy a taster. We had a small piece of chicken in crispy spiced batter with delicate dots of sauce.

Lunch included some of my favourite Indian options, so I started with a dosa, a pancake stuffed with spiced potatoes. This took me back to the south Indian food I used to enjoy at Chutneys on Drummond Street, near Euston Station. DH had chicken which looked from the menu like it might be similar to chicken tikka, but in fact was bright green, marinaded in coriander, mint and other green herbs.

For the main course I chose the vegetarian Thali, the chance to enjoy 3 dishes rather than one! This included some of my faves again: lentil dhal, aubergine curry and paneer (cheese) and green pepper curry, served with rice and fabulous small nan breads. Dh had a beef cake, described in the menu as, “mince slow cooked with organic cracked wheat, fragrant beef cake flavoured with rose petals, cloves and cumin and served with an aromatic sauce of peppers, mint and ginger. We have drawn inspiration from a delectable Persian dish called “Haleem””. Each dish was outstandingly good, well above the average high street Indian menu.

We finished off with a shared pear mousse with saffron halwa and coconut icecream. The halwa was warm, the mousse room temperature, the ice cream cold, and they made a perfect combination.

The three course lunch menu was £19.95, with drinks out bill came to £54. It was really good value for some outstanding food, attentive service and beautiful surroundings. I’m not sure I’ve managed to adequately describe just how good it was: if you love curry and want a special meal out try the Ambrette.

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