The Garden of England

Saturday, August 31st , 2019

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The Fordwich Arms has a riverside setting in a corner of Kent not far from Canterbury. Chef Dan Smith quickly earned a Michelin star, and based on this meal I can see why. We had a lengthy tasting menu with hardly a false note throughout. There was a particularly fine langoustine dish but the meal was of a hiigh standard throughout, from the home-made focaccia to the nice dessert. This is a place well worth visiting if you are anywhere near the area.

I happen to live in Chiswick and like to try the local restaurants at least once. Usually this is a forlorn venture, as when I went to the inexplicably popular Annies. However in Casa Dino Chiswick seems to have got lucky. It looks a simple enough Italian restaurant, but the pasta dishes that I tried were genuinely good, including a fine caccio e pepe. It helps that they have been using a high grade consultant chef that once earned a Michelin star at Semplice, but they still have to execute his menu, and generally did so very well. I will definitely be back here given that it is within walking distance. After a long period where the area lacked a decent Italian restaurant, I can now walk either to here, Villa Geggiano or l’Amorosa. Now if only a good Indian restaurant would open in the area….

I also had another very enjoyable meal at Caractere, where the skill in the kitchen is considerable, which is unsurprising given the stellar heritage of the owner and head chef. This is one of the very best recent London restaurant openings.