A sister restaurant to Ed Wilson and Josie Stead’s highly-rated Hackney stalwart Brawn, Sargasso has given Londoners yet another reason to up sticks to the north Kent coast. The restaurant, which is also co-owned by Matthew Herbert, overlooks Margate’s pretty harbour and sensibly focuses much of its attention on freshly-caught British seafood (as you’d expect from a restaurant that takes its name from a region of the Atlantic).
While the food is largely locally sourced, the restaurant’s seasonally-driven menu takes inspiration from European coastal cooking. Expect gutsy, carefully executed riffs on classic such as mussels mariniere; butter-fried sole; and smoked eel with celeriac remoulade.
As at Brawn, a lot of effort goes into Sargasso’s wine list. The selection may be tight - around 50 bottles - but the ‘real’ wines offered change regularly to reflect the time of year. The restaurant also offers a large selection of vermouth and a number of top-quality draught beers.
The 30-cover dining room has a mix of high window tables looking back on Margate’s Old Town, and bar seating. When the weather is fine a further 40 seats are set up outside and are available on a walk-in basis. Margate might not quite be the French Riviera, but this is soon forgotten when eating at this north Kent gem.