Having trained as a chef in Australia in the 90s and following a stint as an Executive Chef in London, George moved to Whitstable in 2004. He was heading to Antibes to work as a personal chef on a very nice boat when he spotted an empty shop just a short walk from the beach. His plans changed, and Samphire was born offering Whitstable’s first bistro to be open all day, every day using the best Kentish produce.
Greig Hughes joined us as Head Chef in 2016 having trained with some of Kent’s most exciting chefs namely, Andrew Clark and Scott Goss at the Swan in West Malling, Will Griggs at the Secret Garden, Ashford and Mark Sargent and Simon Oakley at Rocksalt, Folkestone. Like George, Greig is drawn to amazing produce with good provenance and applies this ingredient-led approach to create classic bistro dishes with a contemporary edge. He is an avid forager and mycologist and loves experimenting with old and new techniques and food styles from around the world.
“Enjoy a delicious fill of Kentish produce at this established, comfortable, locally popular Whitstable bistro, where ‘the food is on the up again’ according to local spies. It’s a place where the day-boat catch of the day could become a dish of gurnard with purple sprouting broccoli, or pan-fried bream with new potato and chorizo hash, or where the meat offer could tempt with local lamb and rosehip harissa.
Come for conventional bistro fare by all means – kedgeree, fish cakes or gnocchi with wild mushrooms are all praised – but look out for some more unusual options, too, such as dosa-spiced potato cake with fermented chilli or an elegantly presented miso and chilli mackerel, the fish skin scorched crisp and the whole served with gently pickled carrot and fennel and a seaweed and sesame cracker.
A chocolate ganache on a crumb base with blood-orange sorbet is an ‘absolute delight’, and there’s love, too, for a pistachio cake with cardamom ice cream. Wine from £18.95.”