Places To Eat In Canterbury: The Duck Inn, Pett Bottom
Happy New Year! I all hope you had a great time ringing in 2019 – me so much that I’m afraid you’ll have to stick with me for a few days before I get my first new recipe of the new year online. However, today I want to share with you a great pub lunch I had at The Duck Inn in Pett Bottom, just outside of Canterbury just before Christmas. I’d been before and had a fantastic meal under the last chef, so I was excited to see what a new face in the kitchen would bring to this great, traditional, out of the way country gastropub.
We started with some lovely, still warm focaccia cut from the slab on the dining room dresser, served with some nice, hand salted butter and a quenelle of something delicious (as is the trend at what seems like all the local gastro-pub style joints at the moment, here’s looking at you The Parade Room and The Compasses Inn) – in this case some fantastic beef dripping – I’d never had it served like this before, and I must say I’m a massive new fan.
For our starters we went down the preserved things with bread route. My Dad had the potted confit duck served with a homemade plum sauce, which looked lovely and tasted great, though he said as a whole portion rather than the bite I stole it was a bit too fatty – though I know with potted things this is up to personal preference. My Mum and I had a lovely, classic mackerel pate served with shards of green apple and a great cider jelly; we also got homemade treacle bread on the side. I loved this dish; the apple cut through the pate perfectly and the bread was delicious; literally my only complaint is that there was way too much pate for the bread available, but to be perfectly honest this is typically my complaint of pates everywhere!
For our mains Daddy and I had the rabbit, wrapped in pancetta, served with cavelo nero, black pudding and more of the delicious plum sauce that came with the potted duck. This dish was fantastic; the mains are bloody excellent here. The rabbit was succulent and tender, and all the flavours were rich, comforting and hearty, making this a really special dish for a winters lunch. A delicious bowl of hot, buttery new potatoes came with the rabbit there were stupidly more-ish, tossed in soft herbs and finely chopped shallot (it’s a common French technique I use in my recipe for French Sautéed Potatoes with Parsley, Shallots & Garlic – totally one to have up your sleeve!)
However, I had massive order envy of my mum’s Wild Mushroom Paparadelle with Pine Nuts. God it was a delicious, hearty bowl of pasta; the mushroom sauce was flavourful, woody and unctuous, the homemade pasta tender, and there was a really generous amount of mushroom, something I find wild mushroom pastas usually skimp on. Each bite was mouthwatering; they typically have a homemade pasta on the menu at The Duck Inn, which I think would always be a fantastic shout. I loved my rabbit, but I wish that I had ordered this.
For pudding, while my mum loved her affogato, I simply adored our clementine posset topped with gingerbread, cranberry compote and a zesty sorbet. It was such a great mixture of flavours, textures and temperatures, and felt beautifully festive without being all out, in your face Christmas – I’ll still happily eat this now in January.
Do head out to The Duck Inn when you get a moment!