Dev Biswal announces
The Ambrette Restaurant at Rye
Michelin-rated chef to run 5 AA starred White Vine House kitchen
Acclaimed chef patron Dev Biswal is to open a second venue. The Ambrette Restaurant at Rye will open on 1st December, adding to his awarding-winning establishment in Margate. The new venture will be located in the historic White Vine House, which holds 5 AA stars in the “Restaurant with Rooms” category.
The menu, adapted to encompass the best of locally available produce such as Rye Bay Scallops and Wild Boar, will also feature, deftly spiced, classic Ambrette dishes as Delicate fillet of Claresse, Fresh fillet of English Channel Sardine, Tender breasts of Wood Pigeon and Breast of Gressingham duck.
Set on Rye's High Street, the Georgian frontage of the White Vine House belies its medieval heritage. Beneath the dining room lies a C13th cellar, complete with stone spiral staircase. Refurbished in 2005, the once grand home is now one of the country’s premier bed and breakfast venues. Each of the 7 guest rooms includes period furniture, contemporary en-suites stocked with locally made organic toiletries, the lastest in home entertainment technology.
The Ambrette (formerly the Indian Princess) in Margate has received wide national press recognition for Biswal’s unique style, that eschews what he calls a “fast food mentality” offered by many high street curry houses stuck in a “1940’s time bubble.” There are no poppadums, curries or Chicken Tikka Masala on Biswal’s menus.
The approach has seen The Ambrette secure listings in the major restaurant guides including, Michelin, Good Food Guide, AA Restaurant Guide and received numerous awards from TopTable, TripAdvisor, Visit Thanet and the Restaurant Show.
“People said I was insane opening a fine dining restaurant in an economically deprived area like Margate, but The Ambrette is full most lunch and dinner sessions – I’m proud that we’ve helped regenerate the area by attracting large numbers of gastro tourists to the town,” said Biswal, who is moving to the ancient Cinque Port town of Rye.
“It has long been my ambition to have a venue that can offer overnight accommodation to the many dinners who travel considerable distances for our food – and what could be better than the White Vine House – Rye is a beautiful location, steeped in history with a photo opportunity on every corner,” he added.
On a mission to transform the Indian dining scene, Biswal talks of a vast sea change in fine dining in his native Mumbai, to where he returns regularly to research the latest culinary experiences and source new ingredients.
Despite achieving 5 AA stars, Javed Khan, the owner of the White Vine House who acquired the White Vine House in 2005, is a great fan of Biswal’s cooking and approached him to bring his culinary skills to the venues three dining rooms.
“Dev’s cooking knows no rival in this country, and working together will us to establish a real destination venue that will further enhance attractions of Rye and its surrounds, to the greater benefit of the whole community,” said Khan.
The Elizabethan Room can seat up to 30, The Georgian Room 26 and the Club Room 14 diners.
Dev Biswalgrew up in Calcutta. He trained at the Dubai Sheraton, before moving to London, aged 26 in 2003 for spells at Mangoes and Eriki.
The White Vine Houseaccommodates 14 guests in 5 double rooms (one 4-poster), and a family room (sleeping four). Room rates from £130 to £180 a night including breakfast.
Located in the heart of the ancient Cinque Port town of Rye, the building’s origins date back to the 13th century. The cellar is the oldest part, but the current building dates from 1560 and features an impressive Georgian frontage. The original timber framework is visible in many areas, affording the house a rich sense of history. The bedrooms have period furniture along with luxury ensuites and an impressive array of in-room entertainment technology
The original building was believed to have been burned during one of the many French raids on the town during the 100 Years War. The Elizabethan Dining Room named for its exquisite and unique French oak panelling, which probably cost more than the original building, with each panel individually formed to fit the timber frame. The room is “signed” with a carpenter's mark visible just above the fireplace.
Weddings: Specialising in small intimate weddings the White Vine House is licensed for civil ceremonies.