The concept of Ambrette was launched in February 2010 in Margate, Kent. The menu is seasonal and features a mix of local and exotic ingredients. The cooking style is influenced by regional Indian cooking. Dev Biswal has an adventuress, artistic and open minded approach to creating dishes.
As a result, influences of other global cuisines such as French and South East Asian are reflected through the menu. The style of service is friendly and professional at the same time. The restaurant features unique foraged produce such as local sea weed and game along with traditional favorites such as lamb and chicken. Guests are treated to an array of pallet teasers and tasters throughout the meal.
Dev was born in Orissa in Eastern India. He graduated from The Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied nutrition in Kolkata. Dev acquired an in depth knowledge of regional Indian cooking while working in various establishments in India. He strives to showcase the variety and complexity of regional Indian cooking in his dishes at The Ambrette.
Experience in top hotels in Dubai exposed Dev to classical French and other international cusines. He believes that food is more of an art form and a great source of an individuals expression. Dev nurtures and promotes chefs from multi cultural backgrounds and encourages them to cook global cuisine.
Tom Parker Bowles 2015: -
This modern Indian restaurant is a big cut above the usual ‘five pints and the poppadoms please guv’ sort of place. The lunch menu, as is sensible in quiet, spring seaside towns, is firmly set, three courses for £21
There’s a three-course ‘over 60s’ menu deal for £11.95. No wonder they look so contented. That’s one hell of a deal.
Especially as this modern Indian restaurant is a big cut above the usual ‘five pints and the poppadoms please guv’ sort of place.
The lunch menu, as is sensible in quiet, spring seaside towns, is firmly set, three courses for £21.
But I’ve rung ahead and asked if it was possible to order the soft shell crab from à la carte.
Because I’m greedy. And love crab. It’s crisp, and lovingly fried, still wearing the tang of the sea, and comes with a couple of quenelles of intensely bosky, chilli-spiked brown meat raita.
Plus an equally forthright crab and beetroot cake. The spicing is intense, but balanced, a small pile of sea purslane adding salty, pert bite.
For a dish this inspired, I can even forgive the oblong plate. Kent and Southern India meet.
The Good Food Guide 2015: - is the UK's bestselling restaurant guide. This year we are proud to announce that we are one of only two restaurants located in Margate, Kent to make it into the prestigious recommended list.
The Ambrette in Margate
"Genuinely Modern" Dev Biswal's contemporary Indian cooking applies "subtle and aromatic" spicing to local goodies including sea greens, game and orchard fruit. These "unique" combinations also offered at the Ambrette's posher branch in Rye might take the form of a soft shell crab and sea purslane salad or slow cooked mallard leg with spiced courgette, cauliflower puree and lime leaf, lemongrass and pepper sauce. Darjeeling chair jelly wobbles alongside chocolate samosas for dessert.
The Ambrette at Rye.
The Ambrette Rye was also one of only four restaurants in the area to be included in the prestigious guide. Here is what the guide had to say about the Rye branch: -
"Elegant Indian on top of its local game. Dev Biswal is a chef who marinates chicken in coriander and wild garlic, cooks is sous-vide and serves it with a chicken roulade, lentil salad, raita and coriander chutney. And that’s just a starter. The Ambrette is no ordinary Indian restaurant. The 450 -year - old building has a stylish modern interior, so no curry house clichés, just modern artworks and dark wood tables. The food is described as modern Indian fusion, which amounts to chicken pie with local cauliflower and cashew nuts and Kentish mutton and pearl barley biryani."
The Times 2013 - Knockout restaurants that have won over the nation's foodies by stealth. Margate is fast becoming a foodie destination. At the heart of this is the Ambrette, a Michelin-listed Indian restaurant. The chef Dev Biswal has no curry his menu, instead he plays with traditionally Indian flavours and textures on Kent's finest locally sourced meat. A starter could include calves liver with spiced Kentish cherries, served with Greengate chutney and horseradish raita. His signature main course is fillet of freshwater Nile Perch , pan-grilled with peppers, coriander, fenugreek and carom seeds. And the piece de resistance? Chocolate samosas with cardamom sauce - not to be missed. Unique brand of Indian -based cuisine with subtle but distinctive flavours.
The Good Food Guide 2014 - A visit to the Turner Contemporary, then lunch at the Ambrette would be one reporters ideal day out in Margate. The relaxed and welcoming contemporary Indian restaurant is overseen by Dev Biswal. He knows his local ingredients and his spices, combining them in "unique dishes".
Kent Restaurant of the Year - 2013 - The Ambrette Team wins "Best Restaurant of the Year" at the 2013 Taste of Kent Awards
Sunday Times - "The Ambrette, in Margate, is championing the curry-free Indian menu". "Innovative, delightful". "A good reason to visit Margate at least once". "An Indian with a difference: there's no curry. This is modern Mumbai dining - sardine spiced with carom seeds, ginger and chocolate somosas".
Hardens Guide 2014 - “No curry, just excellent Kentish fusion fare!”; Dev Biswal’s “unique” brand of Indian-based cuisine – with its “subtle but distinctive flavours” – “ticks all the boxes” for fans of his “affordable” Old Town spot
Michelin Guide 2014 - Quirky Indian restaurant with modest surroundings. Concise, seasonal menu showcases Kentish produce in an original style; freshly prepared dishes offer well-balanced flavours and subtle spicing.
AA Guide 2014 - Dev Biswal has cannily spotted a gap in the culinary market, and moved to fill it with this restaurant in Margate and another by the same name in Rye. This isn't modern Indian food as such: it's 'modern British with Indian influences'. The Margate Ambrette is a light, breezy venue with chunky wood tables, minimally adorned walls and engagingly informative service. A strong aesthetic sense informs the presentations of dishes that both look good and deliver a panoply of upstanding flavours. Start with a grilled fillet of claresse (a freshwater member of the European catfish family) crusted in black pepper, coriander and sesame, or aromatically spiced calves' liver in Madeira jus. Kentish pork loin in a fennel and cinnamon coat comes with Goan-style garlic and vinegar sauce, with aubergine and chick pea timbale and basmati, or opt for stir-fried crab done in mustard oil, cinnamon and cardamom. Vegetarian specials and side-orders bring bright, spicy flavours to humble ingredients.
Square Meal 2014 - Refinement is the hallmark of the Anglo-Indian fare on offer at Dev Biswal’s second Indian restaurant, and – like the Margate original – the food at this Sussex offshoot remains a world away from most similar Asian renditions. The kitchen deploys seasonal British ingredients and pitch-perfect spicing to distinctive effect, whether it’s local sardine fillets with carom seeds and ginger, char-grilled Godmersham pigeon, belly ribs of Sussex pork flavoured with fennel and sesame seeds or a version of ‘haleem’ (slow-cooked minced beef and organic cracked wheat infused with rose petals, cloves and cumin). Full marks, too, for the creative appetizers and pre-desserts. Tasting menus (from £35) and a full roster for vegetarians also broaden Ambrette’s appeal, and the setting is lovely: drinking and dining take place in the panelled rooms of an ancient house on Rye’s picture-perfect High Street.
Independent: "Cool Pace of the Day" - The Ambrette, perched unassumingly on the edge of Margate's Old Town in what was once an old boozer, is the kind of place you could easily hurry by without a second glance. From the outside you might mistake it for a standard British curry house, the cookie-cutter kind that can be found on high streets the length and breadth of the country. But look again. The Ambrette offers stylish, modern Indian food that’s leagues ahead of your standard chicken tikka or balti, racking up rafts of accolades and awards in its wake. Chef Dev Biswal uses traditional recipes, many of them from South India, where there is more of an emphasis on fragrance and flavour than heat and spice. Ingredients, however, aren’t entirely traditional – Gressingham duck or locally reared partridge, may well feature, along with Kentish lamb, and, unusually for an Indian restaurant, beef and pork. Local veg, salad and even wildflowers play starring roles, all presented with a hint of delicate nouvelle cuisine panache. If it’s on the menu, try the aromatic freshwater Nile perch, grilled with peppers and fenugreek – it’s Biswal's signature dish. The tasting menus can cater for vegetarians or pescatarians, and they’ve just launched a brunch menu that brilliantly combines Indian and British breakfast classics – think South Indian dosas, Mumbai street food, or the Full English with a spicy twist.