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Quince – Editors Review

Located in the coastal town of Westgate-On-Sea, in North Kent, Quince has been receiving high praise for its exceptional culinary offerings and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant is known for its focus on locally sourced, high-quality ingredients. Co-owners Ben Hughes and Rafael Lopez bring a wealth of experience, creating exciting dishes that showcase both British and Mediterranean influences.

The decor at Quince is elegant yet cosy, featuring grey panelled walls and parquet flooring with an open kitchen at the back of the restaurant. The tables are spaced far enough apart to feel comfortable and not have the sense of being crammed together to increase covers.

The restaurant’s commitment to using local produce is evident. This includes fish and seafood from Kentish day boats, local meats, and vegetables from nearby farms. The menu offers both a la carte and set options, with lunch set menus available at reasonable prices.

Our meal started with an appetizer of a sweet pepper puree in a small edible cone with a cube of cheese on top – very tasty and did the job in whetting our appetites for the starter. We chose the pastrami with salsify and pickled walnut ketchup and the rabbit and ham terrine with pickled vegetable slices. The pastrami was delicious but the highlight on the plate was the ketchup, deep and rich with great flavour.

For main course we tried a vegetarian dish of Margate mushrooms with a Broccoli custard and Hazelnut and cheddar Pesto and a dish consisting of grilled Flank steak with peperonata. The vegetable dish was well seasoned and a carrot puree gave added sweetness and a streak of alternative colour amongst the green of pesto and broccoli. The flank steak – an underrated cut, had a very meaty flavour, due in part to a generous helping of beef dripping and not as chewy as often associated with this type of steak. The peperonata was sweet with peppers, onions and tomatoes providing a lovely accompaniment.

The meal was rounded off with some wonderful desserts, Basque cheesecake with deconstructed rhubarb crumble and a large toasted marshmallow with strawberries and custard. The cheesecake was smooth and creamy and exquisitely balanced with the sharp rhubarb and a sweet tooth is recommended for the marshmallow, but again the combination of flavours and textures work perfectly.

Service at Quince is very welcoming and attentive, and the staff is easy to strike up a conversation with, contributing to the overall relaxed and enjoyable dining experience. Quince is a restaurant for those seeking high-quality, inventive dishes in a comfortable setting. The continually changing menu, in keeping with whatever produce is fresh on the day, means that no two visits will necessarily be the same.

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