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Spring/Summer Collection 2016


elcome to the spring/summer 2016 edition of mmm’s The Best Places to Dine guide – a smorgasbord of the finest restaurants and eateries in Kent and enough to whet even the most refined appetite. Inside you will find a selection of venues where you can indulge in some of the finest culinary creations in the entire region. Now in our fourth edition, the response so far has been phenomenal. We have now become an essential resource for those looking to enjoy the rich bounty on offer from the Garden of England. All of those you will read about on the following pages pour their heart and soul into creating not just delicious dishes but an experience second to none. From the moment you enter they aspire to deliver you a first class service and meals conjured up from the tastiest locally-sourced ingredients. So whether it’s the tenderest cuts of mouthwatering meat, the freshest of fish caught off our shores, the depth of flavours of the vegetables grown in our soil or the succulent fruits nurtured in our orchards, you can be sure of finding a menu to truly inspire. Or perhaps you are seeking a light lunch or where the wines complement the food to make your taste buds tingle; there really is no better place to start your search than right here. But don’t just take our word for it – choose one of the venues featured and take the plunge; we’re convinced you’ll not forget it. And when you ring them don’t forget to tell them that you spotted them in mmm’s Best Places to Dine. Bon appétit! Published by mmm Media Ltd GHL House 1st Floor 12-14 Albion Place Maidstone Kent ME14 5DZ

Tel: 01622 299035

To advertise in our next edition of Kent’s Best Places to Dine please contact


Topes Restaurant

Shozna Dining

The Oyster Pearl The White Horse

The Tyler’s Klin

The BarnYard

Pad Thai Restaurant

The Brasserie Mercure Maidstone ROCHESTER

Blean Tavern MARGATE



Buoy and Oyster






The Salutation Restaurant



ASHFORD The Drawing Room Restaurant Townhouse Hotel


Olive Tree Restaurant Ramada Hotel


Horizon Restaurant Ashford International Hotel

Castle View Restaurant Leeds Castle

Who’d A Thought It The Mulberry Tree

Buenos Aires Nights The Cock Inn

The Queen’s Inn


Raja of Kent

The salutation restaurant

Address Knightrider Street, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9EW Telephone 01304 619 919 Email

Website Opening Times Lunch: 12 noon - 3pm Dinner: 6pm - 9pm

The Salutation is, without a doubt, the finest place to stay in Kent. Located in the heart of Sandwich, this stunning building was built by Sir Edwin Lutyens between 1911-1912 for William, Gaspard and Henry Farrer as a weekend retreat to enable them to enjoy the coastal air. Incorporating local produce with a European twist, the food in The Dining Room at The Salutation Restaurant is delicately prepared and accompanied by a wide variety of wines from around the world. Their dining environment is one you won’t find anywhere else in Kent. The Salutation Restaurant is a grade 1 listed building that marries Edwardian elegance with charm and character.


who’d a thought it

Address Headcorn Road, Grafty Green, Maidstone, Kent ME17 2AR Telephone 01622 858951 Email

Website Opening Times Monday - Saturday: 11am - 9.30pm Sunday: 12 noon - 7.3opm Who’d A Thought It is a lovely restored 16th century building set in the beautiful Kentish countryside and is the perfect setting for any event. The new award winning chef has put together a selection of incredible menus to fit any occasion. Each one provides two distinctly diverse menus, offering a wide and varied choice of delicious home-made food, designed with chef’s experience and imagination; it is very proud to have recently been awarded two AA rosettes. For lunch it has relaxed seating in the bar area and, in warmer weather, the terrace and delightful gardens provides guests with an al fresco dining experience. The sumptuously decorated restaurant offers a more formal choice of modern English and


fine dining. It is enormously proud of its extensive champagne selection which includes more than 60 varieties. It also has a broad range of wines and is always delighted to advise a perfect match to your food choices and to suit your individual palate. Choose between modern English dishes and fine dining; house specialities include Chateaubriand and The Who’d A Thought It’s signature Plateau Rouge, a sumptuous and eye-catching selection of seafood. Who’d A Thought It have a range of luxurious, highly individual decorated rooms and suites that make the perfect stay for any special occasion.


pad thai restaurant

Address 15 High Street, West Malling, Kent ME19 6QH Telephone 01732 870000 Email West Malling, near Maidstone has become one of the places to eat, having a varied choice of restaurants and gastro pubs. Over the last ten years, Pad Thai Restaurant has built an enviable reputation as possibly one of the best Thai restaurants in the south east. This is due entirely to Manta, the owner, whose family in Thailand has worked in the Royal Thai kitchens. With fresh ingredients flown in direct from Thailand the authenticity is guaranteed, which has culminated in Pad Thai being one of only 16 Thai restaurants in the UK to receive the prestigious award of a Thai Select Plaque, from the Ministry of Tourism and Foreign Affairs at the Royal Thai Embassy.


Website Opening Times Tuesday - Saturday: Lunch 12 noon - 2.30pm Dinner 5.30pm - 10.30pm Monday and Sunday: Closed

topes restaurant

Address 60 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1JY Telephone 01634 845270 Website

Opening Times Wednesday - Sunday: Lunch 12 noon - 2.30pm Wednesday - Saturday: Dinner 6.30pm - 9pm Monday - Tuesday: Closed

Topes Restaurant in Rochester’s historic High Street is Medway’s only two AA rosette restaurant. The restaurant is housed in a Tudor, half-timbered Grade II listed building on the corner of Rochester’s Northgate. Chris Small, Head Chef and co-owner has an eye for presentation and a knack of putting together flavours and textures that make every dish interesting to eat and a delight for the palette. Topes Cookery School has proved tremendously successful with Chris Small, running day courses on a number of differing themes, from bread-making to butchery, cooking with fish to hosting a dinner party. All dates for 2016 are published on


The DRAWING ROOM restaurant Townhouse Hotel

Address 74 King Street, Kent, Maidstone, ME14 1BH Telephone 01622 663266 Email

Website Opening Times Monday - Saturday: lunch 12 noon - 3pm Monday - Saturday: 6pm - 9.30pm Sunday: 12 noon - 6pm Afternoon tea only The Drawing Room Restaurant at the Townhouse Hotel has a newly refreshed menu offering some of the best food in Kent. The Townhouse is a Grade 2 Listed building. A Georgian gem in the heart of Kent’s County Town of Maidstone. In the understated but stylish restaurant, a team of young chefs from Michelin backgrounds have infused the traditional dishes with modern flavours and innovative combinations of ingredients. This unique restaurant takes pride in using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. The menus are seasonal to reflect the available produce from Kent’s wide range of vegetables, fish and meat.


The Drawing Room Restaurant has recently revamped its menus and offers superb food for all tastes. The light lunch and evening menu provides great value with prices from £5 to £15. On a Wednesday they run a steak night menu, £10 for a main course, £15 for two courses with a drink included. The à la carte menu offers high quality fine dining with two courses at £24 and three courses at £27.50. Relaxed intimate dining is the aim of the Drawing Room recalling the elegance of a bygone age but with classic dishes served in a modern style, supported by a wine list that complements both menus with a range of wines to suit all tastes and pockets.


Castle View Restaurant Leeds castle

Address Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL Telephone 01622 767777 Email At Castle View Restaurant, their aim is to cook the best traditional ingredients as simply as possible and let the quality of the produce and the magnificent views across the castle’s moat speak for themselves. The new seasonal menu uses the highest quality local ingredients, including the most succulent and tender of lamb from the Kent South Downs. The delicious warm artisan breads and locally grown fresh vegetables are the perfect accompaniment to your meal. For dessert, Solley’s Kentish ice-cream is delicious, creamy and fresh from the farm and leave room to try the cheeses, produced locally in Canterbury. The oak-beamed 17th Century setting, offers diners a relaxed atmosphere and spectacular views from the terrace of the 900 year old Leeds Castle which is beautifully lit at night.



Opening Times Monday to Sunday - open for dinner at 7pm - 11pm

Horizon Restaurant Ashford International Hotel

Address Simone Weil Avenue, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8UX Telephone 01233 219988 Email

Website Opening Times Breakfast:Monday - Friday: 6.30am - 9.30am Saturday - Sunday: 7.30am - 10.30am Evening Meals: Monday - Saturday: 6.30pm - 9.30pm At Ashford International Hotel they know the importance of good food and drink. From a light snack in the bar to a romantic meal in Horizon Restaurant, the team are continually sourcing new produce and developing the menus to suit all palates. The Horizon Bar is an elegant area in which to enjoy a pre-dinner drink, whilst perusing a mouth-watering menu. A seasonal menu is designed by the head chef and delivers modern British cuisine, using locally-sourced produce where possible. There are attentive waiters on-hand to advise you on the best wine to compliment your meal. So whether you are visiting the Ashford International Hotel on business or treating family and friends to a delicious Sunday lunch, a gourmet delight awaits.


Buenos Aires Nights steakhouse

Address 63 High St, Kent, Maidstone ME14 1SR Telephone 01622 688655 Email

Website Opening Times Monday - Tuesday: 6pm - 10pm Wednesday - Saturday: 6pm - 11pm Sunday: 5pm - 10pm Located in the heart of Maidstone town centre you will discover an elegant and cosy ambience within the restaurant, with the best charcoal grilled meat from Argentina, and a fine selection of wines. Buenos Aires Nights are an international English-Spanish group where the head chef and managing director are originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. They will offer you a high quality steak, excellent service and a list of the best Argentinean wines. There are many different varieties of grapes cultivated in Argentina, reflecting the country’s many immigrant groups.


The French brought Malbec and the Italians brought vines that​they called Bonarda and Torrontés which makes most of Argentina’s best known wines. You can discover within Buenos Aires Nights these three grapes with a long list of Malbec wines. Buenos Aires, the world’s most intense city believes quantity is not as important as quality, and one thing that makes the dining experience here so special is that they serve natural grass-fed beef. Argentine cuisine may be described as a cultural blend and is influenced by Italy and Spain, and their style of cooking and eating steak make it unique and most interesting to the hungry carnivore. Don’t wait too long to come and try this great experience.


blean tavern

Address 4 Blean Hill, Blean, Canterbury, Kent CT2 9EF Telephone 01227 504887 Email After having successfully opened The Oyster Pearl Restaurant in Seasalter, the owner Susan Lovett has now bravely taken over the Hare and Hounds pub in Blean. She has refurbished the premises and is now launching the pub under the new name, Blean Tavern. The restaurant is serving authentic pan Asian food, including dishes such as: chicken yakitori (Japanese), beef bulgogi (Korean), slow cooked pork belly with adobo style sauce (Philippines) and chicken katsu curry. There is a lunch menu, Sunday set menu (traditional Sunday roast available) and tempting evening and dessert menu, including platters for sharing. There is also a children’s menu available. Discover for yourself the perfect dining experience.


Website Opening Times Monday - Thursday: 12 noon - 11.30pm Friday - Saturday: 12 noon - 12.30am Sunday: 12 noon - 10:30pm

The oyster pearl

Address 185 Faversham Rd, Whitstable, Kent CT5 4BJ Telephone 01227 272705 Email

Website Opening Times Monday - Thursday: 12 noon - 11.30pm Friday - Saturday: 12 noon - 10.30pm Sunday: 12 noon - 11.30pm Famous for its oysters, Whitstable now has another pearl in its collection. The award-winning Oyster Pearl Bar and Restaurant at Seasalter has set the taste-buds tingling of reviewers and judges with its high quality and creative dishes. All served in a pleasant environment with friendly and helpful staff, it’s little wonder its reputation is ensuring its popularity which continues to grow. Voted best newcomer at a major food and drink awards last year, the Oyster Pearl prides itself on creating an eclectic menu. It serves up a British and Asian fusion with its seafood dishes and locally sourced seasonal ingredients – truly the best of all worlds. This transforms into an ever evolving creative menu that will suit all tastes. One visit and you’ll see just what all the fuss is about.


the white horse

Address The Green, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent ME14 4DL Telephone 01622 738365 Email

Website Opening Times Monday - Thursday: 12 noon - 11.30pm Friday - Saturday: 12 noon - midnight Sunday: 12 noon - 10.30pm Overlooking the village green and offering al fresco dining, The White Horse – Maidstone is a country-style pub serving a vast menu of modern British dishes. Warmed by log fires, this refurbished gastro pub also features exposed wooden beams on the ceilings and a convivial bar, making it a snug place to enjoy a glass of wine or a traditional Sunday roast. With chefs given the opportunity to train at cookery schools in Spain and Italy, The White Horse – Maidstone menu features modern signature recipes made using the finest available ingredients. As well as creative daily-changing specials,


favourites include: king prawn, crab and chorizo linguine, or spit-roasted chicken with lemon and garlic confit. A childrens’ menu and Sunday roasts also feature, and desserts include rich vanilla and chocolate gelato with homebaked cookies. The result of a treasured partnership with Rothschild wine merchants, the cellar showcases many fine wines, while token real ales and premium spirits are found at The White Horse – Maidstone bar. Nostalgic British nibbles and eclectic sharing platters bursting with international flavours offer more laidback dining.


the Shozna dining room

Address 153 Maidstone Road, Rochester, Kent ME1 1RR Telephone 01634 847847 Email Shozna continues to be a pioneer of change in the perception of Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine. At the Shozna Dining Room, you will experience a new way of dining. You will savour a combination of modern and traditional techniques where all the dishes are prepared using seasonal produce and freshly ground spices. All this takes place under the professional eye of Executive Chef, Jay. Their indisputable knowledge, attention to detail and professional team will give you the finest dining experience. They can accommodate all celebrations, whether corporate, weddings or parties for up to sixty diners.


Website Opening Times Open seven days a week: Lunch 12 noon - 1pm Dinner 5.30pm - midnight

the cock inn

Address Heath Road, Boughton Monchelsea, Maidstone ME17 4JD Telephone 01622 743166 Email

Website Opening Times Monday - Saturday: 12 noon - 11pm Sunday: 12 noon - 10.30pm The Cock Inn is situated in the rural surroundings of the pretty village of Boughton Monchelsea, close to Leeds Castle. This consistently high quality pub - often quoted as being one of best in Kent - is well known for freshly prepared country cuisine. Dishes are cooked from scratch using the best in seasonal produce. It is advisable to book for the restaurant, alternatively you may choose to dine in the bar area. Owned by local brewers Shepherd Neame and leased by Jo and Dave, the whole team are like a big family giving a genuine welcome to all. Many front of house and kitchen staff have been there for over five years, providing a wealth of experience. From an extensive menu range to an exemplary ambience, all is catered for.


the Brasserie mercure maidstone

Address Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1RE Telephone 0844 815 9045 Email

Website Opening Times Monday - Friday: Breakfast 6.30am - 10am Saturday - Sunday: Breakfast 7am - 11am Lunch - Variety of snacks and meals served from 10am Friday - Sunday: Snacks in restaurant 12 noon - 2.30pm Everyday: Dinner 6.30pm - 9.30pm The Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel is a beautiful place to spend a lazy afternoon, or to relax in the evening - whether you’re after a light bite, an evening meal, an afternoon tea or possibly a private function for your special occasion, they are happy to cater for all your requirements. In the restaurant, starters range from beetroot gravlax, wellmatched with wasabi potato salad, to wild mushrooms and cream on a toasted ciabatta. Mains encompass juicy steaks, delicious confit duck leg with Toulouse sausage and tomato and white bean cassoulet, and the sea bass fillet, accompanied by a bubble and squeak potato cake, ratatouille and crispy leeks.


Soak up the atmosphere in the contemporary restaurant at The Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel. Choose from a diverse collection of mouth-watering dishes prepared using fresh ingredients and locally-sourced produce. To complement your meal, choose from an extensive selection of fine wines; from Australia to Italy there’s something to suit every palate. Finally, indulge in one of the delicious desserts before sitting back, relaxing and allowing an experienced and helpful restaurant team to provide you with everything you need. The management are delighted to offer Best Places to Dine readers 20% off your food bill when dining from the main menu.


the queen’s inn

Address Rye Road, Hawkhurst, Kent TN18 4EY Telephone 01580 754233 Email Fresh, locally sourced ingredients are combined, expertly cooked and served in stylish, yet welcoming surroundings. The meals are their pride and joy, having a passion for creating a complete dining experience. Their menus show flair and imagination; never sacrificing taste or satisfaction. So if your grabbing a light lunch, enjoying bar food with a drink or savouring a long dinner as you while away the evening by the fire, they can offer you the perfect dinner. Why not treat the family to a delicious Sunday roast (a choice of two roasts every Sunday) and with children’s roasts half price you can even afford to bring them as well.


Website Opening Times Monday - Thursday: 9am - 11.30pm Friday - Saturday: 9am - midnight Sunday: 9am - 11pm

the mulberry tree

Address Hermitage Lane, Boughton Monchelsea, Maidstone ME17 4DA Telephone 01622 749082 Email

Website Opening Times Tuesday - Thursday: 12 noon - 2pm and 6.30pm - 9pm Friday - Saturday: 12 noon - 2pm and 6.30pm - 9.30pm Sunday: 12 noon - 2.15pm The Mulberry Tree is a contemporary country restaurant and bar with a relaxed, informal atmosphere, excellent food, wine and service. It is set in the beautiful Kent countryside, only four miles from Staplehurst and has been extended and modernised to offer a restaurant and bar seating 75. There is also a sunny terrace and garden for al fresco dining. The cuisine style is ‘modern British and European’ using seasonal, free-range and organic produce that is sourced from local suppliers from within The Weald of Kent, in what really is The Garden of England. The philosophy is to offer value for money, using only the best ingredients.


buoy and oyster

Address 44 High Street Margate, Kent CT9 1DS Telephone 01843 446631 Email

Website Opening Times Monday: closed Tuesday - Saturday: 11am - 11pm Sunday: 11am - 5pm Buoy and Oyster is an independent family owned restaurant and cocktail bar set in a Grade II listed building in the heart of Margate; with menus specialising in British favourites executed with a modern twist. Ideally located a stone’s throw away from the Turner Contemporary, Dreamland and Margate Old Town and with an outside terrace over looking the beach it is the perfect location to enjoy the stunning views and beautiful Margate sunsets in a relaxed and stylish setting. Run by Simon and Nadine who are passionate about providing Margate with a new eatery showcasing the best of the local produce that Kent has to offer and are proud to be a part of the town’s regeneration.


With a relaxed family atmosphere combined with high service standards customers can enjoy a unique and personal dining experience and choose from the Ă la carte or Bar Menu to suit their dining needs. Simon and his team create well loved seafood dishes such as moules frites, Dover sole, beer battered fish and chips, seafood linguine and of course - oysters. By using local Kent fishermen all fish and shellfish are usually landed and on your plate the very same day. The menu also has a variety of vegetarian and gluten free options and with sharing platters and oysters available throughout the day, it is the perfect location to enjoy a bite to eat with a cocktail or two.


gem of kent

Address 62 High Street, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1SR

Telephone 01622 675000 Email Not what you expect: Gem of Kent believe Turkish food is more than just kebabs and chips, it is in fact representative of many centuries of tradition and heritage passed down through the generations. Gem of Kent employs the best chefs and offers the finest foods so that hopefully you too will see that there is more than meets the eye. There are three set menus for you to choose from that are designed to offer you the fullest experience of Turkish cuisine. Starters and desserts are pre-chosen by the chefs. Set Menu A (£12.95 per person), Set Menu B (14.95 per person) and Set Menu C (£29.95 per person). Upgrade with Prosecco for just £5 per bottle. Please see online for the full set menus.


Website Opening Times Monday - Thursday: 12 noon - 10.30pm Friday - Saturday: 12 noon - 11.30pm Sunday: 12 noon - 10.30pm

Olive Tree Restaurant ramada dover

Address Ramada Dover, Singledge Lane, Whitfield, Dover CT16 3EL Telephone 01304 821230 Email

Website Opening Times Monday - Sunday: Breakfast 6.30am - 10.00am Lunch 12 noon - 2.30pm Dinner 6pm - 10pm Named after the olive tree in their garden at the front of the hotel, the restaurant reflects the peace and tranquillity of the dining area which is open seven days a week to the public. Located at the Ramada Dover in four acres of gardens with free car parking, the Olive Tree Restaurant is able to offer a range of British, Continental and Far Eastern dishes. There is a superb Ă la carte menu available that changes on a seasonal basis which offers a large range of dishes including vegetarian and gluten free options. To compliment your choice of courses there is an extensive choice of wines available to select from the wine cellar.


raja of kent, TENTERDEN

Address Biddenden Rd, High Halden, Tenterden TN30 6SX Telephone 01233 851191 Email

Website Opening Times Monday - Saturday: Lunch 12 noon - 2.30pm Dinner 5.30pm - 11.30pm Sunday: Lunch 12 noon - 3pm Dinner 5.30pm - 11.30pm Kent restaurateur Rezaul Raja who owns The Raja of Kent group of restaurants, welcomes you to The Raja of Kent at Tenterden. Rezaul Raja’s reputation is such that customers are drawn from across Kent, with many regulars travelling on a weekly basis. New to the menu are some specialist dishes that are created authentically so they are exactly as they would be served in Bangladesh. The exciting new dishes include: Mozadar Mangosh (diced beef & aromatic Bangladeshi spices), Chicken Raas (flawlessly cooked chicken leg), Lamb Shank (slowly cooked perfect for the season, Spicy Sea Bass and Kuda Goost (sweet pumpkin with Lamb).


The Tenterden restaurant is the current holder of the Best Indian (Kent Restaurant awards) and is named in the top 100 Indian Restaurants in the British Curry Awards. Recently, Rezaul Raja was honoured at a special seminar and dinner at the House of Commons for his contribution to the UK economy. He has also had the pleasure of being asked to be a judge in the Channel 4 production ‘Secret Supper Club’. Essential to their success and seamless high quality cooking is that Rezaul Raja has personally trained all of the chefs at each restaurant; most have now been within The Raja of Kent group of restaurants for many years.


The Tyler’s Kiln

Address 27 Hackington Road, Tyler Hill, Canterbury, Kent CT2 9NE Telephone 01227 471912 Email

Website Opening Times Monday - Thursday: 11am - 11pm Friday - Saturday: 11am - midnight Sunday: 12 noon - 11pm Located in the medieval hamlet of Tyler Hill, surrounded by ancient woodland and only five minutes from Canterbury and 15 minutes from Whitstable, The Tyler’s Kiln is a destination pub not to be missed. Since opening in January 2015 following a multi-million pound two year renovation project, this unique venue has wowed more than 30,000 visitors in its first year and has quickly risen to become the top pub in Canterbury and surrounding areas on TripAdvisor. The restaurant has seating both upstairs and downstairs, and boasts mouth-watering lunch and evening menus that change with the seasons. The Tyler’s Kiln has gained a reputation for serving high quality home-cooked British cuisine using locally


sourced produce wherever possible. Lamb and beef raised in Tyler Hill feature on the menu from time to time, and the traditional Sunday roast, offering a choice of four meats and vegetarian options, is extremely popular. A children’s menu is available at all times and half sandwiches are on offer for those with smaller appetites. Regular events include ‘steak and wine night’ every Tuesday (£19.95), ‘pie and pint night’ every Wednesday (£13.25), the Ceramic Sessions live music on the first Sunday of every month, Bingo Lounge night on the 2nd Monday of every month and a quiz night on the last Monday of each month, so there’s plenty to keep you entertained.


The barnyard restaurant

Address Oak Lane, Upchurch, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 7EZ Telephone 01634 235059 Email The BarnYard is set amongst 150 acres of beautiful scenery and encapsulates the essence of Kent. As members of Produced in Kent, it celebrates local and seasonal produce and is proud to source the finest ingredients. This theme runs throughout its menus, from the eggs that are collected daily from the free range chickens on the farm and used for its hearty breakfasts, to cheese boards using Kent cheeses from the deli counter in its award winning farm shop, served with home-made spiced apple chutney using apples from its own orchards. For a truly unique dining experience visit The BarnYard.


Website Opening Times Monday - Sunday Summer hours 9am - 5pm Winter hours 9am - 4pm

Kent’s Premiere Portuguese Restaurant The Square, Hadlow, Kent, TN11 0DA 01732 851 489 www. Opening Hours LUNCH: Friday and Saturday noon till 3:00pm DINNER: Monday to Saturday 6:30pm till midnight

KENT's Best Places to Dine  
KENT's Best Places to Dine  

Kent's Best Places to Dine guide - a smorgasbord of the finest restaurants and eateries in Kent. An essential resource for those looking to...