We kept meaning to try the place as we visit Tunbridge Wells from time to time and finally went for food here with my best friend on Wednesday evening.
Far exceeded expectations both in the quality of the food and the service. In fact it was more of an experience rather than just going out for dinner, as we were able to sit at the counter where the chef cooked.
Caleb, the chef at Sankey's, was brilliant. He was happy to spend time talking to us about the amazing produce and took the time to recommend some dishes for us, which did not disappoint!
The roasted shellfish platter had a bit of everything so was the perfect choice, but, because my friend and I are pretty greedy, and the menu was just too good to ignore, we ordered some additional dishes, such as the crab, mackerel pate, devilled anchovies and the truly outstanding crab and lobster bisque; which all went towards creating our very own full on banquet.
We absolutely loved this place, and if you like good quality seafood and the freshest produce, you've got to visit; you will love it too.
We did have a choice of sitting at one of the tables but we chose to sit at the chef's bar, and I'd choose to sit here again. In my opinion, it was an extra bonus because you could see a true professional at work, applying his creative flair in the prep and cooking.
For us it was obvious that the chef was happy in his work, because you could taste the love in the food. There was a definite style in the presentation of the food, but I loved that it fell towards being classic and restrained, rather than being over fussy.
I've read some reviews where people mention that the prices are expensive, but I couldn't disagree more. Good quality, fresh seafood isn't cheap even if you're buying it yourself to cook at home.
When you then throw in the mix that the produce they source is the best available, plus the fact that its being prepared and cooked by a really talented chef, and you're in great surroundings, furnished with excellent service too, I think the prices are incredibly reasonable. I certainly would never describe it as being expensive in the slightest.
We may need to travel to Tunbridge Wells in about four weeks time for an appointment, and we'll definitely be combining the trip with a visit to Sankey's, which we're already looking forward to.
P.S. - We were given the heads up that the restaurant isn't open on Monday's and from the 2nd May, every Thursday night, The Pantiles have an outside jazz event, which can bring up to 5,000 people into town, so if you want to eat here then, you will definitely have to book in advance.