Restaurant review: Birdies, Whitstable

Birdies is a beautiful French Bistro in the heart of Whitstable, full of character and charm, serving local seafood, an array of French delights & homemade desserts.

Originally opened in November 1984, Birdies restaurant has quite the heritage. Owner and chefs Phil and Sue have a passion for fresh flavours and the best produce, having worked between New York and London before taking on their own venture. Culinary expertise is obviously in the blood as Phil’s Uncle Peter worked in the prestitgious Café Europa in New York, inspiring him to train to be a chef.

As Phil works closely alongside local growers and fishermen, the menu evolves regularly to reflect the seasons and there’s also a dish of the day so that no matter when you visit there’ll be something new to try.

The interiors have an old-school feel with mismatched artworks adorning the painted brick walls, and red and white tablecloths covering the simple tables. A tiled terracotta floor and chalkboard menus add to the homely appeal.

Despite the menu changing regularly, there is typically the same style of dishes on offer so that you can roughly gauge the types of things to expect. Traditional French favourites like mussels in white wine and cream or a smooth chicken liver pate feature on the starter menu, or you could plump for a plate of six fresh oysters. Rich beef Wellington takes centre stage on the main section alongside things like lobster with saffron cream and mussels, or fillet of hake with a pesto crust.

The oysters were amazing and the fish assiette was lovely: moules, crab, smoked salmon, langoustine, salad and more oysters. Birdies Restaurant brings a slice of rural French charm to the seaside town of Whitstable, serving up classic dishes in a warm and welcoming environment.

Despite the tempting selection of savouries, make sure to save room for dessert. A vanilla creme brulee is rich and silky smooth, while the lemon tart (one of Sue’s deserts) nprovides a lighter end to your meal should you prefer. Of course, no French restaurant is complete without a healthy cheeseboard, and Birdies doesn’t disappoint with its selection of wonderful European cheeses and accompaniments.

A lovely atmosphere and attentive staff – along with the exquisite food – this place is highly recommended.

Some exciting news! Birdies is expanding as Phil and Sue have just bought the shop, Harry’s next door – watch this space.

41 Harbour Street,
Whitstable, CT5 1AH
Tel: 01227 265337

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