0.5 miles
7-9 High Street, Aylesford, ME20 7AX

Walking into the Hengist in Aylesford was like walking into a boutique bar. Atmospherically dimmed lights, exposed brick and striking wallpaper adorn the walls. The place was bustling as we entered; the cocktail connoisseur behind the bar had an audience of excited guests watching him work with admiration, and it takes just one glance at the cocktail list to see why. Others were seated in luxurious armchairs sampling the menu or just taking in the atmosphere.

We were escorted to our table, and got cosy pretty quickly. The manager was on-hand at every step to help us with our choices. To start, we ordered the smoked duck and the cauliflower and saffron velouté. The latter was a delight – creamy curried cauliflower rested at the bottom of the bowl and the broth was poured on top. The smoked duck was equally enjoyable – thinly sliced and accompanied by sweet satsuma and tangy pickled carrot, which made for a kind of deconstructed duck à l’orange.

The chef informed us that where possible all ingredients are locally sourced. The quality of the ingredients was evident in each wonderfully presented and exquisite dish we sampled. From the à la carte we chose pork cheeks served with burnt apple dumpling and mashed potato, and the seafood linguine crafted with king prawns, crayfish, mussels and creamy lobster sauce. To accompany our mains, we also enjoyed a side of greens but were pleasantly surprised to find a good portion of fresh veg already on the plate. The freshness of the pork dish was clear – the apple dumplings were crispy and complemented the tender pork cheeks. I was told that the linguine is a tremendously popular choice and that diners flock back to get another taste. It’s easy to see why; the flavours of crab, prawn and lobster blended harmoniously to make for a magnificent taste experience.

We couldn’t resist ordering from the indulgent dessert menu so opted for a South African sticky toffee pudding and a chocolate mousse with chocolate cake. We could barely finish either, not for lack of trying. Leaving Hengist satisfied and content, we found ourselves eager to return to sample more of the creative and indulgent menu.

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Mon, 07/23/2018 - 14:07 -- Administrator

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