We’ve recently started to enjoy Margate as a daytrip destination but were disappointed that we hadn’t yet found any brilliant restaurants to eat lunch in whilst we were there. We’re therefore delighted that Conor Sheehan and Jackson Berg – most recently General Manager and Head Chef at Bistrotheque – have opened Xiringuito, a moveable restaurant, in the space next to the Dreamland pleasure park. The restaurant’s name, Xiringuito (pronounced chi-rin-gito), was inspired by the Catalan name for the seasonal bars that open up on beaches during the summer months and it will similarly only stay in Margate for summer before moving to another, as yet undecided, location.
On weekdays, there is a 3 course lunch menu for £15, served with a beer or a glass of wine, which is an absolute steal. On our visit, we kicked off with chicken liver parfait crammed in between two halves of a deliciously light doughnut and served with neon bright pickles. It sounds wacky but totally works. Our main course was more restrained: skate with nduja and samphire. Dessert feels like the main event here, however, and pastry chef Julia Howe has come up with an indulgent menu of ice cream sandwiches and alcoholic granitas. Our companion had a wonderful grapefruit granita with Campari but we wouldn’t have swapped our jam doughnut split open and filled with peanut butter ice cream for the world. It’s the kind of food that feels exactly right to eat when you’re by the seaside and for us, it set an indulgent tone for the afternoon. We followed dessert with some excellent margaritas which were possibly too good because, by the time we left Xiringuito, it was too late to even visit the Turner Contemporary Gallery as it had closed. We will have to return, clearly.