Taste of the Med @ The Minnis – new seafront tapas restaurant
Kent chef patron Jason Freedman is to open ‘Taste of the Med @ The Minnis’, overlooking the golden sands of Minnis Bay in Birchington, which nestles between the fishing ports of Whitstable and Ramsgate. The new menus draw heavily on the same dishes which have helped Jason lose 3 stones (46 pounds) in weight over a two-year period.
Inspired by a cuisine which helped him achieve the sustained weight loss, Jason is to rebrand the first floor dining area of The Minnis Bar&Restaurant, with seating for 50 customers, which is normally reserved for private functions, with tapas and mezze style menus featuring dishes from countries that fringe the Mediterranean.
“Our olive skinned friends have their eating habits just right and because of this they have better cardiovascular health, lower levels of cancers and longer adult life expectancy,” said Jason, who believes there is also strong evidence that those eating a Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, lesser risk of strokes, lower risk of Parkinson’s Disease and, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.
The diet in southern European consists of mainly beans, lentils, plants and whole grains, supplemented with fish, seafood, pasta and a small amount of red meat. A typical meal would be salad and vegetables with a small amount of meat or fish, a small side dish of pasta and maybe a slice of bread
They avoid processed foods and dine on home grown and locally sourced produce.
They drink wines and water rather than spirits and sugar-laden carbonated drinks. A glass and it is a proven fact that a glass or two of red wine is good for the Heart and also aids digestion but too much wine can have a negative effect on the body, so drink sensibly.
“Whilst losing weights I always enjoyed a glass of good quality wine – which aids digestion and is good for the heart – but I did cut back on the chocolate, which is my weakness,” said Jason, who reminds us that we should not overlook the social life aspect of the Mediterranean way.
“They don’t sit down for meals in front of a television set, they usually sit in groups with friends and family, they relax and enjoy their food at a leisurely pace and this is just as important as the food on the plate.” He added.
Jason opened a small 26-seater tapas restaurant, Café Bee, in Minnis Bay ten months ago, but it proved so popular it was regularly turning away customers. Bringing it in-house will allow him to expand and develop the menu, whist satisfying more diners. The new restaurant will open in May.
On offer there will be an average of 30 hot and cold, classic and modern dishes priced from £3.50 at Taste of the Med @ The Minnis.
“There’s a growing trend for casual dining, with sharing platters and small plates, with greater demand for healthy-eating options which are common to Southern Europe and North Africa,” said Jason, adding, “With fantastic sea view and spectacular sunsets, the ambience suits this style of eating perfectly.”
The Mediterranean menus and paella will also be available on the outside terrace on the warm summer evenings,
Many of Jason’s home cured dishes, produced the same way as his Curiously Kentish brand, utilise the food preservation methods brought to Britain 2,000 years by the Roman invaders. The Romans introduced many new culinary techniques – curing, drying, smoking, pickling and preserving – that not only kept food from spoiling, but greatly enhanced its flavours and textures.
Minnis began life as a beachside café in 1934. It enjoys unparalleled views over the Kent shoreline and the Roman fort at Reculver, where the Barnes-Wallace’s bouncing-bomb was tested. The stunning skies at sunset have attracted many artists over the years, most famously JWM Turner, after whom the Turner Contemporary gallery in nearby Margate was named. Today the long sandy beach, one of the finest on the north Kent coast, enjoys prestigious Blue Flag status.
The Minnis Bar&Restaurant is a relaxed, stylish restaurant that offers an outstanding a la carte dining experience with spectacular sunsets and panoramic views across Minnis Bay
The Minnis also cures, pickles, brines, salts and smokes its own produce where the unique flavours that these ancient culinary crafts bring to the abundance of high quality meat, game, fish and seafood available locally. As a result the menu contains homemade salt beef, pastrami, sweet-cured pork loin, venison, corned beef, sausages and chorizo accompanied by homemade pickles and chutneys.
There are 72 covers in ground floor restaurant, 20 in the bar, 50 upstairs (which is available for private dining. The al fresco area is the biggest in England – 4 miles long – and has a dedicated take-away service for those who wish to have their lunch on the beach.
The Minnis, which has long been popular with families, has a take-away service for those who wish to have their lunch on the beach and operates a kiosk selling beach toys, inflatables ,boats, snacks, seafood and ice creams in the summer months.
The restaurant hosts a number of live music events.
Open: 10am – 11pm, 365 days a year.
Tourist information: www.visitthanet.co.uk
T: 01843 841844