Kitchen confidential

Kitchen confidential

18th March 2019

Framptons on The Pantiles is one of Tunbridge Wells’ most popular spots to socialise. We caught up with its head chef Rob Theron to find out his secret recipe for success

So Rob, please can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I've been lucky enough to work in the top three restaurants in South Africa, one of these was in the world's top 50.  These were special and important formative years for me.  I then made the move to the UK and settled in Tunbridge Wells.  I started at Thackery's and then grabbed an opportunity to work at The Beacon and The Twenty Six.  They're all about using local and where possible foraged ingredients and I work with the same ethos at Framptons where I’ve been for the past six months. 

What do you enjoy most about working there? 

We're a family.  I love it here, it's a lot of fun and I want everyone who visits us to feel the same way.

What’s currently on the menu?  

There's the day menu with our signature and classic brunch dishes and also salads, sandwiches and a few lunch classics like our popular battered cod and hand cut fries.  On Tuesdays we have a really special offer: the Framptons signature beef burger (caramelised red onion, streaky bacon, blue or cheddar cheese) with fries and a drink for only £10. This is a great deal for lunch and dinner, and is getting more and more popular. Tuesdays are fun!

Can you let us know which dishes are your most popular and why? 

For brunch it's The Pantiles Crumpet; a slow roasted beef short rib with marmite hollandaise sauce and pickled shallots served on homemade crumpets.  I think this has been particularly popular in the colder weather because it's an indulgent treat of a brunch that is unlike anything else in Tunbridge Wells.  In the evening our monkfish has proven particularly popular.

Are you big on sourcing ingredients as locally as you can? 

Absolutely. I like to support the local community and particularly small independent farmers and suppliers.  Our asparagus will come straight from the farm.  Our brassicas (hispi cabbage, spring greens etc) will all come from a five mile radius.  Locally sourced lamb will feature on our evening menu and on the Sunday roasts. We've found a quality grass feeding farm that delivers a really special and delicately sweet lamb.

What can customers expect from the spring menu at Framptons? 

As always, we'll showcase the best of Kent's seasonal produce.  Spring offers lots of exciting ingredients and some of the things Kent is famous for - asparagus for example!  The day menu will be available from opening time until 3pm Monday to Saturday.  The evening menu is where we really get to have some fun and this changes regularly.  Then there's our Sunday roast from 12-4pm and we're confident it's the best around.

What positives does Framptons bring to The Pantiles? 

I think we offer something a little different to a pub or café.  There's an edge and atmosphere about this place that compliments The Pantiles.  We're situated at the northern entrance too which encourages people to enter what we think is the best part of the town.  The Pantiles has a great history and the building we're in has plenty of that.  It's also important to look to the future and this area has some exciting things coming up….

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