Food with flair

TN1 Bar and Kitchen on Monson Road offers culinary classics with a contemporary twist and attention to detail that makes it a must-visit, says Michelle Wood.


As we enter through the doors of TN1 Bar and Kitchen on Monson Street on a chilly spring evening we are warmly greeted by owners Murat and Tess Askin. They are gracious and hospitable, and Murat shows us to our table tucked in a corner. The restaurant, contemporary and comfortable, is buzzing with patrons. TN1, it seems, is a popular place to be on a Thursday night. Even the outdoor courtyard is busy…

Inside, a man strums on his guitar, and it takes me a good few minutes to realise the music is live. I’m delighted: dinner and a show! He is playing all my 80s and 90s favourites –  my partner and I immediately feel at home. The restaurant is humming with people of all ages: young groups of friends celebrating birthdays; families with children still in high-chairs; friends getting together for a bite after work and couples, like us, getting together after a long day to reconnect. TN1, clearly offers something for everyone.

To set the mood for the evening, we started with cocktails. It’s worth noting that from 5pm-7pm on Mondays to Thursdays you can have 2 for £12. I chose a Royal G&T – so named as it uses the local Bath Tub Gin. It was served with a light tonic, some orange peel and a sprinkling of juniper berries, and delivered a well-balanced yet palate-cleansing jumpstart. My partner opted for the Pantiles Spritz which boasted strawberry gin, schnapps, lemon juice, white grape and apricot soda. It was sweet, playful and definitely moreish.

When it comes to starters on offer at TN1 there are so many options to choose from. Specials that evening included Fresh Pacific Oysters served with shallots, vinaigrette and tabasco, and Soft Shell Crab with avocado salsa, chilli and spring onion dressing. We opted for the grilled King Prawns, which were served shell off with garlic, chilli, soy and spring onion dressing, and the Moules Mariniere served with a classic white wine, garlic and cream sauce and a hint of thyme. Presented in an steaming terrine with slices of home-made bread, the mussels were not only sea-fresh, but cooked to perfection. The prawns were juicy yet firm with a harmony of aromatic flavours that left my partner beyond delighted.

The starter portions were incredibly generous, so it felt appropriate to take a little break between our courses – and TN1 is the perfect place to kick back and relax. Offering regular music nights, the restaurant puts up an impressive array of musical talent throughout the week that sets the atmosphere for a great night out.

To complement our meal, we chose to drink a Rosapasso Rosé from Biscardo Italy. It was smooth on the palate with notes of fresh strawberry and cherry and the perfect accompaniment to our delicious mains.

On that front, my partner chose the treacle-cured pork belly with crackling and pickled savoy cabbage, while I couldn’t resist the 12oz sirloin steak which was served with a grilled tomato, field mushroom, peppercorn sauce and chips. Again, each dish was expertly cooked. After finishing we both agreed that the culinary flair and attention to detail employed in the kitchen at TN1 is what really sets it apart. It’s no wonder the establishment, which is located on Monson Road and opened in May 2021, recently won Best in Food and Drink at the Times Business Awards.

Still, the highlight of the evening was yet to come: the insanely decadent Homemade Apple Crumble, which we shared, along with a Brandy Coffee Courvoisier. This homemade crumble tart, paired with spiced apples made the perfect end to our evening.

As the musician picked his way through Prince’s ‘Raspberry Beret’, we reluctantly got up to leave. On our way out, we thanked Murat and Tess and headed into the evening; our hearts and bellies full, knowing that we will return again. TN1 Bar and Kitchen is both literally and physically at the heart of Tunbridge Wells’ foodie scene and is definitely a must-visit for anyone who hasn’t discovered it yet.


TN1 Bar and Kitchen, 33 Monson Rd, is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 12am, Sunday 9am to 9pm, phone 01892 513900 or visit

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