Are you looking for a cosy restaurant in Canterbury that serves delicious Mediterranean cuisine? Cafe du Soleil is the place to go!
I tend to play it safe and go for chain restaurants when I go out for something to eat, because then I know just what I want to eat. If I go to Giraffe my go-to is the crispy chicken Katsu noodles, Bill’s I go for the simple Bill’s burger with sweet potato fries and at ASK Italian I absolutely love the Pollo Milanese; breaded butterfly chicken breast, chips, broccoli, and a creamy mushroom sauce on the side.
So when I went to Canterbury last weekend, my friend dropped me a text and said: “Do you fancy trying Cafe Du Soleil? It’s really nice there!”.
Alarm bells immediately started ringing because omg WHAT DO I ORDER?! So I checked the menu straight away and found exactly what I would order once we arrived.
Cafe Du Soleil is situated beside the river Stour in Canterbury, homed inside a former 18th century wool store. The building was restored with a grant from English Heritage, so it now showcases the extensive use of reclaimed building material from the 14C city wall.
There’s a cute little bridge over the river that leads into the restaurant, and when you’re inside, you’re greeted by friendly staff and a low-lit, brick-walled cosy room with candles on each table and an intimate dining experience atmosphere.
Cafe Du Soleil specialise in Mediterranean cuisine, drawing inspiration from southern France, Italy and the Pacific rim. The majority of the dishes here are cooked in the giant wood burning oven at the opposite end of the dining room – I wish I’d got a photo of just how big it was!
Alice and I ordered a cocktail each (peach bellini for Alice and a strawberry daquiri for me) and we perused the menu.
Alice and I both ordered the Chicken Saltimbocca: a delicious pan fried chicken breast in parma ham with a sage, leek and tarragon cream sauce, served with a macadamia crusted parmesan risotto cake and kale.
I was in absolute foodie heaven – the chicken was tender, parma ham crunchy and the creamy sauce was deliciously mourish. The paramesan risotto cake was delicious too, with a crunchy coating and a gooey-cheesey filling.
I’m not the biggest fan of kale but it was tasty and cooked well, and did a good job at mopping up all the left over sauce!
Alice and I decided to share the Wood Fired Alaska for 2: a home made banana bread topped with Madagascan vanilla ice cream and meringue, served with a red fruit and wine compote. It certainly had the wow factor!
The banana bread was delicious and had a scattering of raisins in, with nice crunchy bits on the outside. The ice cream was sealed by the toasted meringue topping, both of which were sweet and delicious. The red fruit and wine compote worked really well with the dish, adding a lovely sharp taste to the dessert.
I had a fantastic meal at Cafe du Soleil and would definitely recommend a visit here if you’re planning on visiting Canterbury anytime soon.
There’s also a sister restaurant called Cafe des Amis that I would love to check out next time, as it offers a range of Mexican dishes served in a vibrant atmosphere, just the other side of the river.