Dirties, what a name for a restaurant. I mean on paper it doesn’t sound like a great place to eat does it? But once you are in and enjoying a rather incredible cocktail, looking at the interesting and unique decor and absorbing the very flirty, fun atmosphere of this great Mexican restaurant you realise that the name Dirties is exactly right.
Set along the high street in Whitstable, Dirties used to be the NatWest Bank which makes for some really quirky features in the place – they don’t hide what it used to be, they embrace it and I love that! As you sit at the bar we were looking at all the features that were there from those days – the safe, the bars, the shelving, they even use the vault for private dining. Its fun and I adored it.
We happened upon the place on a Thursday evening in October (I know, I know it’s taken me a while to write up this trip) and originally just popped in to see the new kid on the block for Whitstable High Street, however I was seduced by the bramble sour they had as a cocktail special for the evening and so we set up camp at the bar.
It was really, really busy so I would suggest booking if you want to eat there, especially at the weekends. I loved it – I think with Mexican dining having a noisy and buzzing restaurant just fits so well with the informal, spicy, fresh style of food you will be eating. Seeing all the plates that were flying out of the kitchen got rather seduced and ordered some food as well!
Having already eaten a large meal at lunch we simply went for a couple of orders of taco’s to go with our cocktails and Mexican beer. First up was fried buttermilk chicken tacos served with Donkey Mayo. I still am not too sure what donkey mayo is but it tasted very nice, I must ask them next time! The chicken was deliciously crunchy on the outside and tender inside, so cooked to perfection. I have to say though it just lacked a bit of seasoning on the coating which was a shame because all the other elements were great.
We also got the fish tacos which were the best I’ve had for a long time – lovely flaky white fish coated in a light and crispy batter. The red cabbage added more crunch against the softness of the taco and the coolness of the crema and I asked for extra chillies which gave a good punch of flavour. The food really was a delight to eat, the perfect food to eat with your fingers whilst enjoying the drinks and music.
There were some interesting dishes on the menu such as pickled cactus and Jackfruit so I will be back at some point to actually sit down and enjoy a meal there. Until then I hope Dirties continues to create a very different, modern and fun offering to dining in Whitstable, despite the huge amount of restaurants there, it really does hold its own. Give it a go.
8.5 / 10
Dirties, 56 High Street, Whitstable