Devilishly good British-Indian cuisine using local and foraged produce.
Part of our mission as hosts of Looney Dunes is to try every restaurant, pub and cafe in and around Camber so that we can recommend (or otherwise) the best places to our guests. With this in mind, early one Saturday lunchtime we visited The Devil in Rye. From the outside, the restaurant is quite unassuming and certainly doesn’t prepare you for the stylish dining space that is hidden at the back. If you’re looking for a dark, flock wallpapered nook, you’ll be disappointed. What we found was a light and airy conservatory opening out onto a pretty courtyard garden.
Perhaps the most surprising part of the view, is that the garden is backed by a chapel wall with great arched, stone windows (now filled in) which was once part of an Austin Friary dating back to 1380. Known as the Rye Monastery, according to our waitress, the chapel is now an antique shop.
The food was no less surprising and delightfully so. The menu was small with great options for veggies and vegans.
To begin we chose some appetisers – poori (shells of spiced potato, chickpea and tamarind, and sev chat – chickpea noodles, onion, coriander, cucumber and tomatoes.
Before these arrived, we were served little complimentary parcels of spicy goodness which went down a treat.
After our appetisers came another complimentary dish – this time tiny cups of tomato and coriander soup. Perfect for cleansing the palette.
For my main dish I chose aubergine stuffed with lentils, spinach and asparagus in a green pea and herb sauce with paprika fenugreek potatoes and biryani rice. My mouth is watering just thinking about it again.
Chris went for a couple of starters: Trio of vegetarian street food and Lancashire quail marinated in turmeric and cumin.
These were washed down with a carafe of rose (mostly him) and a bottle of sparkling water (mostly me).
The staff were friendly, knowledgeable and discreet. They also asked us if we had any allergies. As almonds are my nemesis, I felt safe in their hands.
All in all we spent £62.20. Great value for money particularly if you fancy something different and a little bit special.
WHERE: 6 High Street, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7JE
Tuesday 12–2:30pm, 6–9:30pm
Wednesday 12–2:30pm, 6–9:30pm
Thursday 12–2:30pm, 6–9:30pm
Friday 12–2:30pm, 5:30–10:30pm
Saturday 12–2:30pm, 5:30–10:30pm
Sunday 12–2:30pm, 6–9:30pm