Monday, June 14, 2010

Princess Turns Into Ambrette

My talented cuisine chum Dev tells me he's chosen a new name for the Indian Princess, the jewel in Margate's culinary crown.

Fed up with drunk punters walking out when they fail to spot a vindaloo or madras on the menu, Dev felt a change of name (sans 'Indian', 'Spice' or 'Fusion') that better reflected his ambitions for the restaurant was appropriate. He's gone for 'The Ambrette', which he tells me is, er, a kind of Indian spice.

I've rather cheekily suggested on his Facebook page that the new name sounds a bit like 'Lambretta' and that I look forward to scooter deliveries in the Ramsgate area soon!

Click here to go to The Ambrette's website

27 comments:

Retired said...

Hope he succeeds.

Peter Checksfield said...

What a daft name!

Anonymous said...

Thats rich Checksfield

Anonymous said...

hmm. Not sure a name change is the help it needs.

Anonymous said...

Why don't know just put vindaloo & madras on the menu too? That way everyone's happy.

Anonymous said...

*they* (not "know"!)>

Anonymous said...

Ambrette, sounds like a sweet white wine, a 70s wine bar, or delicate soap for women. very strange. I went past yesterday and it was still the Indian Princess. Phew!

J said...

I think the change of name is a good idea. To associate 'Ambrette' with something that it sounds a bit like and see that as a negative is just lazy. The reasons for changing the name seem to be perfectly valid to me. Though it seems to be de riguer around here to complain about the lack of good stuff in the area and then subsequently bemoan attempts to improve things.

As for the sentiment of "why don't they just put vindaloo & madras on the menu too?".
Have you actually been to the Indian Princess? If you have surely you understand why that idea is ridiculous. Firstly the traditional curry house fare of Indian food that you can obtain anywhere else around the isle would not sit happily alongside the delicate dishes that they serve there, also the special nature of the food that they serve, quality of service and atmosphere of the business makes it an ideal location for special occasions such as romantic, or family meals and don't you think that encouraging groups of toothless simpletons to come and shout ribald rugby chants during service might have a somewhat negative effect on that? Finally, it appears to me that the Indian Princess/The Ambrette has at least Michelin Star aspirations (and personally I find them worthy), but that kind of bric-a-brac menu idea of 'why not just put vindaloo on the menu as well' really doesn't seem conducive to obtaining that status.

Anonymous said...

Seems a bit of a shame to me. They've just deemed all that good publicity they've had irrelevant, and there's a menu outside the building, so no one has an excuse for expecting a vindaloo.

Anonymous said...

Bloody racists!!!

Lucy Mail said...

Bloody racist haters!

Anonymous said...

Another cheap, rubbish curry house for the drunk tossers that fill the streets on Friday and Saturday nights is exactly what the town does NOT need. Indian Princess is one of the only Restaurants that draws people from all over Kent and any step away from that cheap, beer and curry image is a fantastic thing. They couldn't be more different to a curry house if they tried. Margate is lucky to have that restaurant. The uneducated racists would NEVER understand such a concept which is why the name should change. Who want's to fight with a drunk looking for a Korma on a Friday night when you have a restaurant full of people paying a lot of money for fine food???

Anonymous said...

Do they sell kebabs?

Anonymous said...

Bit strange changing name and website before the signage of the restaurant. You arrive and it is 'oh, still the same then'. what has changed?

Anonymous said...

Great food. Great name. Shockingly bad decor and seating. Paint it a stunning colour inside get better art and loose the farmhouse chairs!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't change a thing! The Indian Princess/Ambrette is probably the best thing in the Isle of Thanet!

Margate is a ghost town and if more restaurants opened up that were the same standard as this one, Margate might even become a buzzing 'trendy' place to be once again. Instead of having these tacky arcades, derelict shops and a population that between them possibly can't even pronounce the Ambrette - that's what this is really about isn't it!

Anonymous said...

What a nerve.Margate has got lots of lovely shops in the old town and galleries etc,also harbour bar cafe,cafe g,rocca,and on the harbour Arm,Fantastic Bebeached cafe and Lighthouse bar,with wood burning stove is great.Good Luck Dev whatever you call your reastaurant,you are unique and deserve every sucess

Anonymous said...

its all about restaurant 54 in broadstairs!!

Anonymous said...

well said 9.53 there is so much going for Margate at the moment, the Old Town is fabulous and a great place to browse, have a coffee, go to a gallery and see some gorgeous shops. The Ambrette fits in perfectly and there are lots of really nice people that come down here too from Thanet and surrounds. Stop assuming the locals are stupid. The bar is being raised down there and it is looking good.

Peter Checksfield said...

All sounds a bit snobbish & pretentious to this down-to-earth Peckham / Margate lad!

Anonymous said...

Assuming the locals are stupid - So the teenage mums smoking fags and draped in fake gold are intelligent? And not to mention the guys in peaked hats drinking white lightning on the sea front have got a PHD! - Silly me.

Anonymous said...

Lacking intelligence & being poorly-educated aren't the same thing...

Anonymous said...

The businesses in Margate all support each other and work together. They are all trying to raise standards in Margate. Dev is doing the right thing by changing the name and rebranding. To 8.34 ... They are redecorating at the moment and having new signs outside.

Anonymous said...

Ambrette is used alot in perfumery - it's slightly acrid and bitter sweet. Another name for it is Muskdana which does sound indian...Ambrette on the other hand sounds a little French. I like the name and if Devs reasoning is to keep away the passers by who stumble in expecting common indian fair then it will probably work as long as they don't stumble in expecting french!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a small Ambr.

Actually I ate there for the first time this week.

The food is amazing and I'm sure the presentation will knocked anything that goes on display in Tracy Emin's gallery up the road into an unmade bed.

Anonymous said...

I love the Indian Princess / Ambrette and no matter what the name changes to its not going to affect the fantastic food and good service!
I'm from thanet and have lived here all my life and to be honest the majority, NOT all of people in Margate are scumbags! The only reason I go to margate is to go to the restaurant and as soon as im done i leave... for someone who has had the, shall we say pleasure of living in margate for a little while i'd say margate will never change, not unless you get rid of all those who make the town look bad and give it a bad name!

Fat Englishman said...

I've eaten great Indian food in three continents and The Ambrette is the best. It changes your expectations of what Indian food can be. Having grown up in Herne Bay, lived in London and now the US, it came as a wonderful surprise to find it in Margate. It's also surprisingly affordable. Re-naming it makes sense if people came expecting conventional curries - which is how Dev Biswal explained it to me - but beyond that it really doesn't matter. If you like the place but not the name, so what? If you don't like the place, why do you care?
For what it's worth I've also had some of the best Fish & Chips of my life in Margate - good to see signs of growth and change.