I think I'm going to have stop eating out in Folkestone soon - we either seem to have a comically awful meal or the restuarant closes down. I have been going to Kapetan Michales on Bouverie Road West for about 18 months and every time I have had a great time. Went there again on Sat night and found out that its closing down in a couple of weeks and the owners, Michael and Evangelia, are moving back to Greece. I'm beginning to take this personally. No sooner do I take a shine to a fab restaurant then it closes. Exactly the same thing happened to the legendary Kai's in Hythe. It seems to be a wholly unfair fact of life that the better the restaurant, the less likely it is to survive in Folkestone. If I was being cynical I would say its because great restaurants make an effort to source out good fresh, ingredients, and try and create something a little imaginative. Inevitably this ends up costing money. And your average Folkestone punter prizes quantity over quality and isn't prepared to fork out that little bit extra for a decent meal. Soon we will have nothing left but the boringly obvious unholy trinity of Italians / Chinese and Indians. Oh, and Timothy's Wine Bar.
Anyway, back to Kapetan Michales. The thing about this place, like Kai's, was that the food wasn't always brilliant. Like everywhere they had their off days. But, it really didn't matter that much because the service was always great, the atmosphere was great and you knew they were making a real effort. The food was authentic Greek with reliably good daily meat and fish specials. The fish specials were almost always exciting and some of the nicest fish I have eaten anywhere - apparently the chef really did get the fish fresh from the local fisherman and cooked whatever they had at the time. The menu was reassuringly short - I'm always a bit dubious about restuarants with menus that stretch to 50 or more dishes because there is no way all of that can be cooked fresh - and it had a good (if expensive) Greek wine list.
But it was the combination of the staff and the atmosphere that really made it. I am really sad to see it go. I understand that the place has been bought out by another restuaranter and that its going to be a bistro-type place. I will give the new place the benefit of the doubt but it will be difficlt for it to light up the dull bit of Bouverie Road West like Kapetan Michales did.