Raising a glass to Tallow in Kent

Chef Rob Taylor and his wife Donna open their new restaurant Tallow, at Southborough on the edge of Tunbridge Wells in Kent next Friday, 5 November, having left the well-regarded The Compasses further east at Crundale after eight years last month.

Set in an old building on the edge of Southborough’s village green, Tallow is a 26-seater with a “really nice bistro vibe”, aiming for a local clientele who might drop in for a well-cooked midweek dinner, said Rob.

“We want it to be the sort of place we like to eat in ourselves, and not just for birthdays and anniversaries. You can always tell if a place is owned by the people who run it, or just managed.”

Donna is a trained pastry chef from Australia who runs the front of house. Rob cooks seasonally using local ingredients where possible, and picked up a lightness of touch as well as some subtle Asian influences while working in Australia. Tallow will also have a private dining room upstairs offering a more ambitious tasting menu.

The couple have downsized their business in order to find “a better work/life/family balance”, having struggled with the demands of weekend opening at The Compasses, a large gastropub. “We’ll be opening Tuesday to Saturday, so we’ll have Sunday together as a family day with our little boy.”

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