Ordinarily, and as you may be aware, I start my posts with a quote. Whether it be historical or more contemporary I can generally find one that sums up the topic really quite well. However it would appear that not a lot has been said about Brighton. At least, not a lot that I would be happy to post. So with no rudder to guide me off I go…..
I’d never been to Brighton before so when The Hungry Chum informed me that we had to visit for work reasons I jumped at the chance. But (and yes this was among my first thoughts) where should we eat? Thankfully Twitter came to the rescue, as it often does, and a little note to @BreakfastBySea a couple of days before I visited sorted it all out. Thank you again for the list.
The first port of call (hello sailor) was The Giggling Squid, which had been described as a Sussex chain. Now, I have nothing against restaurant chains at all but the word does conjure up a certain impression. Not a negative one, more like – you know what you’re going to get. However we were firstly pleasantly surprised to learn that it was Thai food and secondly that it didn’t really fit the impression that we’d both formed. A quirky, old building with small rooms over three floors with the unmistakeable wafts of lemongrass, ginger, and chilli that accompany Thai food. THC tucked into a starter of Thai steamed mussels followed by honey roast duck with rice. I opted for the fishcakes, followed by lamb shank massaman curry. The food was delicious. The lamb fell off the bone, the sauce was just spicy enough but did not distract from the masses of flavour underneath. Choice one on the list had been a sucess.
Next, and not actually on the list of recommendations, we stumbled upon Jamie Oliver’s new venture – Recipease – while looking for somewhere to have breakfast. A sort of casual diner, come cook school, come shop to sell his wares. I resisted the temptation to go for the full English, instead deciding on the creamy mushrooms on toast with tomatoes whilst THC went for smoked salmon, tortilla and a poached egg. The food was prepared right in front of us in the island kitchen area. Once again we were not let down. Certainly the prettiest breakfast I’ve had in a while, filling and tasty to boot!!
Back to the list. Next stop was The Coal Shed to try their 2 course lunch menu (£12). Lovely little modern restaurant tucked away on Boyce’s Street, handily just by a cracking little pub, The Fiddler’s Elbow. A little predictably for me I overlooked the fantastic sounding fish dishes and opted for the crispy pork with orange and endive salad, to be followed by the minute steak with dripping cooked chips and bitter leaves. THC went for the same. We had been joined by a couple of other colleagues who both opted for the celeriac and truffle oil soup. For me this was the knockout of the trip. The saltiness of the pork, the sweetness of the orange and the bitterness of the endive all combined to make an absolutely cracking starter, followed up by lovely rare minute steak and chips like my mum used to make. Our companions both commented on how nice the soup was and if they hadn’t had to rush off would have loved to have stayed to sample more.
And then to the final eatery. Relaxing in The Cricketers after the final day of work we decided that on this night we would keep it simple and since they had made contact via Twitter we decided to head to Coast to Coast at The Marina. If you’ve ever been to the States this place will feel very familiar, big booths, efficient service and some good old favourites on the menu. We opted for a Lincoln platter which was a combo of some of those favourites. Onion rings, two different varieties of chicken wings, loaded potato skins, garlic bread, some nachos, chicken tenders – you know the score. We were nicely surprised by the eye-watering level of spice of some of the wings and the loaded potato skins were better than most. Was it fine dining? – no. Was it trying to be? – no. Was it something nice and simple to finish the trip off? Absolutely. So Brighton, you have fed us well. You know – we didn’t even have time to sample some of the top looking food that we saw getting dished out in the pubs. It looks like there is only one thing for it – a return trip.
As for the lack of quotes about Brighton – may be, just maybe, they are trying to keep this food loveliness all to themselves.
Be back soon