Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews


Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Olive Grove Brighton

Eva and I went to the recently opened Olive Grove (15-18 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, BN1 1HB) last night and were very impressed.

It serves a variety of Mediterranean food, ranging from tapas plate portions to full main courses.

I started with the Charcuteria, a very generous portion of Mediterranean cold meats served with traditional bread. I then had the veal chop, served with potatoes and spinach. My compliments to the chef; the chop was tender, succulent and tasty.

Eva started with the Souvlaki a skewered combination of chorizo, chicken, beef & seasonal vegetables. Very tasty, and very generous (two skewers!). She then had Keftidakia & Mash (homemade meatballs served with tomato sauce & mash), which were flavoursome and hearty.

The ambiance was great, and the restaurant pleasantly busy.

The staff were welcoming, friendly, efficient and cheerful.

The bill, including wine, coffee and liqueurs (plus a free Grappa) came to around £65.

We really enjoyed our meal, and will definitely go there again.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Hellman's Mayonnaise

Hellman's have recently begun marketing a new product called "Hellman's With Olive Oil".

I was rather puzzled as to why they emphasised the olive oil, given that standard mayonnaise recipes use olive oil as one of the key ingredients.

Therefore, I looked at the ingredients of Hellman's other mayonnaise product "Hellman's Real Mayonnaise".

It seems that their "real" mayonnaise doesn't contain olive oil, but in fact contains soybean oil.

How can this be called "real" if it doesn't contain olive oil, and why do they not call their new product "real" given that it now contains olive oil?

Sadly they can't, because it isn't "real" either; as it contains soybean oil as well as olive oil.

Therefore the question remains, how can Hellman's call their original product "real" mayonnaise when it doesn't contain any olive oil?

Friday, September 04, 2015

Saint Jamie's Sugar Rush

Saint Jamie of Oliver was on TV last night proselytising against the evils of sugar.

All very well and fine, given that some people consume bucket loads of the stuff and have clearly damaged their health.

However, in a free country, we are all entitled to go to the devil in our own way.

Notwithstanding that, Saint Jamie intends to put a sugar tax on sugary drinks in his restaurants. In theory the extra monies raised will be used for good works against the "evil" sugar.

That aside I draw your attention to Saint Jamie's recipes:
Oh, and while we are at it, take a look at the salt content in his branded sauces!

Hypocritical or what?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hotel du Vin Abandons Brighton Seagulls

I am very sorry to see that the new owners of the Hotel Du Vin in Brighton have removed the seagulls that used to hang from the ceiling of the cocktail bar.

A journalist chum of mine told me that she hates the word "iconic", feeling that it overused. However, in this particular instance, I will risk her ire; by stating categorically that the seagulls were iconic and very much part of the bar contributing to its quirky ambience.

More to the point:

  • Seagulls are as much a part of Brighton as fish and chips. 

  • Brighton and Hove Albion, the local football team, are nicknamed "The Seagulls".

  • By ditching the seagulls, the hotel is in effect ditching its connection to Brighton itself.

  • The bar, sans seagulls, now looks and feels like a soulless barn.

Bring back the seagulls!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Southover - Brighton

The Southover pub (58 Southover St Brighton BN2 9UF - 01273 601419) is currently hosting The Heart and Soul Food Company special pop up soul food kitchen for one month 19th Aug - 21st Sept.

We gave it a go last night, and had a selection of small dishes (you can have them served in larger portions if you want). Here is a very subjective view of the ones we ate (note they do others, and also do burgers):

- Peri peri chicken wings - spicy, tender and splendid
- Onion rings - good sized portion, not greasy, tasty

- Salsa - lacked kick/flavour

- Ribs - flavoursome and tender

- Brisket chilli - oven baked, smokey, spicy and came with some extra jalapeƱos to scatter upon it

- Corn on the cob - very good, good sized cob and came with butter in a separate dish (without having to ask for it)

- JalapeƱo cheese poppers - bland and tasteless

- Smokey macaroni cheese - bloody good, normally I would consign such a "schooldays memory" dish to the waste bin without even trying it

- Rice with black beans - good

The small dishes range from £2.50 to £4 each if memory serves.

Worth a visit in my humble opinion.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Heston's Scratched Record

Heston has become rather a scratched record, repeating itself time and time again.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Advice To The Hilton Brighton Metropole

When you run out of fresh mint in your cocktail bar, have the good sense to send someone out to buy some more.

Hand Cut Chips

Are we to assume that "hand cut chips" are literally cut by someone's hands?

On the assumption that a knife was used, should not the correct term be "knife cut chips"?

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The Setting Sun Brighton

Eva and I haven't been to the Setting Sun (1 Windmill Street, Brighton, BN2 0GN 01273 626192) for quite sometime, so we popped in last night to try the new menu.

The Setting Sun is more of a wine bar/bistro rather than "pub" in the strictest sense of the word. It has light wood flooring, large leather sofas, bistro style wooden tables, a conservatory and a patio that affords stunning views of Brighton (if you can find seat there in the summer).

Sarah the manager took it over in 2014, there having been quite few changes in management in the previous years which caused chaos with the menu and the general running of the place. Sarah has brought stability and a friendly customer service attitude to the place, she also spruced it up with newly painted decor in 2014. In addition to Sarah there is Oggy, who is dog in residence and a very friendly cheerful little fellow.

The new menu includes soup, mussels, lamb shank, chicken breast, burgers, fish, halloumi, sticky toffee pudding etc; along with specials on certain days, such as sausage and mash.

We shared a bowl of mussels (moules mariniere, if you want the official name) as a starter, these were quite decent and came with a couple of chunks of bread.

We then each had the lamb shank (see photo above), which comes with pearl barley and roasted winter vegetables. To our view the dish needed mash in order to make it complete, and so we ordered a bowl to share. The meat was well cooked, and came cleanly off the bone. The stock which it was served with was flavoursome and not overpowering, and gave some much needed flavour to the pearl barley. The mash completed the dish and, to my view, should be made a standard part of this particular course.

Oggy was delighted to be gifted my lamb shank bone when I had finished with it, and proudly carried it off to a corner to munch on.

The bill came to around £63; this included a bottle of Pinot Rose, a coffee and two large Cointreaus.

Strip out the booze portion of the bill and, in my opinion, it is high when compared to the other pubs that serve food in Hanover. However, as noted, the Setting Sun isn't really a pub; so trying to compare it with the pubs in the area is not comparing like with like.