I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.
Saturday, June 16, 2018
95 Queen’s Park Road
Today I would like to wish my good friends (front and back of house) and neighbours at The Independent a very happy third birthday.
The Independent (founded in 2015) is a true freehouse gastropub in the Hanover/Queens Park area of Brighton, free of any brewery, pub chain or tie. Currently they have four real ales alongside 12 keg beers, which change weekly.
The Independent is the only pub owned by Brighton residents James and Matt, who are passionate about creating the kind of pub they would be pleased to have as their own local.
Managed under the gimlet eye of Jen; drinkers, diners, locals and out of towners can be assured of a warm welcome from her and her experienced, professional, long serving and cheerful colleagues (Brice, Hugh, Natalia, Ruby et al) who have grown used to my "eccentricities".
The ever changing menu, prepared by Chef Sam and his team, mixes traditional British dishes with Mediterranean and other European flavours, including vegetarian options.
By the way, currently both the gigot of lamb and chicken breast dishes are my top tips!
On Sundays they do a full range of roasts, which are excellent.
So a very Happy Birthday to you all, I was there on your opening night and look forward to many more years frequenting your fine establishment.
Every success for the future!
Thursday, June 14, 2018
The Colonnade Bar
10 New Road
As per their FB page:
"So Hendricks gin were supposed to do some really elaborate promo for World Cucumber Day on Thursday the 14th to give everybody free G&Ts. But hilariously they haven't actually set their system up for it, even though it was supposed to be up last week. So we'll just cut out the middle man and do it for them. On Thursday, bring us a Cucumber and we'll give you a free Hendricks and Fevertree tonic. Sometimes simple is better. Also, totally unrelated, honest, but we'll also just happen to be selling cucumbers for our charity of choice, Teenage Cancer Trust. 😉 xx"
The Colonnade Bar is marvellous, great drinks and very welcoming professional staff.
Well worth a visit!
Monday, May 21, 2018
7 New Road
Eva and I went to the recently opened Tinto Taperia on Sunday evening for dinner.
Tinto Taperia is next to the Theatre Royal on the site of the El Mexicano restaurant that closed last year (the owners wanted a change of cuisine). It is owned by the same people who owned El Mexicano, and the chef used to run the kitchens of the El Mexicano.
The restaurant has an approximate capacity of 45 as well as an outside terrace for 20 plus.
The interior is Spanish in feel and layout, bright tiles on the walls interspersed with colourful Spanish posters from past decades/eras.
The seating suits all tastes, with traditional tables and chairs, booths and high tables with high backed bar stools.
The menu offers an excellent selection of Tapas, paella and steak for those not interested in Tapas,
We were warmly welcomed, the service was very friendly, efficient and professional.
We selected a variety of Tapas dishes:
-Gambas (which were very spicy and flavoursome),
-a selection of cold cuts (generous and tasty),
-meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce,
-chicken thighs in a garlic and white wine sauce (bloody good, my personal favourite),
-tortilla (a lovely potato and onion omelette),
-potatoes in a mojo pican sauce (rather a nice change from traditional fried potatoes) and
-mushroom croquettes with manchego cheese (Eva loves manchego cheese).
All the food was well cooked, well presented and bloody tasty.
Unlike some establishments the hot dishes were all served at the same time (which is what we wanted), and I am also pleased to say (again unlike some establishments) the dishes were not swimming in a lake of olive oil.
Kudos and compliments to the chef and staff!
The bill, which included service, a very good white Rioja and four flaming sambucas (The Ivy please take note!) came to £88.
NB: In case you are wondering dear reader, yes the four flaming sambucas were all for me (Eva just wanted a coffee).
A fun establishment, good food and welcoming professional service.
It is well worth a visit, we most certainly will be returning!
Monday, May 14, 2018
51 Ship St,
Eva and I went to the recently opened Ivy in Brighton on Friday night for dinner.
The Ivy is located in the grade II listed old post office, it is open seven days a week, offering all-day dining. The Ivy has a DJ spinning music on weekends during brunch, 11am – 5pm.
There is also a private dining room seating up to 20 guests and canapé receptions for up to 40 guests.
The decor is very colourful, many prints on the wall are by local artists giving the place an art deco vibe. The tables and seating are comfortable, but maybe are a little too tightly squeezed together. There are leather banquettes, a central onyx bar and pendant lighting.
Personally speaking I am not 100% certain that The Ivy's version of Fat Boy Slim spinning discs is an absolute necessity. However, that is just my personal view.
The menu is "busy" to say the least, offering an array of food ranging from chicken, steaks, sarnies (pre 17:00), lobster and shepherd's pie.
We were warmly welcomed, the service was friendly, efficient and professional.
Eva started with smoked salmon and crab with dill cream and soda bread. She was very happy with the salmon, though felt the crab itself may not have added that much value to the taste.
She then opted for the veal paillard, which was a special. This was a thinly beaten veal escalope, sauteed in breadcrumbs and served with a lemon caper sauce, with mash as an accompaniment. Eva was very happy with this, the veal was tender and flavoursome and was complemented well by the lemon caper sauce.
I started with the prawn cocktail, a classic served with avocado, baby gem lettuce and cherry tomatoes in a rose marie sauce. It was a decent dish, a good number of prawns that had body to them. I would say that the sauce itself was excessively salty, this was either due to an overdose of the "piquant" element of rose marie or simply too much salt.
I then had the 21 day old dry aged 12oz rib eye steak on the bone. It was splendid, cooked medium as requested. The meat was exceptionally tender, it cut like butter, and very flavoursome with just the right amount of fat and zero sinew. I had ordered the green peppercorn red wine and rosemary sauce as an accompaniment, but quite frankly I didn't need it as the steak spoke for itself.
The bill, which included, service, champagne and four Sambucas came to £215.
NB: for reasons best known to the Ivy they won't flame your Sambuca (for full details please see my views on that here).
A fun establishment, good food and welcoming professional service. It is worth a visit.
Tuesday, May 08, 2018
The Copper Clam
Kings Road Arches
Brighton, BN1 2FN
It being an unseasonably warm and sunny Bank Holiday, Eva and I dined al fresco at The Copper Clam on Brighton's seafront.
The Copper Clam is a family owned/run restaurant that specialises in fine fresh seafood served in a relaxed environment. The food is sourced as freshly and locally as possible. The lobsters are caught within a stone's throw of the restaurant from Brighton beach, and all of the steaks are sourced from Sussex farms.
The outside area is very pleasant, the table and seating are comfortable and not squeezed too tightly together. Heating and lighting is also installed underneath the parasols.
We were afforded a splendid view of the sunset and the British Airways i360.
The menu offers a splendid selection of seafood and steaks including, caviar, oysters, crab and lobsters.
The service was very friendly, welcoming, warm and professional.
Eva started with the scallops served with pureed cauliflower and bacon jam. A dish of tasty well cooked (not overdone) plump scallops with roes intact (I mention this, because some establishments, for reasons that elude me, remove the roe - the tastiest part of the scallop).
She then had the moules mariniere, mussels in wine, leeks, parsley and garlic. These were very pleasant, grit free and nicely complemented by the wine/leek stock.
I started with the Beluga caviar served with blinis, creme fraiche, cured egg yolk & sliced scallops and washed down with a vodka shot. A splendid start to the meal!
I then had the lobster thermidor, a whole locally caught lobster in a thermidor sauce accompanied by new potatoes in butter. The lobster was first class, flavoursome and a most excellent size.
The bill, which I have misplaced, including tip, champagne, coffee, creme brulee and some sambuca shots came to around £150 I think.
An excellent establishment, great food and very welcoming professional service. We most definitely will return, and are happy to recommend it.
Friday, April 27, 2018
As I posted a couple of weeks ago, The Ivy is coming to Brighton and will open on May 2nd.
Prior to opening Eshé, a food obsessed blogger from Brighton, has published some stunning pictures of the interior including the ladies' loo (see above - which in itself looks a cut above the rest).
Here is a link to her photos.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Thursday, April 12, 2018
The Ivy will open in Ship Street Brighton on May 2nd.
It will be known as The Ivy in The Lanes.
"The Ivy in the Lanes will offer a selection of all-encompassing menus, serving breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, light snacks, bespoke cocktails and dinner."
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
What’s killing restaurants?— Jonathan Downey (@DowneyJD) March 20, 2018
3. Stupid high rents
4. Crazy rates increases
5. Too many other restaurants
6. Over expansion
7. Ridiculous levels of staff turnover
8. Deliveroo/Uber Eats
9. Generational change
10. Weak business model
23. No shows.
This thread makes interesting reading.
Monday, March 12, 2018
Thursday, March 08, 2018
Monday, March 05, 2018
Thursday, February 22, 2018
It seems that the depot simply isn't yet ready for KFC.
As can be seen from the above photo, the crisis has caused panic in the streets.