After last month’s full-on foodie onslaught, June has been relatively low-key by comparison.
One of the highlights was a remarkably good lunch at Hotel du Vin. The hotel was always my fail-safe bistro but having recently gone through various management changes, it lost its fail-safe status for a while but for the astonishingly good value Sunday Brunch with 4-courses for £24.95 - the second of which is an all you can eat buffet of delicious pates and seafood. If you have not been you MUST.
And so to lunch, with my wonderfully eccentric and entertaining friend Jasmine. I chose a lamb breast dish – two rolled lamb breasts that had been pan seared, creating a combination of the melting, slow cooked meat and a charred edge. This came with a rich jus, peas and buttered carrots. A Californian Pinot Noir was a perfect accompaniment. Simply a delicious plate of food.
On another visit, feeling the need to be healthy, I tried their superfood salad – also delicious and plentiful. Hopefully this is a sign of a return to glory, especially following the extensive refurb of the bistro. I must admit I’m a bit worried about this – an early look revealed bleached wood and pale walls – all a bit IKEA /airport lounge as opposed to French bistro intimacy which was so core to their appeal. There’s a new GM too in Ben Haynes whose enthusiasm should see the return of the HDV that we knew and loved and l will review the new restaurant next month.
My second highlight: a totally delicious impromptu dinner at Plateau. Veal sweetbreads with roast Jerusalem artichoke followed by cannon of lamb and lamb breast (I think my love of all things pig and cheek has now extended to breasts. There’s a joke there but I won’t make it). A rich yet light dish accompanied by borlotti beans and charred baby gem. I ate at the bar chatting to the delightful bar manager Johan who is incredibly knowledgeable about my favourite topic – wine. Plateau just never disappoints.
I finally got round to trying the spring menu at the Curry Leaf Café the last week before it changed to the summer menu. Delicious tandoori lamb chops, pakoras, and whole marinated tandoor cooked sea bream were among the delights - oh and a whole bottle of Ridgeview shared with the lovely Becky.
I’ve also been enjoying a good few lunches at Moshimo – the best place for sushi in Brighton. The salmon sashimi, chicken Gyoza, pork belly teriyaki and healthy salads are my staples. In the summer the outside space is great.
This month you can read my review of Mango Tree – a great Victoria destination for all you commuters needing a refuge from the horrors of the train system. Jonny talks all things Rose and I share my recommendations for the best places for curry.
Our chef profile this month is one to keep an eye on - a real rising star, Tom Griffiths, who is cooking up a storm having been recently praised by Jay Rayner in The Observer.
As I type I am just back from an excellent foodie weekend destination – you’ll read about it next month.
I hope you enjoy the section – please do email me with any suggestions of what you’d like to read about in future sections.