Eating out is an enjoyable experience and an opportunity to experience intricate flavours and beautifully presented cuisine. But is it actually good for you? It’s safe to say that good food is a key priority at Brighton’s new Kindling restaurant.
Husband and wife team Ramin and Jane Mostowfi were studying at The College of Naturopathic Medicine in London when they became friends with one of the lecturers, the chef and nutritionist Holly Taylor, and the concept of Kindling was born.
Ramin and Jane were already well-respected members of the Brighton foodie community, having managed the legendary vegetarian restaurant, Food for Friends.
Add in chef Toby Geneen who previously worked at London’s Plate Restaurant and front of house manager Phillip Scott, formally of London’s esteemed St John Restaurant, and you pretty much have a dream team!
Kindling’s ethos is all about the thoughtful details and the stories behind our food and local producers. Sustainability and care for the environment is at the heart of everything they do. Tasty sharing plates, super local, seasonal, ethically farmed and sustainable ingredients, enhanced by fire, and served with warm hospitality.
Kindling isn’t a vegetarian restaurant, but it does offer delicious plant-based dishes, complemented with ethical meat and sustainable fish, cooked over an open charcoal fire to enhance flavour.
On my visit with Julia, we decided to let the restaurant impress us, by choosing the Tasting Menu (£49/person). The menu was actually a bit misleading. With the way the menu was designed, I was expecting five plates of food, but the dishes just kept arriving along with a wonderful selection of paired wines (The Kindling Selection - four glasses £30).
Our tasting menu
Panisse, tomato and fennel ketchup
Cauliflower cheese croquettes
Parsnip and Russet soup, truffle
Kindling cultured butter, honey oat soda bread
Ember baked leek, smoked plaice roe, buckwheat
Pickled sand carrot, anise, kraut, chive, jus
Grilled bass, roast cauliflower leaves, green elderberry caper dressing
Saddlescombe lamb rump, caramelised swede, purple sprouting broccoli
Pink Glow Sorbet
Bergamot cake, dark chocolate sorbet, sesame tuile.
Julia was clearly regretting her decision to have a dry January. I don’t understand this self-imposed torture at the best of times, but if a sommelier is going to the effort to choose the perfect accompaniments for your food, then it is madness!
There are too many dishes to describe, but my favourite was not a dish I would have expected. The ember-baked leek, smoked plaice roe and buckwheat was delightful. Earthy and rustic, the underrated vegetable was packed with flavour.
The slight worry was that after the multiple starters, soup and a snack of fried pig ears, Julia was now starting to feel full - with bass, lamb and desserts still to come. Heroically she soldiered on! She is now on a mission to tell the world about Kindling.
Every dish was beautifully presented and exquisite, and I can honestly declare that this is the finest foodie experience I have enjoyed in Brighton for a very long time.