Monday, 17 November 2014

Turkey Squash and Mint Masala


 
Serves 2

I was thrilled to receive a box of goodies from the lovely people at
Loyd Grossman to try out their new Limited Edition Mint Masala curry sauce. Mint struck me initially as a little strange to have in a curry as I would usually use coriander, but then of course you get cooling mint raita in Indian restaurants, so it does have an affinity.

I used half a jar for 2 portions which with bread or rice was enough for me. The mint was not overpowering – it is very different to our common garden mint. Much more delicate and fragrant.

Decided to use turkey breast and tenderstem broccoli as they needed using up. Plus jazzed it up with some extra spice, not because it was needed, but because I have so much in my cupboard!!

I really liked the sauce as it made a nice change from the usual tikka and korma.


1 turkey breast fillet (about 350g), sliced thinly
1 tsp oil
½ onion, sliced
½ tsp mustard seeds
Pinch nigella seeds
Handful of frozen butternut squash, chopped into bitesize chunks
4 tenderstem broccoli stems, chopped into bitesize lengths
½ jar Loyd Grossman Mint Masala Curry Sauce
10 curry leaves (optional)
½ tsp garam masala powder
1 handful spinach (actually it was spinach, rocket and watercress salad leaves in this instance!)
Naan or rice to serve
Fresh mint to garnish if liked

Heat the oil in a non-stick wok or frying pan and fry the onion and seeds together. Watch out as the will pop and spit!
Once softened and lightly golden, add the squash and broccoli and stir fry until the squash has thawed and soft and the broccoli is cooked but still with some crunch.
Add the turkey strips and fry for 2-3 mins until sealed and almost cooked through. Then pour in the curry sauce, curry leaves, garam masala, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. I needed to add a little water to loosen the consistency to my liking.
Stir in the spinach and turn off the heat. It will wilt down really quickly.

Serve with naan or rice, and sprinkle with chopped mint if using.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Spanish-style cod


Serves 1 – easily multiplied

Have just come back from Majorca and really enjoyed the gutsy flavours of the local tapas. Anyway I had lots of leftover bits in the fridge that needed using up when I got back – peppers, toms, garlic, onion etc – so threw this dish together with a little Spanish inspiration. I really liked it, even though it was eaten on a dreary day rather than hot Mediterranean sunshine!

1 cod fillet
¼ red onion, finely sliced
3-4 cherry tomatoes, sliced
¼ small pepper, sliced (or a mini pepper such as Tesco Chiquino peppers)
½ clove garlic, finely chopped
4-5 chorizo slices, cut into strips
3 olives, sliced
½ tin butterbeans, drained
Pinch dried herbs
Hot paprika
Salt and pepper
2 -3 tablespoons red wine
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Drizzle of Olive oil

Preheat oven to 180C Fan.

Layer most of the onions, tomatoes, pepper, garlic, chorizo, olives and butterbeans in a small heatproof dish (I used a small oblong enamel pie tin). Season and add a little hot paprika to taste.

Place the fish on top and season with herbs, a little extra dusting of hot paprika to taste, and more salt and pepper.

Pile the remaining sliced ingredients on top to cover the fish, then spoon over the wine, balsamic and a little drizzle of olive oil.


Cover tightly with foil, allowing a bit of tent space for steam. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes and serve with seasonal vegetables, rice or bread.


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The BEST steak sandwich with sticky onions and steak sauce


 Serves 1

I am partial to a steak sarnie – it’s often the first thing I scan for on pub menus. I suppose it feels a little less naughtier than a burger, but let’s face it, it is pure filthy deliciousness. Well, it is the way I make it. The key is the holy trinity of condiments – this should not be made without the special steak sauce blend…

1 rump steak
Black pepper
½ red onion, finely sliced
Drizzle of oil
Drizzle of Balsamic vinegar
2 slices good, chewy sourdough bread (Love the Real Patisserie Chewy Brown)
1 tsp each Heinz tomato ketchup, French’s Mustard and Hellmans Mayo
Handful rocket leaves
2-3 cherry tomatoes, sliced
Thin shavings of Parmesan cheese

Bash the meat to tenderise and thin it out a little. Trim off any fat and season with black pepper.

In a small frying pan cook the onions in the oil over a gentle heat until soft and translucent. Add a drizzle of balsamic and cook a little longer until sticky. Turn heat off and allow to cool a bit.

Heat a griddle or frying pan until very hot and dry fry the sliced bread until lightly toasted. Set aside then lay in the steak and cook to your liking. (For me, 1.5 mins on both sides is about right by the time it has rested) then put on a plate to rest for 2-3 mins.

Meanwhile mix the 3 sauces to make burger sauce and spread over the toasted bread. Top with a heap of rocket, cherry tomatoes and the cooled sticky onions.


Slice the warm steak on an angle and pile onto the sandwich and scatter with parmesan shavings. Place other slice of bread on top and squash down lightly. Cut in half and devour.


Divine Halloumi and Couscous Salad



Serves 2- depending how greedy you are

I had forgotten how much I adore couscous until recently when I opened a pack that had been in my fridge the best part of a year! (this stuff has an amazing shelf life) I made a massive batch and was eating it for 4 days (see other pic below as proof!) but was actually quite sad when I finished it all off! Must try to get out more.
I have discovered the sweet chilli sauce is also a good friend of halloumi. Nice in a wrap if you don’t use it all up.

1 100g pack tomato or roast vegetable couscous
1 small courgette
1 small aubergine
1 red or yellow pepper
1 red onion
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Handful of olives, sliced
Cherry tomatoes, chopped
3 spring onions, sliced
Bag of rocket
2 tbsp Lemon juice
Fresh Dill and Basil (optional), chopped
1 block of Halloumi

Preheat oven to 200C.

Make up the couscous according to packet instructions and set aside to cool.

Cut the courgette, aubergine and pepper into chunks. About an inch is fine. Peel the onion but leave the end core on and cut into thinish wedges so they do not fall apart.

Tip onto a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and seasoning. Cook for about 25-30 mins until soft and lightly charred round the edges. Drizzle with a little balsamic and pop back in oven for 5 mins more minute then remove and cool.

In a serving bowl, toss together the warm or room temperature couscous and roasted vegetables with the remaining ingredients, apart from the Halloumi. You can refrigerate at this stage if you don’t want a warm salad.


When ready to eat, slice the halloumi and dry fry in a hot frying pan for about 1 min on each side until golden and toasty. Divide the salad between plates and top with the hot cheese slices and eat.


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Greek lamb stew with tagliatelle


Serves 4-5

This dish was created because I couldn’t bear to waste some dill! Can’t believe I spent about £6 on lamb to save the dill, but lamb is such a rare, expensive treat. And it does go quite a long way in this dish.  I then portioned this up and froze little bags of it as I am not feeding a family, although it would improve in flavour in the fridge a day or two after you cooked it.

Next time I might chop up the lamb smaller and cook for 2 hours to make a finer ragu style sauce for pasta or just some nice crusty bread.
  • olive oil
  • 500g lamb steaks ,  cut into chunks
  • 1 aubergine , cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, half chopped and half sliced into half moons
  • garlic 2 cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs (or Herbes de Provence)
  • 200ml chicken or lamb stock 
  • ½ stick cinnamon 
  • few sprigs fresh dill (or parsley if you don’t like dill)
  • 1 lemon, zested (optional)
  • grated parmesan cheese or crumbled feta
  • 50g dried tagliatelle for each person (so 200g for 4)
Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a large wok or casserole with a lid. Season the lamb  and brown all over in two batches then remove. Add the aubergine and another splash of oil and cook for 2-3 mins until softened a little. As the aubergine soaks up so much oil, I poured a little of the meat juices that had run out of the lamb to the pan. This deglazed it which adds more flavour and made the aubergine cook quicker without even more oil. Lift out the aubergine and give the pan a wipe as it will probably be black by now! Then add the onions and garlic and cook for 5-6 mins until softened and translucent.

Tip the lamb and aubergine back with the tomatoes, tomato puree, stock, cinnamon and check seasoning. Simmer then put on a lid on (or transfer to a casserole if you used a wok) and cook for 1.5 hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce is rich. Remove the cinnamon stick. Sprinkle the dill or parsley over and lemon zest.


Cook the tagliatelle according to packet instructions and serve with the stew. Add either parmesan or feta to taste and eat.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Fasolakia


Serves 2-4 depending on what you serve with it.

This is a traditional Greek stew that maybe doesn’t sound exciting, but boy I am addicted! The flavours meld together and tastes so summery and this is a great way of using up a glut of runner beans which was the reason for making it. The amount of olive oil is really worth it.

I have eaten masses of this just on its own with crusty bread to mop up the sauce. Or its great with simple grilled fish with a squirt of lemon as in this picture or lamb chops. If you don’t like dill use fresh parsley or marjoram. You can eat hot, warm or at room temperature. It also freezes well.

250g Runner beans, de-stringed and cut into 2 inch diagonal lengths
4 tablespoons good olive oil
1 large onion – half finely chopped and half sliced into half moons
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium potato or 4 new potatoes, sliced into thickish chunks (I don’t bother to peel)
Salt and pepper
Small pinch chilli flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
Water to cover – about a small glass or half a tin canful
Feta cheese, a really thin slice crumbled per serving
Dill or parsley, roughly chopped

Method:
1. wash the prepped runner beans and drain.
2. heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok and gently cook the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of mins, stirring so it doesn’t burn.
3. Add the beans and potatoes and cook for 3-5 mins, coating well in the oil and onions. Season well and add the chilli and dried oregano.
4. Tip in the tomatoes and tomato puree, and pour in some water just to cover. Bring to boil and put on a lid or transfer to a lidded casserole then simmer for 1 hour (or cook slowly in oven at 160C for same time)
5. After an hour if it is too liquid, remove lid and cook for another 10-15 mins. The sauce should be rich and velvety.

6. Sprinkle over chopped dill and crumbled over feta.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Dhal


I love Dhal – thick, gently spiced, cheap as chips  and very filling. You could add cooked diced chicken or lamb to it and some stock to loosen it more, which would give it more of a Dhansak curry feel. Also nice!

Serves 2-3

150g dried split yellow peas
500-750ml water
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds (black onion seeds)
½ tbsp cumin seeds
A pinch of ground turmeric
10 curry leaves
1 onion, sliced
1-2 large green chillies, sliced (deseed if you don’t like too much heat)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp garam masala
3 tomatoes, chopped
Juice of ½ a lemon
Fresh coriander, chopped
2 shallots, sliced into rings (optional)
Naan or tortillas, warmed, to serve

1 Wash and drain the split peas in a sieve and place in a saucepan. Pour 500ml of water over, boil for 10 mins, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 35 minutes, or until the peas are very soft. You may need to add the extra 250 ml water if it evaporates too fast. Season.
2 Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the spices and curry leaves and fry over a medium heat until the mustard seeds start to pop.
3 Add the onion, chillies and garlic and stir well. Cook for another 3 minutes, then add the garam masala.
4 Mix well, and then tip into the cooked dhal with the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, adding more water if the mixture becomes too thick.
5 Add the lemon juice and coriander. (If you like fry the shallot in a little oil and garam masala until crisp and tip over the dhal)  Serve with warm flatbreads for scooping.


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Review: New Club, Brighton

Review: New Club, Brighton

Opposite the crumbling West Pier is a spacious, modern with a flavour of that now-ubiquitous rend for American diner style barbecue food and the dreaded “plates”.

We were very early so they changed menus over in the short time that we sat outside with a drink to peruse the food, but were very friendly about it and apologised.

We decided to eat indoors as it looked as though it might bucket down. I didn’t have very high expectations – it seemed quite hip, the young staff were very relaxed and were chatting to each other a lot (my only gripe is that this made service slow) and thought, here we go, another burger joint that is trying too hard. Still, I wasn’t in a hurry and enjoyed people watching outside.

When the food arrived I was impressed by the presentation. The Dirty Burger came over on greaseproof paper, sat in an enamel tin bowl, French fries came in a matching smaller tin and the slaw in a jam jar which gave a nice rustic look that, I admit although over used everywhere, does look cuter than a polystyrene McD’s carton. The burger cost £8.50 and they are made with 35 day aged locally sourced Hereford Beef. The patty was cooked slightly medium but it ws very juicy and still had the right amount of smokiness. Inside the glazed and toasted brioche bun was the right amount of sticky sweet hickory onion relish, melted Moneterey Jack cheese, shredded iceberg (the only type of lettuce that belongs in a burger!), pickled cabbage, gherkins and their own special house sauce. The fries were also perfectly crisp and well-cooked. The whole meal was utterley delicious and one of the nicest burgers I have had.

They also serve other American classics – mac ’n’ cheese, Caesar salad,  smoked pulled pork, plus brunch or “hangover” options such as pancakes and bagels which would make a change from a fry-up in a Brighton caff.

This place has very quickly become popular and may well last the course, much to my misplaced expectations.  Hope so!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Review: BBQ Shack at World’s End pub, Brighton

Review: BBQ Shack at World’s End pub, Brighton

This was another pub on my hit list to visit owing to a lot of buzz about it on social media. A friend of mine visited the week before and when I asked how it was he just showed me a photo and said “man, my eyes were bigger than my belly.”  Challenge accepted!!

When we arrived at around 2pm the pub was fairly quiet. It’s very spacious and the clientele was very mixed – young, old, families, couples and it had a very friendly vibe.

The barman was equally friendly and evidently very proud of their American fayre menu.  As if we needed to be taken through the “concept”, he asked if we had been before and how they make everything from scratch, do their own meat smoking and only serve homemade bbq sauce as a condiment - mayo and ketchup are sacrilegious apparently.  We said we were here for the famous burgers to which he recommended the Memphis burger and warned us it was big! No problem J.

My monster-sized burger arrived after a little while (all cooked to order) and came piled high with the most tender, succulent pulled pork piled on top. I ate that mostly separately, drizzled in the bbq sauce so I could savour the flavour. The meaty burger was wide but not too thick and they cooked them all the way through which I believe might be an EU law. It had a nice smoky char flavour and packed with umami savouriness. It wasn’t all that juicy because it was on the thin side, but it gave a nice chewy texture, complemented by the coleslaw underneath.

Pickles and tomato were placed on the side – this is something I am starting to realise is done by restaurants as they are the extras that divide people when it comes to burgers. Plus a hefty helping of French fries. Think they were packet ones, but who care – all chips are lovely!

The only small criticism is the bun. It was just a bit ordinary compared to the effort they had gone to with their meat and bbq sauce etc. Just a basic supermarket white burger bap – and this was where the challenge defeated me. I left about a quarter of bun. That’s all though (and surely you can forgive me for leaving a measly bit of bread?)…  everything else was demolished with greedy gusto… and followed by a long nap at home! 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Review: The Ginger Fox, Albourne, Near Brighton

Review: The Ginger Fox, Albourne, Near Brighton



One of the Brighton-based Gingerman restaurant group, The Ginger Fox pub is in a remote countryside setting, close to Devil’s Dyke. I had been many years ago when it was fairly newly opened and getting surprise rave reviews from critics of the nationals. I remember it always being nice but a bit… um poncey. I think they were trying too hard, and the clientele were very much the local ‘yah-yah’s’ which made the place a bit stuffy and formal for me.

Anyway a friend and I stopped there for dinner unexpectedly as The Sportsman pub at Goddards Green were full (having an early St Paddy’s shindig apparently). Well we were frankly lucky to get a table there too as even at 7pm it was almost full. The diners didn’t look like they had changed since I last went (grey, conservative, twin sets etc) and I was certainly one of the youngest at the chirpy age of 34!

A lovely waitress showed us a table and took our coats and we chose a bottle of Malbec to drink while we munched on warm complimentary bread with balsamic and rapeseed oil that you pour yourself from the bottle on the table. The menu isn’t extensive, 5-6 choices for starters and mains, although there are specials on the board. I chose the Chorizo Glazed Rarebreed Pork Belly with Carrots and Chicory and my mate went for the Foie Gras Ballotine with Champagne Rhubarb and Sesame Toast.

Our plates arrived beautifully presented. My pork belly slice was on top of a smear of sticky chorizo syrup and was garnished the tiniest baby carrots I have ever seen and a little bit of lettuce. The pork was soft, sweet and fatty but as there were only two bites worth, £8 seemed a tad steep. The foie gras was rich, naughty and thoroughly gorgeous! Quite a small portion for the amount of toast it came with but you really couldn’t eat too much of this heavenly, smooth pate. It was also prettily decorated with radishes I think.

We both had the Char Grilled Redlands Farm Rib Eye with Duck Fat Chips, Roasted Onion and Balsamic Vinegar Butter and Roasted Parsnips with Almonds (£19.50) Wow wow wow - the steak was cooked to juicy medium perfecttion as requested and tasted so beefy with a lovely, smoky char on the outside. Yes there was quite a lot of fat on the meat, but that's ribeye for you, and it all adds to the flavour. The chips (am a proper chip fiend at the moment) were easily the best I have ever had - dark gold, super crunchy and absolutely gorgeous It was almost like they had been fried in a batter - they sounded like glass but were fluffy inside. Reckon they might use the Heston triple cook method, but whatever it is I am coming back for these on my lunch break!

So the bill came to £80 with the wine, and the food was excellent, it really was. If it was 10-12% cheaper I would eat here often, but given its formality and the extra expense, think it might be a place for special occasions only or possibly business meetings. 

Review: The North Laine Pub & Brewery, Brighton

Review: The North Laine Pub & Brewery, Brighton

After an afternoon drinking in the North Laines on the first properly sunny day of the year (yes, in March!) it was time to think about eating something to soak it all up and stop things from looking so blurry.  However, due to the blue sky and 19C temperature, the whole of Brighton and probably the rest of Sussex were in town and everywhere was packed out. So I wrack my slightly fuzzy brains for a large establishment which would have more room than the little caffs and bars nearby and remembered the North Laines pub which used to be my old nightclub haunt, The Gloucester, back in the day.

Of course, no one told me the rugby was on too, so on getting there we actually struggled to find a spare table in the huge place! Never mind, we eventually settled upon two stools around a table converted from a beer barrel. It is worth pointing out on that note, that this pub has its own brewery attached to it – you can apparently book a tasting tour and sample the various nectar.

Back to food, the menu is pretty extensive without being overwhelming – I think they cover off just about everything anyone could want – fish and chips, steak, pie to more unusual fare such as hot dogs with sauerkraut and mustard, hearty lamb hotpot and dumplings, turkey schnitzel (was very tempted by this), and the interesting-sounding sausage sharing board which are a mix of four local sausages with gravy and piccalilli to dip! Sounds brilliant!

However, my alcohol- induced hunger meant I needed some bulk so I went for the Angus Beef burger (they do lamb and rosemary and Cajun chicken, plus ‘The Greek’ halloumi for veggies) and my mate chose the posh ‘fish finger’ sandwich. We were told there was an hour wait on food – I expect that is not the norm at 3.30pm on a Saturday but it really was heaving so we got another glass of wine and waited.

Exactly one hour later the food arrived and I felt strangely sober again. We asked for cutlery as I didn’t want to push my face into my burger like I did at Burger Brothers! The fish fingers were indeed not from Birds Eye but were pleasing rustic breaded goujons and were clearly handmade. No clue what the fish was, but tasted nice and juicy apparently, and the thick cut white bloomer was the correct type for a fish finger sarnie in my opinion. My 8oz burger came in a nice soft brioche bun from a Brighton bakery and included a tumbled mass of bright purple onion relish (it looked like it was made from very thinly sliced boiled red onions – it was strangely tasteless, possibly because it was fridge cold). The fresh lettuce, tomato, gherkin were fine, but I took out the raw red onion as a matter of personal taste. Sadly the burger was very overcooked and without going for optional cheese, it was dry, hard and unpleasant to eat. The chips on the other hand were AMAZING! They still had their skins on and were of different sizes so some of the really slim ones were so crispy it was like eating baked potato skin – almost healthy, right?!

For £9.25 my burger and chips wasn’t bad value, just a shame the meat had no juices left in it. Going to try eating there again when it is quieter as I am convinced they will win points back on food, and the lively atmosphere was fun to hang out in.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Review: Burger Brothers, North St, Brighton


Review: Burger Brothers, North St, Brighton

It seems I am on a bit of a mission at the moment to try out all the amazing burger joints around Brighton. The craze for making the most “dirty” or most gourmet burgers has hit the town in the last couple of years. In fact I just found out that the burger-related term “dirty” means smoky, as in a dirty sauce will have a smoked element to it. But don’t take my word for it – it’s all new to me!

So when I heard that Burger Brothers was the number 1 restaurant in Brighton on Tripadvisor I was intrigued to find out it is not even a restaurant – it is a takeaway with a few stools inside!! Then it began getting lots of mentions on social media and even in foodie mags such as Olive. Reaaally? Well, that was it; I had to get myself down there to see what all the fuss is about.

From the outside it doesn’t look like anything special to be honest, and inside were about 6 stools, an eating ledge and a chalk board menu on the wall. There are 6 different beef burgers to choose from – no fries here. But interestingly they do freshly made smoothies to wash the burgers down with. So, what to choose? I wouldn’t normally write the whole menu, but think it enables you to see the quality of the ingredients and that this is very different from typical post-pub takeaways. It isn’t the cheapest but you get what you pay for…

·         Simple Jack with the American cheese of choice - Monterey Jack, plus mayo and ketchup.
·         Our Favourite comes with goats cheese, roasted peppers, honey mustard, secret sauce, caramelised onions and Cajun sauce.
·         Bennetton Burger with Tuxford and Tebbutt blue stilton, Portobello mushroom, chorizo, wasabi mayo, caramelised onions and balsamic vinegar glaze
·         Classic Beef with  mature cheddar, tomatoes, wild rocket, mustard, relish, black pepper mayo and caramelised onion

Plus 3 non beef options:
·         Chicken Bazinga – marinated chicken fillets with beetroot salad, guacamole, caramelised onions and garlic mayo.  
·         Veggie Special which is their homemade vegetable patty coated in breadcrumbs and comes with beechwood smoked cheese, roasted peppers, wild rocket, caramelised onion, salsa and black pepper mayo.
·         Hello Me is a halloumi, Portobello mushroom, tomato, peppers, secret sauce and creamy Cajun sauce.

 

I opted for the Classic Beef which cost £6.50 as I think a simple burger shows you how good they really are. My friend had a Bennetton Burger at £8.50. We were offered extras such as halloumi, Serrano ham, chorizo, chilli sauce etc but declined. We took a seat on a stool and watched as they were freshly cooked - the burger was steamed with a cloche which I’d imagine helps to keep it juicy.  They arrived quickly and were placed in poly boxes on a tray with the essential serviettes and toothpicks.  (Note there is a toothpick in the centre of the burger) The shiny bun looked so appealing and it didn’t look scary-huge. Mine had a gherkin on the side – not sure if it had fallen out but I’d like to think they are being clever as not everyone likes them.


To take my first bite I literally had to just push my face into it! The relish mayo and caramelised onions ended up everywhere – it is quite a saucy burger, but not at all greasy. The burger was juicy and pink in the centre and tasted really beefy. My mate’s burger was also excellent and he said the blue cheese didn’t overpower any of the other elements. For me, everything was perfection – loved the wild rocket – will start adding that to my burgers in future instead of Little Gem. But the bun really made it. It was sweet and slightly chewy and much more suitable than brioche which is too doughy for the weight of burgers. The guys said it is Jewish Challah which they get from a local artisan bakery in Hove. And they mince their own Longhorn beef on the premises – they clearly take their sourcing very seriously and done their homework.

Actually, the other thing that really makes Burger Brothers worth a visit is the ‘Brothers’ themselves. Their friendliness and excellent service sets them apart from Grubbs Burgers or other similar takeaways. They are so proud of their product and asked us a few times if we were happy with our meals. They haven’t even been in the food business before, so considering they only opened 10 months ago and already have long queues on Friday and Saturday nights (and sometimes even sell out completely) they must have the formula bang on. Can definitely see them expanding to a bigger premises or opening a chain in the non-distant future. Watch this space.

In the meantime I am going back to try a Chicken Bazinga J

Friday, 7 February 2014

Review: Meat Liquor, Brighton


Review: Meat Liquor, Brighton

Having heard so much about the success of Meat Liquor in London, I was really pleased to hear they now have a restaurant in Brighton and couldn’t wait to go on a night out there with colleagues.

I knew from social media that it was going to be very dark, loud, hip and have a clubby feel to it, but actually when we arrived on the Thursday night it wasn’t massively packed – none of the queues I was expecting, nor was it that dark or too noisy to talk. Perhaps they crank up the music and dim the lights more at the weekend? There were some sectioned off booths and the d├ęcor was a cool mix of edgy industrial – think metal chains and wire screens plus some mean and moody pictures and neon lights.

So, food… I knew straight away I wanted to try the Dead Hippie burger that I had heard good things about. Two beef burgers with melted cheese, pickles, onion, shredded lettuce and Dead Hippie sauce (which was kind of a mustardy mayo??) in a soft bun. It wasn’t enormous, just right. They give you kitchen roll as they do not have plates – everything just arrives on a tray but apart from one greasy bit of spillage on my knee, it wasn’t a problem. Made it even more informal and quirky – not great if you are on a date though!

I wanted to try out all of the sides but not knowing how big the portions would be we shared cheese fries, normal fries and onion rings. (I will have to return to try the fried pickles and buffalo wings!) The bowl of fries are probably just enough for 2 to share. There wasn’t much cheese on the portion and to be honest the ones with no cheese were crisper so preferred those. The onion rings were massive and came with disappointingly thick, oily batter and they went cold quickly which made them taste worse. Shame.

I also tried a little bite of my colleague’s Dirty Chicken Burger as that would have been my other choice on the menu. The chicken breast was whole and came crisply battered with mayo, red onion and lettuce. Think I liked my beef a smidge more so no food envy!

 In terms of drinks, the only way to go is cocktails! The Meatjito was made with perfect precision (mojitos can be awful in some places) but the winner was the House Grog – a mix of rums with a tropical kind of juice – pineapple, lime and mango maybe? It is so strong they limit 2 per person. It arrived in a tankard that Captain Morgan himself would have said “Arrrr” to!

The “burgerettes” were young and cheeky, which was great and service was overall brilliant. They tweeted about our table when we got boisterous and started drunkenly dancing at the end of the night – claiming they had CCTV footage of us that they’d put online! I guess we could have been annoying, but if we were, the staff took it well. And to be honest if they serve Grog, they should expect people to leave there drunk!

Great place to have a party and I will return!