26 August 2013

Terre à Terre

A few days in Brighton (staying at our favourite Hotel Una) saw us having lunch at what could possibly be the best vegetarian restaurant in the country, Terre à Terre. Terre à Terre has a cafe out front, with the main restaurant in a large room with a small open garden and patio at the back, perfect for the warm summers day we were there.

We started with the tapas to share, a huge platter containing a selection of dishes from the menu. All were delicious, with some lovely beetroot soup and sour cream in a shot glass, 2 absolutely fantastic vodka roasted tomatoes, warm and fragrant and unlike any tomato I've had before, corn cakes, some spice covered crispbreads with aubergine dip, smoked tofu and a fabulous ratatouille and burrata.  This was a great selection, and presented a good variety to demonstrate that there was some seriously good food coming out of the kitchen.

My main was an excellent goats cheese ravioli on a particularly good globe artichoke, poached egg on a grana padano sauce and smoked tomato sauce, with a mustard dressed salad providing some crunch from green beans and hazelnuts. The ravioli, egg, cheese and tomato sauces had some excellent deep and rich flavours, My wife had some fantastic beer battered halloumi, chips, preserved lemon relish, pea mint hash and some home made tartar sauce and pickled quails eggs. The batter had a nice crisp, with the lemon relish a stand out, again a quality dish.

Dessert was a gargantuan plate of churros to share, with 6 huge warm churros, a superb caramel sauce, a chocolate sauce with brandy cream and my favourite, vodka cherries. The doughnuts were really good, light and fluffy and the sauces accompanying them absolutely divine. After the huge starter and generous mains, we only managed half of the plate, and the remaining were packaged up for us to bring home.

Our meal at Terre à Terre was really good, with top notch dishes and some very high quality food on offer. Unlike some of the other vegetarian restaurants I know of, this is one that I am happy to visit, losing nothing at all by missing out on meat or fish. We will definitely return to sample more. The bill came to £120 and included an elderflower cocktail and kir royale for my wife, and 2 mango non alcoholic drinks for me.

Brighton has got to be one of the most vegetarian friendly towns in the UK, with Terre à Terre setting standards of vegetarian cooking for all others to aspire too, and the Laines containing not just one but a dozen or so vegan and vegetarian cafes, a far higher concentration than anywhere else, even in London.


Sussex Poached Pillow Talk.

Better Batter and Lemony Yemeni Relish.


Terre à Terre

Terre à Terre on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Return to Viajante

Viajante is now closed.

We returned to Viajante for a long anniversary lunch a few Sundays ago. Although Nuno Mendes was not present, the quality and consistency of the dishes were very high. We were sat next to the kitchen and pass and we were able to watch the team in action. Excellent amuse bouches to be had, a mouthful of warm clam soup based on a Portuguese dish called Ameijoa builhao pato, amaranth popcorn, a salmon crisp, a lovely yeast potato and Iberico ham morsel, the olive soup as good as ever. Bread was as good as our previous visit, I have to say the crisp pointed ends of the potato bread baguette combined with their whipped butter make for the most perfect mouthful of bread I've had anywhere.

The meal provided some quality dishes, including a fermented scallop dish was unusual, a meaty texture unlike any scallop I've had before. A lovely crab in milk skin followed,  with my wife having the leek and milk skin variation from before. An excellent carrot dish followed for my wife, with  a sea bream with fermented carrot and gooseberries and a tart gel of sorts for me. There was also a fantastic flavour packed potato and onion concoction topped with a lush nugget of cod cheek and a stunning cod skin wrap, with daikon replacing the cod for my wife, a real stand out dish. The celeriac, truffle and potato sauce dish was similar to the salsify dish previously. The main courses were variation of iberico, a gorgeous hunk of presa with a vegetable crepinette to start for me with a lovely fresh pea, asparagus and custard dish for my wife, and a knockout square of pork belly with the almond, parsley and garlic picada and some fabulous baby beetroot, which my wife had as the main ingredient.

The cucumber and milk ice cream dish followed, this is one of my favourite desserts, and was just as good as I remembered. Strawberries came with an unusual buckwheat thing, which resembled liquid gel but could be picked up with a fork, delicious though. The milk dessert finished the meal, and was as good as before. Certainly a dessert that can be loved by those who don't have a sweet tooth too. Accompanying coffee were mushroom chocolates and those liquid nitrogen olive and basil gummys, a delicious and certainly one of the more unusual petit fours we've had on our travels.

Again another really excellent meal was had at Viajante, I love the blend of innovative and experimental dishes to be had and the menu format, with every course both a surprise and in some cases, sampling methods, tastes and ingredients I've not had before. The bill came to 270 or so, with non alcoholic lychee cocktails to start, a glass of Sadi-Malot Rose champagne, Monte Cruz Antao Vaz 2011 with the meal, and a really fine Meulenhof Spatlese Riseling 2010 to accompany dessert. We'll go back in the autumn.

Ameijoa bulhao pato.

Enoki mushrooms with green tea and dill.

Salmon with green tea and dill.

Yeast, potato and Iberico ham.

Yeast and potato.

Gordal Olive Soup.


Scallop with parsnips and watercress.

Parsnips and watercress.

Crab with milk skin and peas.

Charred leek with milk skin.

Sea bream, sea purslane, fermented carrot and gooseberries.

Carrots and horseradish.

Cod cheek with potato and onion.

Potato, Onion and Daikon.

Celeriac with roasted potato and mushrooms.

Iberico presa with vegetable crepinette

Green peas, asparagus and custard.

Baby beets, sorrel and picada.

Iberico belly with baby beets and picada.

Cucumber and reduced milk.

Strawberrys, buckwheat and melliot.


Petit Fours.


19 August 2013

Return to Kitchen Table

We enjoyed another Friday night at the fabulous Kitchen Table. This is now a firm favourite of ours, with the round-the-kitchen format and friendliness of the team adding the extra dimension a normal restaurant just can't provide. I won't go into lengthy detail with each dish, but can assure you every course was delicious.

The menu was a similar set up to previously, with the opening oyster and pickle having some lovely sea jelly and fresh flavours. The bacon jam loaded chicken skin was better than ever, and the salmon canape was particularly good. My raw scallop dish was a standout, with an excellent ginger mayo to match the scallop, the wife had a remarkable spring onion tempura. A lovely mackerel dish offered some tart flavours from green strawberries to match the excellent fresh mackerel. The barbecued spring cabbage  was excellent, a truffle and parmesan loaded variation of an old favourite of mine, cabbage in cheese sauce. The bone marrow dish to follow was my dish of the night, with an astonishingly good beef fat lardo to go with the celeriac, fried marrow and chicken gravy with superb flavours throughout, absolutely stunning. The vegetarian version featured a girolle puree to match the celeriac.

Duck came in two parts, breast with a tart fruit yoghurt, and a second dish of confit duck, crispy wafer, pistachios and cherries, a great combination I could have happily ate as a large main. The vegetarian duo had some excellent fennel, barbecued in front of us on a wood and gas pit. Cheese course was a burrata, gooseberries and some of that awesome buttery fried sourdough we had on the previous visit. Desserts started with a single raspberry filled with frozen basil olive oil, with a refreshing blueberry, mousse and granita to follow. The barbecued peach with honey spooned from the frame was revelation and barbecued peaches and nectarines have featured at home since. An excellent strawberry dish followed, with caramac, ice cream and a fabulous fried vanilla sugar coated brioche. A glass of leaf tea with a mandarin ice cream teacake and cappuccino ice cream ended the meal.

Excellent root beer to be had too, I've not had the Dominion Root Beer before, I really liked the use of honey.

We enjoyed our meal just as much as the first time round, James, Sandia and the team provide one of the best evenings in London. We will head back in the autumn, if not sooner to see what the menu provides. I can't wait.








Spring Onion








Duck Too