Brighton Brighton Brighton. I just love it. What a fabulously vibrant city in which you can lose yourself for hours wandering around the lanes, listening to impromptu live music, vintage clothes shopping and most importantly (yes, even more so than putting your feet into the freezing sea after a G&T) eating. Brighton is brilliantly situated for having tonnes and tonnes of local suppliers and there are establishments on every corner that scream for and support local sourcing. I absolutely admire the message of care and social responsibility the city spreads.
When I first starting visiting Brighton the good old medium of twitter (and especially the immensly impressive knowledge of @brightonnat and @brightonnick) gave me many a suggestion on where to eat. The Chilli Pickle came up tops for its consistently good and yes, where possible, locally sourced food. I got the impression that it was a B-Town institution adored by many and so had to give it a try.
The restaurant is situated on the newly redeveloped Jubilee Square and is glass fronted with a bright outdoor seating area. Pretty shiny and very well branded with colours so bold and recognisable that I wouldn’t be suprised to see a few more pop up in future with jars of Chilli pickle sauces on sale.
The daytime menu is very varied albeit a bit too long and wordy, and caters to all hunger pangs. Small plates of streetfood range from £1.30-£6.95 and bigger plates including Romali Roti Rolls, Thalis and Dosa’s range from £8.50-£13. I would have chosen a Dosa, but in London I regularly pay £7 for an absulotely HUGE one at Diwana and couldn’t bring myself to pay more (£8.50) for the same dish outside of the Capital. I went for a Thali with Mutton Rogan Gosht and my boyfriend, a Crispy Pork Belly Vindaloo Romali Roti Roll.
The Thali was an absolute treat, huge and beautifully presented with a lovely mix of vegetable dal, pickles, and a light buttery naan. The Mutton Gosht was very rich and clovey with melt in the mouth meat and a nice hint of warm chilli, and the dal was packed full of warm spices and chunks of root veg. The fresh and spicy chutneys and pickles made each and every mouthful different and I easily succumbed to the joy of the Thali- feeling like your sharing a bit of everyone elses dinner, yet it’s all yours!
The Roti roll was suprisingly light, the roll itself being wafer thin and only just tough enough to keep in its filling. The pork was deliciously soft with a good ratio of meat to fat, but it was slightly lost in the powerful smokey, sweet and sour tomato based sauce which in itself was a real punchy treat. I don’t know what could have stood up to it but the pork didn’t cut it. Nonetheless, the combination of the meat sauce and the two chutneys served with the pork where brilliant, one mint and citrus, the other sticky pomegranate.
The total meal for two including two Kingfishers (couldn’t resist) came to £26. I’m looking forward to going back for dinner next time I’m in town.