British, Modern Restaurants in Brighton
1. The Set British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 50 Preston Road - BN1
2021 Review: Eat from a “tempting short menu” (“there’s no longer just a set menu”) at Dan Kenny’s funky former pop-up that’s now permanently parked in a “relaxed and quiet” location, within a trendy boutique hotel. “How can kale taste like heaven? How can sultanas make such an intense jam? How can rhubarb zing in an eclair? Go visit The Set and discover for yourself!” But hurry – in December 2020, Kenny announced that the restaurant would cease trading at the end of March 2021.
2. Flint House British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 13 Hannington’s Lane - BN1
“A massive cult favourite among people in the know in Brighton”, this Lanes outfit from Pamela & Ben McKellar’s Gingerman group is “now almost impossible to get into”, due to the fame of its small plates with “really interesting flavour combinations and seasoning”. It’s also “extremely good value”, thanks to “incredibly good use of cheap ingredients”. “Wish this was in London – but it’s a good reason to go to Brighton!”
3. Plateau British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 1 Bartholomews - BN1
2021 Review: “A shabby-chic bistro with pleasant staff and interesting small plates” – fish-centric – plus “natural wines to complement the seasonal organic food”.
4. Riddle & Finns British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 12b Meeting House Ln - BN1
This “wonderful little venue” in Brighton’s Lanes (with an offshoot near the seafront) scores highly for its “incredibly fresh fish and seafood”. There’s a “real buzzy atmosphere”, too, that sometimes makes it “a bit of a madhouse” – a small price to pay for somewhere that “performs this well in a tourist hot-spot”.
5. 64 Degrees British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 53 Meeting House Lane - BN1
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Great British Menu winner Michael Bremner’s Lanes 20-seater is still one of Brighton’s more interesting culinary destinations. For “committed foodies”, it provides an “amazing experience”, with “sensational dishes of seasonal food – I even tried squirrel!”. “Presentation is beautiful and sitting at the pass just adds to the experience”.
6. Kindling British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 69 East Street - BN1
2022 Review: Opened just before Christmas 2019, a brightly decorated establishment where everything is cooked over open fire in the central open kitchen. It’s from the Food for Friends team with chefs Holly Taylor and Toby Geneen. Limited initial feedback, but ratings are strong and reports are of a “carnivore’s delight”.
7. Burnt Orange British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 59 Middle Street - BN1
“Currently the ‘in’ place in town” – Razak Helalat (founder of Coal Shed and Salt room) has another hit on his hands with this sophisticated-looking yearling, which fans say is “deservedly popular, thanks to its exciting and seriously good Middle Eastern-inflected small plates”, “very imaginative cocktails, and a 70s-but-cool aesthetic”. Boosted by Giles Coren’s upbeat review in The Times, it is the most commented-on venue in town in our latest annual diners’ poll and “there’s a great buzz around the place”. The overall rating is dented though, by an unusual number of mixed or disappointing reports. The sceptics say “there are good flavours, but just too many of them, nor are they as good as the hype suggests”.
8. The Coal Shed Steaks & grills restaurant in Brighton 8 Boyces St - BN1
“High-quality meat” – and “with a variety on the menu if you fancy a change from beef” – has helped win a significant fan club for Razak Helalat’s well-known destination (which has a spin-off near Tower Bridge, in London). Reports remain generally upbeat, although a number of them note service can be “variable”, especially when they are busy.
9. Isaac@ British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 2 Gloucester Street - BN1
Isaac Bartlett-Copeland’s ambitious and ultra-local operation in Brighton’s boho North Laine is “so original and never the same twice”, with its ‘taste of Sussex’ menus and an all-English list of wines. The “NYC vibe” goes too far for some tastes (“well-meaning front of house told us everything, and I mean absolutely everything, about every dish…”)
10. The Salt Room Fish & seafood restaurant in Brighton 106 Kings Road - BN1
“A window table gives a good view of the sunset on a sunny evening” at this “excellent seafront restaurant”: a seafood brasserie near the old West Pier that’s again one of the city’s commented-on destinations in town in our annual diners’ poll. Fans say it’s “hard to get into, and not cheap, but everything about it’s good” in particular its “great fish-based menu” (“it’s a great place to share a whole fish at market price”). “The scale of the restaurant can make the service a little frenetic” though and the food can “try too hard to be interesting and only sometimes succeed”. On most accounts, though, it’s “still knocking it out of the park and a great place for a treat”.
11. Murmur British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 91-96 Kings Road Arches - BN1
“Blessed with a sensational location” – under the arches on the seafront – Great British Menu winner Michael Bremner’s casual venue makes a “lovely” spot for “reliable food, particularly the fish”. But it is “much less adventurous than 64 Degrees” (his acclaimed Lanes flagship).
12. The Ginger Dog British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 12 College Pl - BN2
2021 Review: “More ‘pubby’ than The Gingerman” – the namesake group’s original site and flagship, opened in 1998 – “but more relaxing” too, this dog-friendly Kemptown spot is a solid performer which “cannot be beaten for family get-togethers”; the newest ginger, The Flint House, mixing tapas, cocktails and a roof terrace, opened in central Brighton in spring 2019.
13. Gingerman British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 21a Norfolk Sq - BN1
“This small and intimate backstreet gem remains deservedly popular with regulars” – and was the original in Ben & Pamela McKellar’s successful local group, opening 25 years ago. It’s gone “ever so slightly more ‘haute’ recently (fancy canapés), so some people might think it’s on the dear side”, but on most accounts, it isn’t! – it’s “not cheap, but fantastic”.
14. Due South British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 139 Kings Road Arches - BN1
It has a “lovely setting” on the front, but Rob Shenton’s well-known venue has yet to reestablish itself fully since he decided last year to restore its branding of ten years ago (and to move Riddle & Finns On the Beach – his operation here since 2011 – to a new site). On limited feedback, some locals do rave all-round: others say “it’s not what it used to be – the food’s nicely cooked, but not good value for money”.
15. Wild Flor British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 42 Church Road - BN3
This three-year-old bistro “has made a huge impression on the Hove scene” with the “quality and inventiveness of its food”, an “excellent and surprising wine list” and “impeccable service” led by founders James & Faye Thomson and Rob Maynard. “Proud to have Wild Flor in our ’hood!”.
16. Fourth and Church British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 84 Church Road - BN3
A “great neighbourhood choice” – this restaurant/bar/wine shop in Hove serves “excellent small plates” plus a “delicious menu of dishes which is kept small enough to ensure freshness and innovation”. It’s a “warm and intimate” place which is now offering “one of the best tasting menus in town”.
17. Etch British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 216 Church Rd - BN3
“The remodelling of the restaurant has made it even better”, say fans, and with expansion Steven Edwards’s “high quality dining experience” in Hove (which occupies a converted bank near the seafront, complete with basement bar) is reaching an expanded audience. Serving the now typical 8-9 small course tasting menus, with chefs delivering dishes to the table, all reports speak of a “stylish, fun and friendly” venue “with a very professional front of house team” and “great focus on local produce, letting great ingredients sing”. The Indie’s Kate Ng is a fan of the new look too and her April 2022 review described “a glimpse into the future of modern British cuisine!”
18. The Ginger Pig British, Modern restaurant in Brighton 3 Hove St - BN3
A “classy member” of a well-known local group, this “great gastropub a few yards from Hove seafront” “serves Paris bistro-style food, with a few innovative touches such as rabbit Scotch egg”. “A lovely place for any meal, with an always-tempting menu: it never disappoints”.
19. The Ginger Fox British, Modern restaurant in Albourne Muddleswood Road - BN6
This “picture-book thatched country gastropub” from Brighton’s Gingerman group in a “beautiful, isolated setting nestled under the South Downs”, is “just perfect on a sunny day when you can eat in the attractive garden”. It’s “much more than a pub”, serving “inventive dishes”, “done with refinement”, along with “a wine list including bottles from 10 Sussex vineyards”.
20. Four British, Modern restaurant in Brighton (address tbc) - BN1
Chef Aaron Dalton is launching a tasting-menu restaurant called Four inside his home in Spring 2023, in the hope that he can make it work on a permanent basis.
A former head chef at London's Smoking Goat who has also worked at Chez Bruce and Simon Rogan's Fera, Aaron was planning before the pandemic to open a restaurant featuring wood-fired cooking with his wife Sally. But their backers pulled out and Sally, a paediatric nurse, died from a rare and aggressive cancer in late 2022.
This purpose-built space in his home means he can be near his children and still cook. In the mean time, he's appearing at pop-ups around the area - follow his socials for more details.
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