Last night Brighton Journal was invited to try the South Coast tasting menu and accompanying Sussex Flight to celebrate Isaac At’s one year anniversary.
We made it extra difficult for them and asked them to cater to my needs (gluten and dairy free) and my guest’s who is vegan.
The menu’s they came up with were not only exquisite and beautiful but made for an unforgettable experience.
The venue itself is small making for an intimate evening, and resides in the North Laines.
You get to watch the chefs intricately plate your food, or if you are seated around a corner there are TV’s to show you how your meal is being created.
I must mention the attention to detail, every detail… from the food, to the wait staff, to the drink pairings. Everything is planned to a T to ensure a smooth and relaxing night.
The waiters were incredible, they truly waited on your every need. If you left your napkin they would come fold it again for you, and your drink was never left unfilled.
I tried the juice pairing and my guest tried the wine pairing. I must say she seemed to thoroughly enjoy the rose wine, my favourite was the sparkling elderflower they began with to cleanse the palette. I also loved the light crisp apple juice which they ended on.
The apple juice was from their own grown apples, they aren’t sure of the exact species of apple but the flesh is a pinky colour and the overall taste is very similar to a pink lady. When we were served our drinks before each meal we were told of the story behind the drink carefully recited by the waiters. They told us of the origins, what it was made from and how those flavours will compliment our food.
What I loved was that they explained where the food and drinks had come from. Alongside our menus was another list of the food miles their ingredients had travelled to get to our plates.
Our meals were served by the chef who told you exactly what was on your plate, you’d think this would be distracting or difficult to do for every table but it was effortless. I felt like I was in my own personal bubble receiving special treatment when in fact that is the same treatment every table gets.
As a pre-starter I was served with a salted mackerel crisp with a cucumber ketchup.
The I had some fresh warm gluten free bread from infinity foods with a rapeseed oil and red wine reduced balsamic dip. This was one of my favourite courses, I absolutely adored the sauce.
The actual starter was charred cucumber with crab, there was pickled cucumber and more of the cucumber ketchup. The juice pairing was cucumber and tomato.
To start I had two incredible cuts of fish which fell apart and melted in your mouth, with desiree potato and parsley. The potato was seasoned with ketchup and was incredibly buttery and smooth considering the lack of diary. It was truly divine. The juice pairing was carrot and rhubarb.
Next was what looked like a gorgeous flower placed on my plate. The different textures of this dish complimented each other so well. The crunch from the dehydrated beetroot crisp, the sweet shallots and the creamy aubergine. The juice pairing was beetroot and raspberry, it was sour but another favourite.
Melt in the mouth lamb followed this as the last ‘main’ course. The lamb chump was perfectly cooked pink in the centre and the taste of the meat alone shone. But it was complimented by some disks of turnip and the gorgeous red wine balsamic reduction we tasted earlier. The juice was strawberry and cabbage.
For our first dessert we were served a refreshing blackcurrant and cucumber sorbet.
The second dessert was something which had been changed on the night as I couldn’t have the cider in the previous one they offered. And as usual we were catered to effortlessly. So we were served a gooseberry sorbet, caramelised hazelnuts, a date puree and I had a pink peppercorn meringue but my vegan guest was served this spectacular caramel shell (see featured image).
To finish we had an almond crisp with a date puree, and an apple sauce.
Overall the meal was beautifully executed and to such a high standard. I will say although all the food may not always be my first choice; it was extremely high quality, and despite the small portions I was full when I left, (we did have 9 courses) but not uncomfortably because the food was so light, fresh and flavourful. The restaurant is one to visit for the experience if nothing else.
If you’d like to find out more you can visit their website here.