If you're after serious food in Brighton with no gimmicks, this should still be your first port of call, although the groundfloor entrance bar/lobby is looking a little tired, 'upbeat lift musak' might not please some and there have been reports of lack of enthusiasm from the hotel staff if you turn up for lunch without booking!
However, once seated in the basement restaurant bit, things improve as the dining room has a real feeling of space and is light an airy.
Talented chef Andrew MacKenzie has had a few years at the kitchen helm here to have tied his sourcing down to the best, and this is evident in the quality of the short selection of dishes he offers at any one time - the full individual flavour of each main ingredient standing out.
An autumn snapshot brought 'Squid Ink Risotto with Poached Lobster'; 'Potato Soup with Fresh Truffles'; 'Breast of Woodpigeon with Date Purée & Hazelnut Salad' and 'Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Butter' anongst the starters.
'Pan-Roast Fillet of Brill with Garlic Leeks, Salsify, Poached Oyster & Lobster Sauce'; 'Breast of Duck with Leg Confit, Sweet Potato Fondant, Baby Vegetables & Cherry Sauce'; 'Whole Roast Grouse with Cavolo Nero, Roasted Parsnips, Bread Sauce & Game Jus' and 'Parmesan & Truffle Linguini with Baby Vegetables' listed amonst the mains.
Various Savoury dishes - such as 'Welsh Rarebit (sic) with Poached Oysters on Sour Dough Toast' or their selection of cheeses, are now an option.
While those with just a sweet tooth might move straight on to 'Hot Chocolate Fondant' or seasonal 'Poached Rhubarb with Champagne Sorbet'; 'Mirabelle Soufflé with Poached Plums' and the like.
All in all, food of this standard deserves a better setting!
- Food Style: Modern British
- Lunch: all week 12.30-13.45; set L Mon-Sat from £20 (2 courses) to £25; set L Sun from £25 (2 courses)
- Dinner: all week 19.00-21.30; set D from £29.95 (2 courses) to £39.95
- Seats: 38
- Wine: an impressive list, is laid out in a user-friendly-fashion, and travels the world kicking off around the £22 mark. They offer a good selection by the glass.
- Wheelchair access: Restaurant in Basement
- Nearest station: Brighton Rail
- Directions: See the map at the top of the page
- Rooms available