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Out and About: Discovering Brighton’s food scene

Brighton is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go yet never quite had the inclination to commit to the long train journey, or even longer drive. However all that changed last month when I had to go not once, but twice, for work, and while there I decided to make the most of my free time and check out some of the plentiful food offerings.

I’m sure there are tonnes more fantastic places than I got to experience, but several places were super impressive so I wanted to share them. After all that’s what us food bloggers are all about. In fact two places were so delicious that I went to both of them on each of my visits. And I would go back again anytime!

Brighton Smokehouse

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Where the magic happens

 This place has to be one of my all-time favourite finds of the year. Housed under the arches of the boardwalk, this charming place serves a delectable range of fish dishes, including homemade fish soup, fresh pots of shellfish, and hot smoked fish sandwiches. I tried both the mackerel and the kipper rolls, my personal preference was the mackerel, but they were both fantastic.

Unpretentious delicious food at the Brighton Smokehouse

I also tucked into a tray of fresh anchovies, which were an amazing discovery for me. I’ve only ever had tinned ones before and while I think they’re pleasant, I don’t find them anything special. However these fresh anchovies were unbelievably tasty, with just a hint of that salty flavour, and so meaty despite how small they are. I would drive to Brighton just for a tray of these (maybe that’s excessive but I really did love them!).

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Smoked mackerel roll and a tray of anchovies – fish lovers heaven

The nicest touch about this place is that the lovely couple who own it smoke all of their own fish at their smokehouse opposite the shop. There’s no hint of pretension, it’s simply about great food, so you can see why locals adore it. Both times we went people were queuing up – don’t let this put you off, it’s definitely worth it.

Pho

As a lover of Asian food, I was very excited to give this Vietnamese restaurant a try. I wasn’t disappointed and I was very impressed with the choice and quality of food.

The name of the restaurant is taken from the Vietnamese noodle soup, which I understand is a popular street food in the country. While this is their speciality, there are plenty of other dishes to take your fancy if you’re not in the mood for the soup.

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Highly recommended spring rolls

 Having been twice in just a matter of weeks I wanted to try different things on each occasion. Being more of a savoury person I opted for starter and main rather than a dessert, and I can highly recommend what I had. The squid starter was fantastic, perfectly cooked and with a spicy, tangy dipping sauce. On my second visit I had the spring rolls, which although deep fried were very light and not greasy. I also found it fascinating that you are recommended to wrap the spring roll in the accompanying lettuce leaves, which I have to say was very tasty.

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The noodle dish was good, but the pho was much better

For main courses I tried both the Pho and one of their stir fries from the wider menu. I felt the Pho was better, and I enjoyed being able to make it to taste. It’s served with your choice of meat, fish or veg in the soup, and then you add herbs and spices to create the flavours you want. A simple but effective idea. Sadly I don’t have a photo of it as I tucked in too quickly!

I’m very happy to report that a branch of Pho has now opened in Birmingham’s Grand Central, so I will be making a trip as soon as I can.

Other places worth giving a try:

Sabai Brighton, Princes Place – I’m a huge fan of Thai food and this unassuming restaurant offers delicious, plentiful portions at a great price.

Bagelman – For a quick lunchtime pit stop, this place was super. I had a reuben bagel, which is based on an American classic and is loaded with pastrami, swiss cheese, gherkin, tomato and mustard mayo. Very yummy.

The Regency Restaurant, Brighton seafront – this seafood restaurant was packed, and I could see why, as it offered fresh, tasty fish at an unbelievably reasonable price. I had a mixed grilled platter which included a selection of  4 different fish – I can’t remember all of them but I do recall a chunky piece of hake which was fantastic.

What are your favourite seaside foody spots?
Sarah

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