My Best Meals of 2017

by Eshé Brown

Review of the Year: My best meals of 2017

Many of us begin the new year by making resolutions about things we want to stop, start, or continue doing, but I prefer to reflect and be thankful for all the good things that happened. By March 2018, I will have been blogging for 4 years and over that time the standard of the restaurants in Sussex has rocketed. So this year I’ve decided to do away with any categories I had in 2016 and simply focus on the very best places I ate in 2017. Thank you to every single chef who has cooked for me over the year and well done those who have realised a dream and opened a new restaurant, café or food business. Here they are… my best meals of the year:

Etch, Church Road, Hove

It can be hard to get the balance of fine dining with an unpretentious atmosphere, but Etch (new in March 2017) nailed it. My lunch experience here in April blew me away, with notable dishes being the chocolate tuille dessert and poached guinea hen, swaddled in ham and served with asparagus three ways.

Pike & Pine / Red Roaster, St James’s Street, Brighton

Has there has ever been a more opulent place to eat in Brighton before Pike & Pine/Red Roaster arrived? I don’t think so. Although it had some teething issues with service when it first opened, towards the end of the year it really came out the other side. Dishes are creatively and technically some of the best in the city and the surroundings elevate you to a London dining standard.

The Little Fish Market, Upper Market Street, Hove

I’d been desperate to visit The Little Fish Market for a long time, but it wasn’t until the OctoberBEST restaurant festival kicked off and there was 20% off, that I allowed myself the treat. The focus of the restaurant is fresh local, sustainable seafood, cooked simply but with meticulous attention to detail. Just as I hoped dinner was outstanding and each course trumping the previous. Most impressively Duncan, the owner, is also the sole chef preparing all the dish for the 20 cover restaurant.

Pascere, Duke’s Street, Brighton

Another fine dining establishment that hit Brighton last year was Pascere and I can still remember how good that lamb breast and pressed potato dish tasted. I really did eat very well in 2017. Decor-wise it’s gorgeous too, plush velvet seating with brass fixtures – homely but sophisticated. And the wine… worth a visit for it alone.

The Salt Room, Kings Road, Brighton

Brighton is well-known for being quirky so The Salt Room’s Afternoon Tea with a twist suits it to a tee. Inspired by the seaside, it includes tea or a G&T, Rockefeller oysters, salmon sandwiched in a squid ink bun, fried bread with camembert and sweet onion relish, as well as two tiers of sweeter treats, including the traditional scones and clotted cream. And the service… that’s as polished as the Royal Pavilion silverware.

Lost in the Lanes, Nile St. Brighton

This small independently owned café opened back in August and after numerous visits, it’s quickly become my favourite spot to eat breakfast. The ingredients are always fresh, of premium quality and the chef isn’t afraid to stray from the typical English Breakfast offering, which keeps things interesting. Full review here.

Three Stack at The Square, Brighton

Three Stack duo Ben & Russel make the best buttermilk pancakes I’ve ever tasted and you can catch them at The Square on Saturday mornings 9am-1pm. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I had the apple and cinnamon special and I’m willing to bet you will too if you check it out.

Lickle More, Haddington Street, Hove

Fine dining is always a wonderful treat but I’m from a family of home cooks and I love good honest, comfort food. The Lickle More food truck is just this and my go-to happy food. For an authentic Caribbean food experience head behind the big Tesco in Hove and order the tender curried goat with fluffy rice, a side of fried dumplings and a can of Ting.

BeFries, West Street, Brighton

Don’t be put off by the position of this joint – West Street has never had better food talent. I’ve also been to Belgium and had Belgian Frites (it was the sole purpose of the trip) and I’m willing to be bold and say BeFries‘ Belgian frites are better. It’s not just the soft fluffy centre and crispy outer shell that makes these chips taste so moreish, it’s the array of homemade saucy dips that can be paired together with them that puts these chips a league of its own.

Cin Cin, Vine Street, Brighton

Have you ever dreamt about something you’ve eaten because it was THAT good? If you haven’t, perhaps you need to visit Cin Cin and order the rabbit croquet. Every time, I look at the photo of this dish my stomach makes a little gurgling noise in pleasure. Packed full of creamy meat and encased in a crisp breadcrumb it’s a melting moment of bliss. The success of this establishment is such that a second Hove branch will open in January 2018. I’ll be testing it out on the 17th Jan so check back for the full report on this.

The Half Moon, Glasshouse Lane, Kirdford

Just under an hour’s drive from Brighton is a cosy, gastronomic pub that I’m head of heels with. Starters of pigeon breast with pickled redcurrants and g&t cured trout will excite the taste buds and the professional service will leave you coming back for more. Full review here.

Outlaw’s at The Capital, Basil Street, London

Sometimes I can hardly believe the opportunities that come to me through blogging, and winning a meal for 2 at Nathan Outlaw’s Michelin starred restaurant was one of those occasions. Tom Brown was the head chef at the time and his menu, formed with British seafood caught predominantly around the coast of Cornwall, was completely out of this world. The lunchtime set menu can be booked for just £29 for 2 courses or £33 for 3 courses – that’s serious value for money. Watch out for Tom’s forthcoming restaurant ‘Corner Stone’, opening in Hackney in the spring.

Sorbillo in Naples

I went to Naples for my birthday in May and I set myself a mission… find the best pizza in the city. We were only there for 4 days but at every opportunity I had, I tried a new spot. All the pizzas in Naples were heavenly but one place stood out – artisan pizzeria Sorbillo. I only had a classic margarita but it was so good that I had to go back for lunch again the next day and do it all over again – yes I did the 40-minute queue TWICE!

So over to you now, where did you have your best meals in 2017 and what restaurants are on your hit list for next year? Let me know in the comments box below.

You may also like


Kimberly Butler January 2, 2018 - 2:15 PM

Hello Eshe
How are you? I am big fan of your reviews and well done so doing so well. I just to make one comment on the list. Your review of Cin Cin. I found it overpriced for basically average meat and cheese. The pasta was over priced and the portions were so small for the money. The service is bad as well and the idea that you have to book to sit around a counter is ridiculous. A superior Italian is Cafe Also on Trafalgar street. The pasta and the pizza are amazing and it is also BYO so very good value. I was also surprised the Urchin was not on your list. So good and Nick is a great host. Look forward to your reviews in 2018.

Eshé Brown January 2, 2018 - 2:26 PM

Hi Kim, thank you for following the blog and leaving a comment. That’s very interesting as I’ve never heard a bad word about Cin Cin. I’ve also been lots of times and always had excellent food. It isn’t the cheapest, but since the key ingredients are sourced from Italy and the pasta is made fresh every day I feel you pay for the quality. Perhaps it was just an off day when you visited? Jamie was the sole chef there for a very long time and went almost a whole year without a day off – so perhaps there was a transition period when the new chef came in to take the pressure off him. It’s good to hear of this Cafe Also though I will take a look, thank you. I agree The Urchin is fantastic too and they are always in my Brighton Food Guide and personal recommendations. However, I didn’t get round to eating there last year (too many new places popped up) and for this post I wanted to just talk about where I’d been personally in 2017. Happy New Year to you!

Kimberly Butler January 2, 2018 - 2:58 PM

Yes maybe it was bad day for them. One to watch out for is Manju on Trafalgar Street. Very good vegetarian Indian and the next door is a North African cafe called

Eshé Brown January 4, 2018 - 9:27 PM

Thanks so much Kimberly, I really love the sound of North African food! x

Amanda January 2, 2018 - 6:29 PM

Looking forward to some more great reviews for the coming year ,, maybe a guest slot!!!
If you come as far as WORTHING please try the crab shack on the seafront , it’s the best lunch I had last year ,well worth a visit,!!

Eshé Brown January 4, 2018 - 9:29 PM

Thanks Amanda! Is the Crab shack fish/seafood? I went to The Perch the other day which I think was your recommendation? Lovely views, food was less exciting x

Simon January 4, 2018 - 4:29 PM

Amazing roundup, some places I must try especially Pike & Pine. glad to see Licklemore on there, comfort food at its best. Looking forward to seeing where you visit in 2018

Eshé Brown January 4, 2018 - 9:35 PM

Thank you Simon! Red Roaster/Pike & Pime does a posh Chicken Kiev at lunch time that you’d like! x

Sally Testka January 19, 2018 - 4:46 PM

Hi Eshe, I need your expert advice! What is the best fish restaurant in Brighton, or an amazing place that usually includes fish? It’s my Dad’s birthday coming up and he’s mad on seafood. Thanks so much!

Eshé Brown February 4, 2018 - 9:32 AM

Hi Sally, well, your dad deserves the very best! So I would recommend Little Fish as my first choice. Followed by The Salt Room or Riddle and Finns!

Sally February 4, 2018 - 11:40 AM

Thanks Eshe, that’s brilliant! I will get booking

Mandy Wilson March 20, 2018 - 1:40 PM

Hi Eshe. Having read this post – more than once, I am properly salivating now! My husband and myself have decided to work our way through Brighton’s best restaurants as and when possible, saving the top few for those special occasions during the year. For our anniversary coming up we are trying to make a decision but it’s not easy! We both love fish. He’s more of a meat eater than me. We loved The Salt Room and 64 degrees..have you any suggestions for somewhere special but not stuffy? Amazing but not too ‘out there’ food? Sorry to be so particular! All advice gratefully received. Love your blog, both writing and photography. Thank you!

Eshé Brown March 21, 2018 - 12:32 AM

Hi Mandy, thank you so much for commenting! Well, I think without a doubt it would have to be Little Fish Market as your first choice. The food is absolutely brilliant and it’s really welcoming and not at all stuffy! I also think the new Cin Cin in Hove puts out some top notch food as well but it’s less of a romantic sit down place and a bit more lively – none the less the food and wine is really rather excellent and it would a treat to work your way through the menu. Etch is also a worthwhile option. Have you considered heading out of town? Jeremy’s is well worth the visit to Haywards Heath as well as the new restaurant attached to The Bull in Ditchling (restaurant pub). A very happy anniversary to you and your husband Mandy! X


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.