We were chatting about Terre à Terre in the SOURCE office the other day and discovered that none of us had been for over a decade. Sure, it’s the most famous restaurant in Brighton, but have we started taking it for granted? Maybe it was time to head back and remind ourselves why the vegetarian restaurant has fans not just across Brighton but across the whole country.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the verbosity of the menu. Many of the dishes have 30-word descriptions of what’s in them, not everything obvious to the layman (“tamarind relish with channa rasam” anyone?). Despite the complexity, the food comes quickly and is stunningly presented. And the dishes taste every bit as good as they look. There’s no reason when making a meal for yourself to put cheese, curry and fried potato together (other than them being the best things in the world), but put your faith in the chefs and you’ll be rewarded with Rosti Raj (£14.65), a kind of hash brown with griddled tandoori halloumi, fresh coconut and 10 other perfectly chosen ingredients. The Aubergine Dengaku (£14.50) is another gamble but another win – a Japanese miso-and-sake-glazed aubergine dish which is wonderfully indulgent. We’re pleasantly surprised that what looked like guacamole turned out to be velvety pesto, which was delicious with the endemame beans. The desserts rock in at £8.10 each, but are very good indeed – the clementine sorbet and ‘spoon cream’ making the chocolate and hazelnut Nutty Tart into three puddings in one. The Nosey Parkin, a sticky pudding with stem ginger and baked rhubarb, has just as much going on.
Yeah, it’s expensive, but Terre à Terre is one of the few world class restaurants in Brighton. Most times we all know our meals by heart but the new flavours here jump out and surprise you. The carnivore end of the Secret Eater team didn’t even moan about missing meat, so that’s saying something.
WERE WE SUSSED
No. Why wouldn’t you take photos of food this beautiful?
East St (01273) 729051
Mon-Fri, noon-10.30pm; Sat 11am-11pm, Sun, 11am-10pm