Three Little Birds is a new restaurant in Hove focusing on rustic mixed European food with a modern twist. The restaurant is cosy and simply decorated; you get a sense of warmth from the wooden flooring and softly lit interior. There is a small bar at the back serving beers and wine as well as coffee and tea. The place seats 35 inside and a further 15 outside where there is also a fire pit, which was wonderful to have at this time of year. Three Little Birds is a family run business aiming to be an inclusive hub in the heart of Hove, serving both lunch and dinner.
The place opened at the end of last year, but we attended a launch party where the public were invited for a taster evening to sample the menu. It was a great opportunity to get an overview of what they have on offer. As a disclaimer we do know the head chef at the restaurant but we tried all the same food as everyone else.
The majority of the tables were cleared to make room for everyone to stand and chat while enjoying a glass of complimentary Prosecco. Trays full of food samples were regularly brought out from the kitchen, beautifully presented on silver trays and wooden boards or served from large bowls and given out in samples. We tried as much as the food as we could get our hands on, as did the friends we had brought with us.
First we tried the drizzled mozzarella and tomato cocktail sticks, a classic combination that was all the better with fresh cheese and sweet tomatoes. This was followed by the vegan bean and pearl barley stew which was a wonderfully satisfying winter warmer.
Next up we tried the beef goulash with chunks of good quality tender beef in a rich sauce, which really came together thanks to the excellent array of fresh bread for dipping. We have to admit we spent quite a bit of the night trying the fresh bread and dipping it in the oils and sesame dips on offer. One of the samples that didn’t work so well was the soup served in shot glasses and garnished with spring onion. However, this was followed by the aromatic and comforting paella, fresh prawns marinated in garlic butter and dangerously moreish patatas bravas.
Our favourite dish of the evening was the mini vegan pies; these delicate flaky pastries contained tender vegetables and were decorated with little swirls of green guacamole. The most surprising taster came in the form of the salmon ceviche with kiwi and radish. Not a combination we expected to like, but the tender fish with the sharp kiwi and peppery radish on top worked really well – and they were very popular. We were gutted to find out we left before they served brownie squares with cherry sauce.
In a city seemingly saturated with new places selling burgers, it’s great to see a new family run restaurant doing something different and quite unique. The launch party was very busy so it’s clear that Three Little Birds is offering cuisine people want. It feels like a place you can pop into from the cold for a light bite and a drink – or somewhere you might book a table with a group of friends to enjoy wholesome rustic meals and fresh seafood. There is a large variety of options on offer, which can sometimes means a restaurant is trying to do too much, but here all the food was cooked very well and full of flavour. We’d like to return to try a three course meal, and with both vegan and vegetarian options on the menu, we’re sure the friend who came with us will want to return as well.