In an effort to see the seaside before the summer disappears on us, Sam and I caught the train down to Brighton for a day.
Brighton is just a little bit strange. I guess Brighton proper really just is for the tourists as it has a very Surfers Paradise feel (without the golden beaches), but on a small suburb scale. Sam thought it reminded him a bit of Brighton-Le Sands beach in Sydney – which if you are from Sydney you’ll understand it’s not exactly the greatest compliment.
So heres how the day went. The sunshine (+1), pebble beach (-2), penny slot machines at the pier (+1), wildlife photography exhibition (+1), walk to hove (-1), dinner at ginger pig (+2). Overall +2.
We chose to eat at The Ginger Pig following recommendation from Brighton based blogger Graphic foodie and London blogger Gourmet Chick. The pub is actually in Hove, a suburb up from Brighton and a fair 30 minute walk from Brighton proper. Had we known how long the walk was we probably would have caught a bus, but nonetheless we managed to get there for our booking in time – and lucky we thought to make a booking as even at 6:30pm when the doors opened, locals were pouring into this place.
The Ginger Pig is more gastropub than pub, with very little area dedicated to the pub itself. Many of the tables in the pub side were set up for diners on the Friday night we were visiting, which wouldn’t have been the most pleasant dining experience as you would be forever surround by waiting diners drinking at the bar.
My first impressions of the restaurant were really positive. Choosing to order our first drink at the bar, we were tossing up between two different bottles of wine and before we could even ask for it, the barman served up tasters of the wines we were considering. A nice touch I thought, especially since if we were in London, even at a nice establishment, we would generally have to ask oh-so-nicely for a taster.
After sitting down, bread and lemon ice water arrived without asking, which got me liking the restaurant even more. The menu noted that produced was locally sourced and consisted of 5 starters and 5-6 mains. A few extra starters and mains were on the specials board and all were around the bargain price of £5-6 for starters and £12-17 for mains.
Our starter of Soused sesame sea-trout was even better tasting than the alliteration suggested. The sea-trout was lightly cured in citrus and wasabi then served alongside an apple avocado and radish salad. The texture of the sea-trout was really tender and perfectly cured, the avocado rich and apple and radish giving it fabulous texture. A real success of a dish and a bargain at £6.
Our second starter was a special of Grilled duck breast salad, picked vanilla carrots, candied radishes and hazelnuts. The vanilla carrots were really tasty working really well with the salted hazelnuts. Unfortunately the duck breast was over and there lacked a dressing or sauce on the plate to bring the whole dish together.
Sam opted for the main of loin rabbit rolled with black pudding, rabbit leg and mash (£16.50). The leg meat was tender and juicy, but the loin was a overpowered by the black pudding. Not necessarily a bad thing though as I love my black pudding, but I did completely forget I was eating rabbit. The creamy mash however was amazing!
Skate (£15.50) was grilled, cartilage attached, served over a delicious dill crushed potatoes and beets. Apparently skate is grilled with cartilage to maintain moisture, but I do find it a bit troublesome to eat, especially if you accidently catch a bit of cartilage in your bite.
I generally don’t order dessert as I am never really tempted by the selection but I couldn’t look past the Lemon Curd & Marscapone tart with ginger ice cream. OMG it was delicious. Sam actually chose to order a port instead of dessert but ended up stealing all he could from my plate.
The Ginger Pig
3 Hove Street
Hove, BN3 2TR