Category Archives: Food & Drink

Awards Time – The Whistles

It’s awards time in Brighton and Hove with Brighton’s Best crowning Bincho Yakatori, Palmito and Burnt Orange as the top three places to eat. 

Meanwhile, Flint House received a Bib Gourmand and the Bravos will announce its kings and queens on April 4th. But what about The Whistles? The what? Well, there’s little more discerning taste buds in Brighton and Hove than those who can pucker up like you lot, and so we tried it out. We called for your top three, and you responded.

 ‘Oooo!’ says Toby Moore. ‘1. Flint House; 2. Mange tout; 3. Fatto Mano.’

Lou Gasparelli, who’s got a bit of a rep in Whistler Towers for spotting a good ‘un, says:

‘Bincho, Burnt Orange, Chilli Pickle’ as her top three. But wait, she has more! ‘And for pizza, Pronto In Tavola & Nanninellas. But I also love Fourth and Church when I’ve got a bit of extra cash.

I really enjoyed Roundhill restaurant (vegan). And for cheapest eats… ‘You can’t go wrong with Pompoko and Goemen Ramen’. 

Alison Vernon-Smith still loves 64 Degrees but ‘for wedding anniversaries only! At the other end of the scale – the Helm Ston Cafe. Stupid name and tiny place, but fab food’.  

Tim Mortimer is serious about his food: ‘The chart hasn’t changed pop-pickers….. Market; Flint House; Plateau (despite eye-watering wine prices)’

Rheanna Davidge-Huxley says ‘Curry leaf cafe for affordable, but super delicious curry. Also if you go a lunchtime you can get thali and dosa’. 

Sara Furse is all over Curry Leaf too, but votes it third after Unithai and Milk, No Sugar. 

But there are clear winners emerging:  Jenny Atherton says ‘Burnt Orange. Palmito. Riddles’.  Amanda Murphy says ‘Burnt Orange, Plateau, Urchin. But then there’s ‘Riddle & Finn, Flint House, Market, Chilli Pickle’.  

Cut Ceri Barnes and she bleeds Flint House. Guess what she says: ‘Flint House; Chilli Pickle; Woolfies.’ Hang on! Is that true, our Ceri?  ‘I nearly said Flint House Flint House Flint House’. (Ed: I’m with Ceri. Can’t beat Flint House. Top notch food and a very fine way with a Negroni)

Jacqui Loton is down at Little Fish Market ‘always’ but adds ‘Bincho, Palmito, Fourth and Church, Wild Flor…Bonsai if you want to go vegan’.  ‘Oooh so hard,’ says Kathy Caton. ‘It depends on the mood – Palmito, Bincho Yakitori … and I still adore the original Gingerman too.’ 

Liz Aggiss never follows the pack: ‘Vel in Kemp Town, Cin Cin Hove, Bankers’ while Karen Rose is backing the clear winners. ‘Bincho, Fourth & Church, Market.’

So… (drumroll)..

The results of the inaugural Whistles are … 

In third place: Riddle and Finn, Plateau and the Chilli Pickle

In second place: Market, Fourth and Church, Burnt Orange and Palmito.

And the loudest Whistles go to… Bincho Yakitori and Flint House.

Gull About Town – April 2023

There’s been so much food news in town recently, it could turn a bird’s head. There’s the latest wins from Gull favourites Bincho Yakitori, Palmito and Burnt Orange scooping the top three at the Brighton’s Best Awards,  and new collaborations all over town. Isaac at Isaac at has teamed up with former head chef at Terre a Terre, Dave Marrow at Embers on Meeting House Lane. Just up the road, the super talented Aaron Dalton who’s been turning his own house into Four Restaurant, has been lending a hand at Furna. And Dan Kenny at The Set has brought Bangkok to Brighton at Kab, without compromising his signature commitment to home grown ingredients.  Even his wasabi comes from Hampshire and Dorset.

For more titbits, the Gull will be cocking her head to listen in to the Brighton Whistler podcast chats with Duncan Ray at The Little Fish Market and Maddy Riches at Dilsk, the new restaurant at Drakes. Beady eyed foodies will have spotted Maddy as front of house manager at Murmur, and with former 64 degrees chef, Tom Stephens, she’ll be sourcing from ethical growers & local producers, in and around East Sussex. A big whistle to them for supporting our free roaming pals across the county. 

And as the weather brightens, your gull has been stretching her wings and heading for the hills to check in on her pasture-fed friends and find the best morcels out of town. The Ram in the unspeakably picture-book pretty village  of Firle is almost on the seagull flight path from the to Seven Sisters, and a popular spot for holidaying birds. Its courtyard dining space is a particular favourite for a weekend lunch of lamb or beef from Place Farm who once grazed in the grounds of next door’s Firle Place. The game on the menu all comes from Firle Estate and most of its fish is from the mighty fine Brighton and Newhaven Fish in Shoreham. 

Next, it’s a straight thermal to The Crabtree in West Sussex, as the crow flies, anyway, with a quick dive into a memory in Prince Albert Street. Great Uncle Gull still tells stories of the hippy birds who perched around Brighton’s trailblazing vegetarian, Food for Friends back in the nineties. Word had reached them that Simon Hope from the properly pioneering Food For Thought in Covent Garden was bringing some of its spirit to Brighton, and cool-hunters that they were, they hung around the bins to catch the first wave. And they were right; as vegetarians swooped in, it wasn’t long before two of its chefs, Amanda Powley and Philip Taylor would cross the road and set up their own groovy veggie, Terre a Terre and crown this fine city (then town) the best vegetarian in the UK.  

Twenty years on, what should your bird spot, but Simon Hope himself, now lord of The Crabtree near Bolney, tucking into what looks rather than a steak. But relax; this is from Trenchmore Farm where Brighton’s best restaurateurs do their shopping, where the cows are pasture fed and get to snack on the mulch of the apple leftovers from its Silly Moo cider and sleep on straw from home-grown wheat. Vegetarians may prefer the goats cheese with Piccalilli, but your Gull spotted a rather juicy leftover tempura oyster to suck on as she caught the evening thermal back to Brighton. And as the sun set over the West Pier, not for the first time she pondered of what a very lucky Gull she is too.