The Gingerman Brighton has got to be one of Brighton’s best fine dining restaurants. A small, intimate restaurant, located just off Norfolk Square, is so easy to miss, but The Gingerman is truly a hidden gem. So last week, as The Gingerman is V’s absolute favourite restaurant, I thought I’d surprise her by booking her an impromptu date night on one of our rare evenings together, so we could spend some quality time together over some amazing food and drink.
The Gingerman is part of a small group of restaurants dotted in and around Brighton, each with a unique style and menu. The Gingerman, the flagship of the group, has a philosophy to create ‘uncomplicated, full-flavoured food, made from the freshest, highest quality seasonal produce’ and with their ever-changing menu they never fail to impress.
One of the things I love about The Gingerman is that the staff are just so friendly and tailor your dining experience to your personal requirements. We spoke about dietary requirements and allergies right at the beginning and all dishes were fully explained with detailed recommendations too. I explained I wasn’t drinking alcohol and they suggested they could make me a non-alcoholic mocktail of sparkling water, elderflower with mint, which was a lovely personal touch.
So, onto our food….
Every meal at The Gingerman starts with an amuse bouche, we had ours specially created as we both opted for vegetarian choices.
We then had freshly baked, warm bread served with a selection of butter infusions. My favourite has got to be the honey and truffle butter, as the butter melted into the warm bread it was just heavenly.
We both opted for the same starter, the Pear, Walnut & Chicory Salad (Pear Purée, Pickled, Walnut Purée, Caramelised Chicory, Blue Cheese). This dish was a real whirlwind of flavours, I started off trying each ingredient separately, but soon found that this was a dish best combined in every mouthful, with the sharp bitterness of the chicory and the sweetness of the pear perfectly balanced and complemented the sharp flavours. A really unique combination of foods and textures in one dish.
V went for the Goats Cheese Crotin (Caper & Raisin Purée, Pickled Girolles, Confit Tomatoes, Toasted Hazelnuts) for her main course. The dish looks small in quantity, but the goats cheese crotin was so rich it made it the ideal sized portion, with the vegetables and toasted nuts the perfect complement. V enjoyed this dish and when I asked for her feedback, she replied ‘it was HOT!’ (as in a bit sexy, not spicy!) so there you go. Food blogger she may not be, but honest, yes!
My main course was from the specials board. Alongside the A la Carte menu, there is always a couple of specials to choose from which change frequently, so make sure to find out what the specials are too. My choice was the fish of the day, Loch Duart Salmon with Lemon & Fennel Risotto (Smoked Beetroot, Broad beans and Horseradish Velouté). It’s funny how a taste can instantly transport you back in time or place far away, well, upon the first mouthful of this dish I was instantly back in Thailand, a trip I did quite a number of years ago now. I didn’t expect an oriental taste, but the mix of flavours, especially the smoked beetroot just took me back to memories of sitting on the street in Bangkok, eating smokey rustic Thai street food. It was a flavour I have not experienced since in the UK so I loved being reminded of such great times. The Scottish salmon was just the highest quality, fresh and cooked to perfection.
Lastly, the desserts. Always my favourite part of the meal! I opted for the Rhubarb & Custard (Jelly, Poached, Sorbet, Tartlet, Gingerbread) which I sadly didn’t get a decent photo of, just a dark blur that realy wouldn’t do it justice. However, my pudding was the perfect treat for any rhubarb lover, with a selection of rhubarb flavours, from fresh chunks of rhubarb to golden coloured jelly, this dish was again a combination of sharp tartness juxtaposed with the sweetness of the sorbet with gingerbread crumbs for crunch. V went for the Milk Chocolate Delice (Salted Peanut Ice Cream & Popcorn Crumb) which was one of the richest chocolate puddings I’ve ever tasted (and I eat a lot of chocolate puddings!) It reminded me of eating a rich chocolate cake-mix, before it’s baked.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal out at The Gingerman Brighton. The personal service, attention to detail and intimate dining area make it a real treat and a great place to go for a special occasion, birthday or for a romantic date night.
Prices are set at 2 courses for £32 and 3 courses for £37. This is on the higher end of what we’d usually pay for a meal out, but for the quality I think the prices are justified. With our bill coming to over £100 for two, it isn’t somewhere we’d go everyday but the perfect place for a special treat once in a while. I’m sure we’ll be back again soon.