I’ve lived in Brighton on and off since I was 18 so I was shocked and surprised I’d managed to let a visit to Indian Summer slip the net, seeing as I am an absolute fiend for Indian food. So a couple of a months ago I excited opened an email to their 15th Birthday party, I jumped at the chance to finally give this elusive restaurant a go, although as I looked at the invitation – we were in Paris that week, doh! I swear this one just keeps getting away from me! However, a few weeks later, as I missed the big shindig, the team kindly asked me in for a meal to finally get my fill of the Indian food I’d been missing all these years! So V and I headed down for a date night and a meal at Indian Summer.
The first thing that I noticed that sets Indian Summers apart, is that the inside the decor is sleek, smart and sophisticated, which is quite different from lots of Indian restaurants I’ve been to before. Low-level lighting sets the mood to an intimate space, perfect for dates and quiet meals with friends, with larger tables at the back adorned with huge chandeliers for bigger groups. Indian Summer has an interesting history – the restaurant was founded in 2001 by Minesh Agnihotri, who gave up a career making medical prosthetics and Byron Swales, whose family was forced to flee Burma in a wooden plane. They both had a mission to bring authentic cooking to Brighton, so they then recruited a team of talented chefs drawn from across various Indian regions to offer truly pan-Indian fine dining and have been going ever since!
The menu is varied and as a vegetarian, I found lots of lovely options to chose from. However, to start with over a delicious homemade Mango Lassi, we had to start with my favourite, Papads and Pickles.
As our starters arrived, we were both served a little amuse-bouche, which was like a spicy tomato soup, just the perfect amount of spice to make the lips tingle and cleanse the palette. I decided to opt for the Tandoori Salmon, which arrived served in a smoked cumin and orange raita. I’d never tasted salmon and orange together, the combination was just divine! V went for the Onion Aubergine Pakoda which arrived beautifully presented with a tasty coriander chutney and tamarind sauce.
For our mains, I absolutely LOVE a Thali, so I just knew this was the option for me. I think I love it as it’s the opportunity to try so many little ‘mini dishes’ on one plate, the Vegetarian Thali included a mix platter of vaal subzi, sev tomato paneer, aloo subzi and dal, served with pickle, papad, roti and rice. What a mix! There is a little bit of everything on the plate and a whirlwind of flavours, I absolutely loved every mouthful. They also can offer the Thali as a vegan and gluten free option, which is fab too. V had her absolute favourite dish in Indian Cuisine, Shakahari Paneer – a mezze of tandoori paneer, spinach and potato tikki, sev tomato paneer and basmati rice. I was lucky enough to try some of the tandoori paneer and it was so perfectly flavourful and rich – delicious!
We rounded our meal off with a dessert to share as we were SO full from our Indian feast but I am a bad blogger and forgot to photograph it! I think I had a few sips of Gaviscon at this point too! (#pregnancyproblems)
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Indian Summer and I wonder how in 15 years this wonderful place had managed to slip the net. I would certainly consider it in the future for date nights or even special meals out with family and friends. It’s not just your average Indian, it has something special about it so I’d probably save my next visit for a special occasion for a real treat!
Indian Summer is located on East Street, Brighton – You can book a table online or give them a call on 01273 711001.
We were invited to Indian Summer for a complimentary meal in return for an honest review – All words and opinions are my own