The Chilli Pickle, 17 Jubilee Street, Brighton BN1 1GE
After a full day wandering the streets of Brighton, including the obligatory walk along the beach and pier, we were totally ravenous and ready for our Indian feast. Upon hearing about the Chilli Pickle‘s recent awards, we had pretty high hopes. Winners of top gong at The British Curry Awards 2010 for most innovative restaurant, as well as being in the 50 Best UK Curry Houses in the Independent, also awarded a Michelin BiB Gourmand and 2 AA rosettes awarded this year. Those hopes were met and exceeded. Inside wasn’t what we expected, a bit Leony with shelves and industrial style lighting that is becoming expected (almost obligatory) in almost every restaurant we eat in.
They have recently moved from their old home, at Meeting House Lane where they spent two and a half years, to join forces with myhotel. Still a much-loved independent restaurant, they have gone from strength to strength. Husband and wife team Dawn and Alun had both travelled to India on numerous occasions, with a shared passion for it’s food and culture as well as an inspirational stint with Vivek Singh at The Cinnamon Club and a big Indian influence in the kitchens in Dubai.
Touchingly, they have taken on a number of students from Newhaven College, and India and Nepal who are over studying hospitality and are on work placement. Plus a young chef from Equador who they’re helping to complete his NVQ level 2.
The waitress was helpful in explaining the menu and recommending dishes to suit us. Especially Ade and his sensitivity to spicy food (Thailand’s going to be fun for him…) We treated ourselves and shared a Meantime IPA (India Pale Ale), which comes in a champagne-like bottle, enough for about four glasses.
My starter of Chicken Momos Spiced chicken mince steamed dumplings served with smoked pepper, chutney and chicken spring onion broth, £6.80 Something I’ve never tried before, totally gorgeous soft and squidgy, the texture and balanced flavours of these little parcels of gorgeousness were amazing, four simply wasn’t enough. Ade’s Green Pea Kebabs, Crispy green pea fritters served with tamarind and fresh pear chutney, £4.60, were much milder. But he loved the pear chutney, he would take sweet over spicy any day!
Main was Chicken Chettinad Paper Dosa tandoor baked free range chicken in a hot spiced coconut ,curry leaf & black pepper gravy, served with tomato chutney, ginger chutney and crispy paper dosa £12.95 with Pilau rice £2.85, warming and filling, perfect for a cold Brighton evening. Served with a side of Sweet pineapple pickle £1.75 suggested by Rosie @RosieAllOver. Brilliant recommendation, it added a welcome sweetness to the spice.
Ade had the Mutton Biryani cooked in a sealed pot with Sussex mutton, saffron, cinnamon, served with boiled egg, riata, cucumber salad and a side of smoked aubergine crush £13.95
Desserts were interesting, they pair a homemade Indian sweet with an ice cream. I had the subtle Gulkand Rose with date and ginger candy £3.75 and Ade the Velvet chocolate & orange pot with clotted cream and cashew jaggery toffee £5.50. Followed by a smokey Lapsang Souchong tea £3 for Ade and a warming mug of Chai for me, the only other chai I’ve had other than Dishoom, didn’t have quite the same kick to it, was more milky and delicate.
The Chilli Pickle
17 Jubilee Street
Lunch 12 – 3 Dinner 6 – 10.30