12b Meeting House Lane Brighton BN1 1HB – The Lanes
Price: £40 per person (drinks excluded)
We chose the third restaurant on the app, after a fresh fish stall and fish and chips. Riddles and Finns lies on the border of ‘The Lanes’ – a small, narrow embroidery of streets in the heart of Brighton. Apparently we made the right choice given the fact that the waiting list was one-hour long. Oh well, it’s summer, we are not in a rush.
Small and essential, the place was only born eight years ago but its nice long marble tables reminds of an old fishery, elegantly dressed with tall silver candle holders.
But it’s not only the location and decor to bring you back in time. The abundance and quality of the menu is absolutely astonishing. We started with squid sautéed with pepper and lemon, pan feed scallops with lemon and parsley, and mussels dressed with capers and cream. We were presented with colourful, fresh, fragrant dishes – the scallops were as big as a fist, plump and seared to perfection. A real banquet laid on our marble table. If I closed my eyes, I’d go back to ninetieth century England, when Miss Sedley and Miss Sharp would spend their lighthearted days of honeymoon in Brighton.
Our starters were followed by some nice gambas with garlic, chilli, lemon and butter – although a bit too chilli for my taste – and an absolutely outstanding pan fried fillet of sea bass with cauliflower puree, roast pumpkin, grilled langoustine, steamed kale and crustacea sauce. I hardly ever had such a good fish jus in my life, the crustacea sauce sat on the plate as a crown on a royal forehead.
Forget about the Brighton pier and the loud beach bars – if you want to indulge into Brighton’s sensorial temptations, Riddles and Finns is the place to go.