Review: Set of Scales, Brighton

Set of Scales is the not so little sister of The Set restaurant at The Artist Residence Hotel.  Turn right for a choice of three tasting menus in the relaxed and stylish restaurant setting, and turn left for a seat at one of the two long canteen-style tables, for the filthiest comfort food you ever did see.

I talked a lot about the venue, interior and team behind The Set in my overview of the meal I had there in the restaurant’s opening month, so check that out for all of the deets and lots of pics too.

When Set of Scales tweeted a competition to send your best fish pic to them for the chance to win a fish burger and a beer, I dug out this little, er beauty, did wonders with the cropping tool (best all round I think) and then added a witty (childish) caption… ho ho ho.

I love winning (almost as much as being right) and fish, and burgers, so when there was a chance to combine my three, longterm loves- I was in there like swimwear.  After entering I promptly forgot all about it, until receiving a reply saying I had in fact won, I was well happy.

This menu reads like the filthiest short story you’ve read in your life,  I wanted every last thing on it. Looking at the above, any vegans hoping to eat here may be fresh out of luck… oh well, from the constant turnover of the seats around us, it doesn’t look like they need to worry about incorporating a mung bean burger into their line up any time soon…

They also need to be commended on their unusual and brilliant selection of ‘chip shop pop’- I was on the booze or I’d deffo have been getting involved with a Rubicon and a cream soda, too.

Rhubarb Martini – £8

Cod cheeks with crispy ham hock – £9

It was astonishingly good, so good that I actually jumped up and down on the spot in excitement afterwards, when telling the guys in the kitchen how much I’d enjoyed it. My date had the same and he was just as enamoured with his as I was with mine. Let me break it down for you:

The bun: glazed brioche buns made on the premises with lilliput capers baked into them in place of the usual sesame seeds. In my review of The Set I had a little moan about the dehydrated capers that garnished one of the dishes, but in this context, they were a really nice touch. The bun was sturdy enough to keep it all together until 3/4 of the way through- impressive, I thought.

The filling: The cod cheeks came in a light and super crisp ‘kentucky fried’ coating with crispy ham hock on top. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything similar on a menu before, they need to trademark that shiz, pronto.

The extras: Coca Cola onions!?! absolutely genius, smoky, silky and sweet- the perfect bed-fellow for the crispy meat and fish. I need to get whoever topped the burger with the jalapeño mayonnaise, and make them teach me how to do it, it was a work of art!

Meatball fries: £7

They were everything they promised and everything I needed them to be. Nothing was scrimped on with generous helpings of melted cheese, delicious, firm little meatballs and lots of jalapeños, which gave it all a nice kick. I’d definitely recommend ordering them. Even if you don’t think you ‘need’ them as well, you really really do.

Mars bar and marshmallow brownie: £7

Another dish that rendered both of us speechless (quite an achievement) until we’d finished eating, other than many, many appreciative noises. Where to start?! The ice-cream perched on top was in fact, doughnut flavour. The jam was almost identical to that found in jammy dodger biscuits, enrobed in a silky ice-cream, which definitely lived up to their claim of tasting like doughnuts. The brownie itself was outrageous. Toothachingly yet perfectly sweet, it was gooey in all the right places with generous slabs of mars bar and marshmallow throughout. I’m not sure why we shared, I could definitely have demolished the lot myself.

My burger and beer were on the house but I thought £28 for the rest was an absolute bargain. Although looking at that bill now they gave me the meatball fries for free too, the babes.

It’s pretty clear from the explosion of adjectives and rhapsodising above, that I loved it. Did I prefer it to my food at The Set? Yes, yes I really did. Every element of this meal was outstanding, the service on point and I think they’ve done a really lovely job with the space too. I have zero negative feedback about the whole experience and will definitely be back, ASAP.

Have you been to Set of Scales or The Set? What did you have? Comment below or hit me up on any of my social media (links top below) x

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  1. August 8, 2015 / 4:59 pm

    I haven't been to Set of Scales but I thought I'd draw your attention to a new pizza place just next to the Hare and Hounds at Preston Circus. I didn't go in but it looked quite packed on Friday afternoon. It looks like they've got a proper brick oven in there, but I don't know if it's for working or for show.

    • September 17, 2015 / 9:00 am

      Hi kelvin,
      I went last week, review to follow, thanks so much for the recommendation! and do let me know if you try Set of Scales, it's the dog's bollocks!

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