When I was invited to come and review The Chimney House I jumped at the chance. I’d already been in for a roast and really enjoyed it, rating it a solid 8/10- I’ve heard countless amounts of great feedback since then too so I was excited to try more of the menu.
I apologise in advance for the fact there’s no prices, my meal was free of charge as they invited me to review and I didn’t make a note at the time (bad blogger and most unlike me!). I requested a copy of the menu that I had but didn’t hear back, so this will have to do.
*header pic taken from their Twitter
Salted butter and lots of it- tick
When I ordered this I was imagining more fatty and less airy… a spin in the chef’s new dehydrator put paid to that.. Not really what I’m after in a bar snack at all. My Mum loved it though!
I loved everything about these, plump, tart, bouncy and the smear of alioli that came with it offset the sharpness of the vinegar beautifully.
My Mum had a glass of Prosecco and I had one of the Orange sours cocktails after the lady looking after us suggested it to me- and I’m glad she did because it tasted gorgeous. Looking back at my notes from the meal I had just written YES.
Crispy pigs head
As soon as I saw this on the menu I knew that it was the only one for me. To me they seemed to be more of a fritter than a croquette, but I certainly wasn’t complaining. The crispy coating yielded, giving way to a beautifully seasoned meaty filling which went perfectly with the picquant and peppery homemade Hawthorne ketchup.
Spelt crisp bread, smoked egg yolk
I really am not a fan of the presentation. I’ve said all I’m going to about the slates, but for some reason I find the presentation of this slightly jarring and out of place in a pub. The capers had also been given the dehydration treatment (sigh)- I love a caper, but if you take away everything that’s good about them, what you’re left with is… what you can see at the top right of the slate. This was actually my Mum’s dish and she wasn’t very keen on it either, particularly the smoked egg yolk.
Fish & Chips with curry sauce and pickled egg
YES. Now this is the sort of thing that I want to be seeing on a pub menu, hake with deliciously crisp batter, made with local Harvey’s beer and chips that you know actually were hand-cut on the premises. This was my Mum’s, I would’ve ordered it myself but being the model daughter that I am (now) let my old dear have it and I ordered something else for the purpose of the review. She loved it and ate it all, bar the pickled egg, apparently they make her ‘nervous’.
This, for me, was missing something, probably a sauce and some sort of potato element. I could’ve ordered chips to go with it for an extra £4… but I think that’s a bit cheeky considering the main course itself was about £15. The meat was lovely, the surrounding fat had formed a kind of crackling crust around the meat which was very nice indeed, as were the veg it came with. What was there was really good, but as a whole was vaguely unsatisfactory.
Rhubarb, custard and ginger
I love rhubarb. I once said this to a man I was dating, his response: ‘You would do. It’s bitter when raw but lovely when handled correctly. You are fucken rhubarb’… I’d like to say he was wrong, but…
Anyway I digress, this came highly recommended by the lovely waitress, as soon as I’d seen rhubarb I was sold but she went on to describe a fritter filled with molten custard, when in reality it had an almost scrambled egg consistency. The batter on the outside tasted of ‘pier donuts’, which slightly redeemed the curdy mass of custard within. The sweet & sour forced rhubarb cut through the stodge and the ginger nut crumble added a nice crunchy element. As a whole it wasn’t unpleasant, it just didn’t live up to my expectations.
Sea buckthorn with Italian meringue
This was my Mum’s and reminded me very much of something you’d see at 64 Degrees or perhaps The Set. Collectively not my cup of tea at all but all of the individual elements were delicious and unusual. The bruléed Italian meringue was as blissfully marshmallow-like within as it looks and went beautifully with the puree and sorbet of sea buckthorn which had a sherbet like tang to it. We both enjoyed it, but I would plump for an Eton mess or pavlova any day of the week, especially in a pub.
#Toiletcam – mega dated but all present and correct
Reading this back it’s coming across as a bit luke warm, and I don’t mean it to, we had a great evening. Everything we ate tasted good, the service was fabulous and the atmosphere was surprisingly buzzy for early on a Thursday night too. I suppose I’m just hankering for a pub which sells good, high quality ‘pub grub’, with less of an emphasis on dehydration and twiddly garnishes… The search continues.
Have you been to The Chimney House? Can you recommend anywhere for decent and proper old school pub grub in Brighton or Hove? Please do comment below or tweet me x