Review: 1847 Vegetarian Restaurant, Brighton

I’m hardly what you’d call an afficiando of vegetarian food. I cook it a lot at home, but when I’m eating out, then the chances are, there’ll be some sort of flesh consumption occurring (apologies to any non-meat eaters reading this), but that’s not to say I’m opposed to it in a restaurant setting.

1847 is part of a chain who boast ‘modern, innovative vegetarian food and drink’ and they set up shop in Brighton late last year, at the bottom of North Road in one of *those* sites which seems to change hands a lot.

I didn’t actually pay for my meal, as they invited me to review, but 2 courses for £19.50 or 3 for £25 – for a menu with no meat, on this pricing structure, seemed keen as mustard, to me.  It might well be the reason I’m seeing perpetual tweets from the local radio station, offering a 50% discount to eat there… Check out the full summer menu over on their website.

Nibbles – £2.50 each

Pakora

I’m sure all of you at one time or another will have grabbed a ‘takeaway curry’ from the chiller aisle at your local supermarket? Well picture the Indian starter selection, albeit a nice one from M&S or Waitrose, say, and what we were served to start wasn’t far off that.  The yoghurt vaguely hinted at the coriander flavour it was meant to have, but the fennel seemed to have been put there more for show than anything else.

Goats Cheese Balls

Goats cheese balls, what do you imagine when you conjure up a mental picture of them? I envisaged some kind of fritter, something hot with a crispy outside and an oozing innard, sound about right? Well what I actually got left me cold… colder than the fridge temperature cheese ball which had been rolled in something crumbly and tasteless. The dehydrated apple slices brought nothing to the party, and there’s definitely a joke in there about the 90’s calling and wanting their Melba toasts back too…

‘Fish’ & chips

Undoubtedly the best bit of the meal. It was almost spooky how like a piece of well cooked battered cod, they got this halloumi to taste. Mum and I both loved it, but, would we did both comment on how a vegetarian might feel about eating something so very flesh-like.

Surf & Turf

The aubergine was very definitely the ‘star’ of this fairly lacklustre show, but I’m not sure how much I’d have enjoyed it without the generous slick of garlic and herb butter.  I exchanged the Jersey Royal potatoes it was supposed to come with, for chips, which were only ok – my Mum’s tasted like they’d come out of the frier a lot more recently than mine had. The seaweed salad would definitely have benefitted from any kind of dressing at all, and the slaw was bitter, SO bitter. What I was served was about 80% kohl rabi to 20% carrot – had it have been 50/50 it would’ve been a lot more enjoyable.

Scottish trifle

It’s not often I say this about something, especially not a trifle, but I truly hated every aspect of it. It was just all wrong. The sponge element at the bottom was dense and unpleasant tasting, the liquid custard was completely dominated by the overly tart coulis and the shards of jelly didn’t taste of the whiskey they claimed to be flavoured with at all. I’m not sure how the good people of Scotland would feel about being associated with this…

When the waitress cleared our plates and asked what we didn’t like about it, we had to politely say that we hadn’t liked any of it at all. Awkward, but she took it like a champ, to be fair to her.

Passion

I had mixed feelings about this, I enjoyed the flavour but the texture was a bit too bitty for either of our liking. I know that might sound slightly ridiculous as it was a chia seed pudding, but I reckon they could’ve swapped 50% of the seeds for more of the custard and it would’ve made for a much more pleasant experience, especially given that it was garnished with passion fruit – even more seeds!

Whatever the spice they’d mixed in with the clotted cream was, well, I hope I never have to eat that flavour combination again, it managed to taste spicy and rancid at the same time – I disliked it with a ‘passion’.

If I had to sum up my evening at 1847 in a sentence it would be: Nice plants, shame about the food.
I wanted to be able to say I loved it, but in reality, I didn’t even really like it very much.  The interior was ok and the service improved vastly after someone told our waitress I was there to review, but I wouldn’t go back, nor would I recommend.

Have you been to 1847? Which is your favourite vegetarian restaurant in Brighton? Comment below or hit me up on any of my social networks (links below).

*any meals which were free of charge are clearly stated or marked with an asterisk, you can read my full disclaimer here.


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13 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    May 9, 2016 / 5:29 pm

    It's particularly dreadful that the service improved when they realised you were reviewing. I don't think they should have been told really, though I don't know how you'd get it free in that case.

    • May 10, 2016 / 10:17 am

      It's a real pity, but they're going to need to do better than they are if they don't want to be relying on 50% off vouchers to bulk up their business!

  2. May 9, 2016 / 7:13 pm

    The best vegetarian food in Brighton is Helmston, no contest. Iydea is not too bad either. It's perhaps significant that neither attempts to be "fine" dining; I find that when vegetarian places try to go posh they end up a bit naff, like 1847.

    • May 10, 2016 / 10:16 am

      Oooooh I have never heard of Helmston, will look it up! I went to Idea once, years ago. Really want to try Terre A Terre too.

    • May 14, 2016 / 6:36 pm

      Actually Rootcandi is the smarter dining arm of Iydea!

  3. May 11, 2016 / 9:17 pm

    I'm afraid we ate there when they'd just opened and it was very similar to what you describe: I hoped it was teething troubles. Iydea food is tastier and better seasoned. And in a city with Terre a Terre and Food for Friends, you have to do better. The bar is rather lovely, though, and the drinks a little different.

    • May 12, 2016 / 3:51 pm

      I'm hearing this a lot… such a pity, and particularly unforgivable in a city like this and with so much competition! I haven't been to Terre a Terre for about a decade and is very high up my list – find FFF a bit hit and miss but very popular all the same.

  4. May 16, 2016 / 10:23 am

    I went there yesterday with really high hopes and left completely unimpressed. Firstly our bloody marys turned up with no garnish whatsoever. On the menu it said it came with olives, pickled bell peppers however came with nothing and no explanation. They did however discount later for this without us asking. The pickled beetroot and spicy cashew starter was literally a plate of pickled beetroot with a couple of cashews, massive disappointment. The main, "fish n chips", was the highlight as you mentioned, but then I can get these from the Signalman for half the price! The service was shocking, granted the waitress was new which we completely understood, but then to add a service charge anyway to a table of three I thought was quite cheeky too ,especially given the how bad it was. The host was great though and did well to counterbalance any poor experience but sadly the negatives outweighed the positives. I'd go Wai KiKi Moo Cau or The Hope and Ruin all day over this.

    • May 18, 2016 / 11:23 am

      Oh dear oh dear… seems to be a running theme with all of the comments I'm getting on here and on social media. They also don't have any idea about social media either as they just retweeted this review… AWKWARD!

  5. May 24, 2016 / 5:10 pm

    Ouch. Hehe 🙂 Re Terre à Terre, I ate there recently, after a similar gap as you of about a decade. I was disappointed. I had remembered such creativity and interesting flavours, but they had the same or v similar things on the menu to 15 years ago, and it was all just very dull. Not sure if that's because the flavours are more mainstream now and they haven't evolved or lack of seasoning or what…? Well done for sticking to your honesty policy when given a freebie x

    • May 24, 2016 / 7:46 pm

      Such a shame to hear that, Pirran used to rave about it and I went there for a snack once and loved it… will deffo go again and report back. Yes, my honesty policy is hard when I am not laying down cold hard cash, but that's what differentiates me from other food bloggers in Brighton who will sing praises of any old shit in the hope of a social media share 😉 xx

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