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By Christine Fleming

Wood-fired cooking is having a moment right now, in no small part thanks to the culinary delight that is Brighton’s recently opened Embers restaurant. 

Proving cooking with fire is not all dodgy barbecues and burnt sausages, Embers is concocting delicious sweet-smoky flavour sensations to make you drool.

Tucked away in the heart of Brighton’s Lanes, Embers is an intimate affair created by former Terre a Terre Head Chef Dave Marrow and Isaac At chef patron Isaac Bartlett-Copeland.

Producing delicious, sustainably sourced, magic-on-a-plate that is born out of a true love for food, this duo’s creations are perfectly charred delights with surprising flavour-enhancing extras.

Embers restaurant
Credit: David Charbit

Perusing the menu, diners will notice they have a big choice to make – pick a couple of small plates and centrepiece dish, or double up on the smalls instead. For us the small plates won.

Kicking off with the Smoked Lamb Chump (£17) and Charred Broccoli (£8.50), we were blown away by the flavours going on in dishes that were so simply described on the menu. The lamb was a powerhouse of perfectly rendered melt-in-the-mouth meat, hits of smokiness from the charred spring onion and slightly sharp wild garlic cutting through the richness. The tenderstem a crunchy delight of flame-licked goodness sprinkled with crumbled hazelnuts and served atop a sweetcorn cream.

Next up was the Beef Short Rib (£12), Chicken Leg (£10.50) and Sticky Aubergine (£8.50). Again don’t let the simplicity of their descriptions fool you. The Trenchmore rib was crispy on the outside, pull apart on the inside, served with a Wasabi Mayo packed with flavour, but without the off-putting heat that gets stuck up your nose.

Embers food Brighton
Credit: David Charbit

The Chicken Leg, locally sourced from Albourne, had an almost buttery texture and came coated in a sweetened glaze that gave the crisped skin a whole new dimension.

While the Sticky (miso coated) Aubergine was a lesson in how to make a veg main pack a flavour-filled punch. Charred on the outside, cream-like on the inside, this was no ordinary aubergine. It came accompanied with a light kimchi carrot to cut through the smokiness and a creamy bed of tahini to contrast the sticky sweetness. 

Other notable choices on the menu are the Flame Grilled Seabass (£13.50) and Potato Salad (£7.50) that will surprise and delight. Plus there is the unmissable Rolo dessert (£9).

Embers Bar
Credit: David Charbit

The amazing wine list created by award winning sommelier Alex Preston is worth a mention too. Full of carefully considered choices designed to complement all this flame-based cooking, there are quite a few unusual and exciting tipples to keep wine lovers happy.

As well as paying careful attention to the flavour balance of each and every dish, Embers is putting a focus on the sourcing of their supplies. All the meat is local. Even the kiln-dried ash and birch wood they burn comes from a nearby Hassocks lumberyard. 

If you care about flavour and the provenance of what is on your plate then this is the place for you.

Best for: An atmospheric dinner date, impressing sustainability conscious friends

Embers is at 42 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, BN1 1HB and is open Wednesday to Friday 5pm to late, Saturday 12pm to late and Sunday 12pm to 10.30pm

Small plates start from £6.50 and go up to £40 for the centrepiece sharing dishes.Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available

Book a table at Embers here

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