The Ginger Fox, Kemp Town

8 08 2010

I came across this pub by chance whilst heading up towards Queens Park to find a suitable Sunday boozer. It had obviously been recently taken over and had that air of a place that was desperately keen to impress with its food. It seemed foolish to ignore this previously never visited hostelry so I headed on in to find it was done up rather smartly, obviously trying to attract a more discerning clientèle than the nearby Golden Cannon.

I’m afraid to say the first thing that struck me was the price of the food, which was NOT cheap, but I am not one to let price put me off when it comes to feasting and for the good of this very blog I took the hit.

It is only a small pub but they’re certainly trying to give it a proper restaurant feel and I was given a thick white napkin, posh cutlery and a basket of bread with dipping oil whilst awaiting my meal. There were only two meat choices on the menu: beef and chicken, which on the one hand seems stingy but on the other quite sensible. The place is only small after all so why cook more than you can sell? It was also somewhat reassuring to think that I was less likely to regret whichever choice I made being as they were surely taking both options very seriously.

I plumped for beef and when it arrived I was gobsmacked by the incredible thickness of this juicy doorstep sized slab of meat I was presented with. It was immense, and very nice looking too.

Now by this point I had my expectations rather high, what with the price of the food, the decor of the place and the general upmarket vibe I was getting and I am pleased to say I was not disappointed. The meat was tender and succulent and left me feeling genuinely remorseful when I’d finished it BUT this disappointment was soon brushed aside by the incredible potatoes.

Regular readers will have gathered by now that I am a serious roast potato fan and I make no bones about it, roasties are GREAT, so to find a pub serving potatoes JUST the way I like them was a very rare treat indeed. They were crispy and fluffy and crunchy and soft all at the same time and I could not get enough of them. These were AWESOME potatoes let me tell you, and by this point things were looking very good indeed for the Ginger Fox.

Moving on to the vegetables, there wasn’t much of a great selection but what they did have was very delicious. The big chunky carrots were soft on the outside whilst crunchy in the middle and these were complimented by some very fresh looking petit pois. Perhaps they could have added one or two extra items for variety but I won’t complain about quality over quantity.

In all this was a very decent roast indeed but then for the price so it should have been. It could possibly have done with a little more on the plate but I get the feeling that they were pushing the roasts as part of a three course meal, in which case it is fair to assume the portion would have been about right after a starter had been consumed.

So well done to the Ginger Fox which certainly receives my seal of approval. It’s definitely the higher end of the market, with the price to match, but if you’re not on a budget why not spoil yourself?

Meat: 8/10

Potatoes: 10/10

Vegetables: 8/10

Gravy: 7/10

Portion size: 7/10

The Sidewinder, Kemp Town

1 08 2010

This popular Kemp Town watering hole doesn’t look the type of place you’d expect to get a top notch home cooked Sunday roast, appearing instead to cater for their busy evening crowds with DJs, live music and various theme nights HOWEVER don’t be fooled by its trendy demeanor because this place can certainly knock out some tasty food.

Once again I was delighted to discover that most welcome of options to the indecisive, the mixed roast, and despite its higher price I eagerly placed my order only to discover that I WAS going to have to make a decision after all. It seems the Sidewinder have a selection of gravies which is something I’ve not come across before but I certainly welcome the concept. I went for the Rosemary and red wine “guest” gravy and took a seat outside in the sun.

When my food arrived I was entirely delighted to see a sizable chunk of pork complete with crackling made up one of my meat choices and I wasted no time in taking this meal on. The beef and lamb were both very tender and flavoursome however they were cooked rare, which I know some people ADORE but personally I wouldn’t have minded them being left in the oven a little longer. This minor complaint was soon forgotten, mind, as I sunk my teeth into the soft and succulent juicy slab of pork. It was entirely delicious, cooked to perfection, exactly as pork should be. It even made me regret not ordering a whole plateful of this divine flesh, rather than my greedy three meat choice, but once I moved on to the crackling all regrets were forgotten. It was truly superb.

With the meat sadly out of the way I gave the potatoes a bash and was pleased to find them crisp and fluffy, thus continuing my positive feeling towards this mighty roast. They weren’t perfect but they were certainly very good. As for the veg, they are fairly generous with the selection on offer at the Sidewinder and a highlight for me was the creamy leek dolloped on the edge of the plate.

As you’d expect from somewhere so passionate about gravy that they make up five different varieties to choose from, my Rosemary and red wine gravy was a marvellous accompaniment, and I’m keen to try their other “flavours” in the future.

So to conclude this is a very good roast indeed, and one I’d recommend highly, particularly if you like your red meat rare OR are a pork connoisseur. Easily one of Kemp Town’s finest.

Meat: 7/10 for the lamb and beef, 10/10 for the pork

Potatoes: 8/10

Vegetables: 8/10

Gravy: 9/10

Portion size: 8/10

Saint George’s Inn, Kemp Town

25 07 2010

The St George’s Inn is tucked away on Sudeley Street, not too far from the hospital, and has recently been spruced up a little in an attempt to attract new visitors. I was one of these new visitors.

What first struck me was that the menu seemed very laden, in that there were a number of different roasts to choose from AS WELL AS a myriad of other dishes on the Sunday menu. What’s important though, is that they had the holy grail of Sunday lunches, the fabled mixed roast. My pulse races when I encounter this meat menagerie on a pub menu and so I wasted no time in placing my order after paying little attention to the many other choices available.

The mixed roast says “I can’t make my mind up” just as much as it sings out “I am greedy” but there is no shame in ordering it because decisions aren’t always easy on a fragile Sunday and thus not having to think too hard about your choice is naturally welcome.

And so to the meal itself. When I ordered the pub wasn’t busy at all so it came out fairly quickly, although not so quickly that I was left questioning the cooking methods, and it was presented rather nicely on a plush looking rectangular plate. The portion size seemed decent, if not as big as it could be, and there was a good variety to the elements that made up this particular Sunday treat. The three meats (lamb, beef and chicken) were all cooked well and went down a treat HOWEVER once I tucked into the potatoes I was sorely disappointed. These were big, ugly, undercooked potatoes that were hard and bland, and as somewhat of a connoisseur of roast potatoes I felt it was a real shame that they let the side down so badly. The meat was very good but it could never carry the poor potatoes.

As for the rest of the veg, it wasn’t particularly inspiring. Peas, carrots and cauliflower completed the plate and all were perfectly edible but sadly didn’t really do justice to the tasty meats which left me a little deflated. The yorkie was pretty standard and the gravy was good but ultimately this roast was let down by its potatoes. I probably would have given higher marks for the rest of the vegetables if the potatoes had done their job but unfortunately by the time I was tucking into my carrots and peas the damage had been done.

So a promising start but definitely room for improvement.

Meat: 9/10

Potatoes: 4/10

Veg: 6/10

Gravy: 7/10

Portion size: 7/10

Welcome to Rate Your Roast

5 07 2010

In time this WILL become THE place to review and read up on the best places to grab a tasty Sunday roast in Brighton

Roast dinner

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