Brighton Foodies Fair!

Brighton Foodie Treats, Meat Eater

Brighton Foodies Fair had popped up on my Facebook timeline a few weeks ago, and on inspection I decided that £16 was a little too pricy for my current budget. I was super disappointed, so when I found tickets on the Wriggle app for £10 I decided it was worth the money and bought one for myself and Jack.

After following the page and seeing all of the stalls begin to pop up and start advertising I was really starting to get excited- along with the 18 degrees weather predictions too! On the day the weather was even better, at a scorching 21 degrees- it was bliss.

I had never been to Hove Lawns before and the walk down was lovely. The sun rays were beating down on us and I even saw a few new restaurants to add to my list of Brighton eateries I must try.

We got there slightly later than I had planned so I was a bit worried there would be queues, but with the wriggle tickers we were able to enter straight away. I was immediately excited, looking around at the bars, food tents and stalls. We began our systematic walk around the whole fair, scouting out all of the food and drink before making our lunchtime choices.

The first stall we came across was decked out with chilli sauce and pickles- right up my street. I did have to give most of them a try, even the super spicy ones, which, I must admit, were maybe even a bit too adventurous for me! All of the staff on the stalls were so friendly and chatty which really enhanced our experience too.

As we wandered around we spent the first hour or so sampling: gin, whisky, tequila, cake, olives, cheese, cold meats, chilli jam, peanut butter and so much more- everything you could imagine really- as well as lathering up with sun cream as to avoid the sun burn that a lot of people became subject to.

Although I did spend a lot of the day yearning to buy bits and bobs, I am almost happy I didn’t take a lot of cash with me as I imagine I would’ve left with bags full of goodies, especially gin.

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Oysters!

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The big moment!

I really wanted to make the most of the day, trying new dishes and ingredients and when I saw an oyster stand I thought that maybe instead of ME trying something new, it could be Jack’s turn. As we stood at the oyster stall I had flashbacks to the time I tried to eat one on a holiday in Cyprus, with tried being the appropriate word. I know some people love them… but I do not. Maybe spurred on by my doubt, Jack decided he would sample one. The oyster man suggested chewing the oyster before swallowing so Jack could get all of the flavour. With a squeeze of lemon Jack gulped it down. I think it was safe to say he wouldn’t be having oysters again, and although he did put on a good front at the stall, it wasn’t until later that he admitted that they perhaps weren’t his favourite dish!

Luckily there were so many other tasty treats the hint of salty sea was quickly washed away by fresh cider and cured meat.

In between our wandering it became the perfect opportunity to stop for a refreshing beverage. I started off with a long island iced tea cocktail and jack tasted some local lager. After this I was treated to a delicious Pimms, full of fruit, and Jack moved onto a different lager. We sat in the sun and watched a few live bands, all of which really set the scene. The atmosphere was great, and everyone really seemed to be having a good time. Even when Jack accidentally sat on the lady behind him, whilst he was trying to get comfy on the grass, she didn’t seem to mind!

When it was time for lunch, we had looked around a few times, but the decision was a really tough one! Although I was attracted to the souvlaki and calamari stalls I knew I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit, so we continued to wander.

Now… lunch… decisions decisions. I had finally chosen that I was going to sample some Nigerian food, which is not a cuisine I know a great deal about. I was really intrigued and the smells wafting from the amazingly decorated stall sealed the deal for me. For a really reasonable £7.50 I chose a little bit of everything. I say it was decent because the plate was really big, and I ended up getting Jack to help me finish it off.

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Delicious!

1525551720387On my plate was rice, a chicken drumstick, some green veggies I think were spinach (I am not 100% sure I wish I had asked) and plantain, which was honestly the best plantain I have ever had. The food stall was called Flavors of Africa, and as they’re punchline says, I really did feel the afro taste! The spicy chilli sauce that I drizzled on was so good too, I wish I could’ve taken some home. The flavours offered deep heat, as well as sweetness from the plantain and a crunch from the rice. I was so full by the end, but I couldn’t put my fork down! I was also really impressed that they weren’t using plastic like a lot of the stalls were!

 

Jack chose calamari and chips, and luckily for me he gave me a little piece of calamari that I drizzled in garlic mayo- it was delicious. The batter wasn’t too thick or heavy and it wasn’t too greasy either. The squid itself was silky and not at all chewy, it was so easy to eat, I reckon I could have eaten around 4 portions!!

Although there were so many sweet stands I couldn’t eat another thing by the time pudding came around. The huge milkshakes, gooey brownies and even deep-fried Oreo doughnuts couldn’t tempt me. I wish now I’d got some bits to take away however I only would’ve had to work it all off at the gym!

There were tents dotted around that held host to local chefs and TV competition winners, for example the 2017 GBBO winner and this year’s Masterchef champion. I did see that a chilli eating competition was scheduled at 6pm but sadly we didn’t stay that late! Although we didn’t sit and watch any full talks it was interesting drifting in and out throughout our day.

We spent around 4 hours at the food fair in total and it was honestly a lovely way to spend a summers day. I would definitely go again, and I think that it was £10 well spent! Maybe next time I will save a few more pennies and splash out on some extravagant cocktails or a watering can full of Pimms!

Street Thai- Brighton

Brighton Foodie Treats

Now that the sun has finally began to shine in Brighton- better late than never- I am trying to find as many lovely places that combine both great food and the opportunity to catch some rays. After finding myself with a free Saturday afternoon, I knew this would be a great opportunity to go on the hunt for a sun-lit restaurant balcony.

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Street Thai!

Street Thai was actually a suggestion by my friend Lara, and after weaving through Brighton’s lanes we found the location. In a pretty square with a water fountain, Street Thai has both an inside seating area, and a more secret outside balcony. From the ground floor you would have no idea about the tables that looked out from above.

After selecting a table, one we hoped would catch the sun for the longest, we started to look at the menu. The food was authentic Thai street food and every dish sounded great. Under each optoin was a brief description and a spice scale, which was perfect for me, not the most educated about Thai cuisine.

 

 

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Set Menu!

I noticed on our way in there was a set-menu offer which I thought I would try. Two courses for £10 or three for £12.50, a real bargain! The smells coming from the kitchen were making me really hungry at this point, and although we were spoilt for choice, we managed to come to a decision quite quickly.

The drinks list was also jam packed, with a range of beer, cocktails and really affordable wine. A bottle of white for £14… I couldn’t say no.

Even with the set menu I still had a tough decision to make, but finally I went for the Som Tam for starter and the Goong Phad Pong Kari for my main. In simpler terms, this was a spicy papaya salad and a yellow prawn curry.

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Cheeky seagull eyeing up my wine!

Lara was still slightly indecisive and asked the opinion of our really helpful waiter, who was more than willing to offer advice and further explanations of the dishes on offer. In the end she opted for a chicken stir-fry, after being assured that it wasn’t too spicy.
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Just after we had poured ourselves our first glass of wine the food arrived. I was amazed how quickly it got to our table, but like I said, I was so hungry and therefore I am certainly not complaining.


On a hot day the papaya salad was really refreshing, and the chillies added a really nice heat, not too hot at all, just right. The portion was also a great size as I was still ready to devour my prawn curry. Lara’s stir fry was vibrant in colour and smell and did make me slightly envious- maybe I’ll try it next time.

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Papaya Salad!

My curry was creamy, and full of flavour, and the sticky rice absorbed all of the sauce. The prawns were cooked perfectly, not too rubbery, just the perfect amount of bite. Although nearing the end I did feel myself becoming quite full, I honestly couldn’t put my spoon down, I wanted to finish every mouthful.

After the amazing ingredients and flavours in my 2 courses, I couldn’t eat another thing, and therefore decided to just finish off my wine for pudding instead.

All in all, this restaurant was really great value with lovely staff, delicious food and a really appealing location in the heart of Brighton. I would recommend Street Thai to everyone; there is something on the menu for every taste I am certain!

Hare and Hounds- Brighton

Brighton Foodie Treats

As I was feeling rather lazy this Saturday lunchtime I wanted to find somewhere relatively close that Jack and I could pop to for lunch. Only a short walk from my house are a few pubs on Preston Circus and I have been meaning to try them for a while. Although I have drank in the Hare and Hounds before I’ve never sampled its yummy menu.

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The Hare and Hounds!

The pub itself is full of character. Large windows let in huge amounts of natural light to tall tables and benches, with quieter booths and smaller tables dotted around too. We chose to sit in a cosy booth, which sadly didn’t have the best light for photos, but the seats were very comfy. There is also a really nice outside area, with wooden benches and heaters and, in summer, a lot of greenery; great for a big crowd.

There were loads of different types of beers on tap, which, although not that important to me, I can imagine brings in a lot of drinkers. I know they change their kegs every week too, so there is something for everyone. On this occasion we stuck to soft drinks, I went for a lime soda and Jack a diet coke- we are wild!

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Beers! (pic from website)

After a tough morning at the gym, by lunchtime I was really hungry and I recon I could’ve ordered anything from the menu, it all looked so good. From wings, to nachos, to fish and chips and even a selection of ciabattas, I was spoilt for choice. After careful consideration I opted for the marinated chicken kebab with sweet potato fries- I do love a chicken kebab. Jack was umming and arring between a few options too, but in the end, he chose a buttermilk chicken burger.

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My Yummy Kebab!

We were thankful when our food arrived, as all the other dishes that were carried past us made our mouths water. We didn’t have to wait long which was a relief, as every time the kitchen bell rang our heads shot round in anticipation.

The portions were a really good size for the price we paid, especially good for Brighton, and I was amazed by all of the colours on my plate. The marinated chicken sat on a type of flatbread- which was really tasty alone- along with a selection of relishes, salad, beetroot hummus and yoghurt sauce. There were loads of pickles too, my favourite! The sweet potato fries were crunchy and sweet and were a great accompaniment to the yoghurt and hummus.

Although I didn’t manage to finish the whole plate, I gave it a very good go and however tempting it was to pick it up with my hands, I somehow managed to stay quite lady-like using my knife and fork!

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Stacked to the Brim!

Similarly to my kebab, Jack’s burger was massive too. It was fully loaded with: bacon, cheese, guacamole, salad and even a hash brown. They had even jazzed up the ketchup, mixing it with bloody Mary. Jack got pickles in his too, meaning even more for me!

Like myself, Jack gave his best efforts to finish is stacked burger and fries and we both really really enjoyed our meals.

With a soft drink and a main it cost us about £13 each, which like I said for Brighton, I don’t think is too bad. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, and the pub had a really nice buzz from the wide range of customers that filled its walls. 10/10 recommend!!!

La Choza, Brighton

Brighton Foodie Treats, Uncategorized

Tucked away in the North Lanes, this cosy, amazingly decorated and welcoming Mexican has a home away from home feel- if your home is covered in bright skulls and glittery pictures of Jesus.

Obviously a very popular place, on arrival one of the lovely staff members made us aware that the wait for a table was around 30 minutes. Already incredibly hungry, I looked at Josh for a second opinion. The food smelt amazing, and the atmosphere was brilliant, so, we decided 30 minutes wouldn’t be so bad. Much to my delight, after around 15 minutes we got a call, and rushed back around the corner to claim our table.

Due to the size of the restaurant, the tables are intimate, and you do find yourself sat very closely next to other guests. However, if you are the friendly type, and don’t necessarily mind a straying elbow or an intruding bowl of nachos, this restaurant has so much to offer.

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Specials

With the largest tequila menu I have ever seen, and a plethora of cocktails and beers, there is certainly something for everyone. I went for a simple coke, and Josh decided to try a Monkey IPA, which to his delight was a relatively high percentage.

Choosing food was a hard task, mainly because everything that came out smelt amazing, looked amazing, and by the sounds of those around us, tasted amazing too. For some nibbles at the beginning, we selected tortilla chips- with habanero chilli sauce and guac- and calamari and chipotle mayo. Calamari is always my go-to starter, and I must say, that in my 21 years on this foodie world, La Choza delivered the best I’ve ever tasted.

Both lovers of spice, we were slightly taken aback by the heat of the Habanero sauce, causing us to take a sharp intake of breath, and let out a little gasp. I had not been too adventurous with the sauce for my chicken and homemade chorizo burrito, sticking to the hot, but surprisingly-pleasant-after-the-first-mouth-full habanero chilli. Josh on the other hand had gone for the burrito special, pulled pork and jalapeño hot sauce. Maybe he loved it, or maybe he didn’t want to admit defeat, but Josh bravely finished off every last spicy mouthful.

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The best calamari in the WORLD

Whether it was my severe hunger, or pure desperation to try everything on the menu, when my silver wrapped burrito came, I felt like I was in Mexican heaven, and I never wanted to leave.

Disappointingly, my eyes had been too big for my belly, and the last bits of my wrap didn’t get finished. I had made a valiant effort. I spent the rest of the evening in rather a burrito state myself, wrapped up in my blanket, unable to move from my food coma.

For the amount of food, brilliant service and great atmosphere, the price couldn’t be faulted. This would be a great place to go with big groups (if you book), or a nice place to drop in for a bite to eat, as long as you don’t mind queuing around the corner- it is really worth the wait.