It’s been just one year since The Tempest Inn graced our shoreline, replacing what was the LIFE club. Every time I pop down to this bar on the seafront I’m impressed once again with what they’ve done with the place. A series of candlelit, secret caves throughout the venue make for the perfect spot for an intimate night out and the huge, bright room upstairs is a great place to watch the world go by. The front patio is also one of the best spots on the seafront to chill out on a hot summer day, sipping on a pint.
The Tempest has recently added another string to their bow with a new food menu in the form of The Crab Claw, Brighton’s newest seafood joint. My colleague and I popped down on a uncharacteristically sunny February afternoon to check it out.
First off we decide to treat ourselves with a couple of cocktails, I go for their take on the Bloody Mary made with cherry tomatoes, vodka and a dash of Old Bay spice (£6). It’s really, really good and the fresh cherry tomatoes make this a lighter version of the classic, perfect for a sunny day. My colleague goes for the Dark and Stormy with spiced rum and fiery ginger beer (£6). The fiery ginger compliments the spiced rum perfectly. One of my favourite things about these cocktails is that they are served in glass jar jugs and are very generous, size-wise, especially for the low price and considering the venue’s sea-front location.
As we sip our cocktails we peruse the new menu. Seafood is the obvious focus here, but with an American twist. There are offerings such as mac n’ cheese, BBQ pork ribs and a small burger menu, alongside scallops, mussels and the star of the show, the crab boil (£30), a feast for two comprising of mussels, clams, prawns, crab claw, corn, smoked merger sausage, ratte potatoes and Old Bay spice.
There are no starters as such on the menu, but a selection of small plates instead. We choose the pot of prawns with aioli (£5) and the popcorn mussels with homemade mayo (£5) to share. Both dishes would the perfect partner for a pint in the sunshine. The mussels are coated in a thin, spicy batter with a slight curry taste and are very moreish, so it’s a good job there are plenty in the pot! The prawns come completely bare except for the aioli, but there are no complaints as they are incredibly fresh and delicious on their own.
Although we’re hungry, and are very tempted by the crab boil as our main, we decide to go for something a little smaller. I decide to try something from the burger menu and go for the burger topped with crab (£12), which comes with a side of skin-on fries. The burger bun is a beautiful golden brioche with a nice bite to it and the burger is nice and chunky, juicy and delightfully pink in the middle. The crab topping steals the show here though, deliciously creamy sauce and perfectly seasoned crab meat. My colleague goes for the 1 kilo of mussels and fries (£13), which is quite overwhelming when it arrives at our table in large pot, but my colleague soon demolishes the whole thing, singing the praises of the sauce which she says is buttery and incredibly tasty. We’re also impressed at how big some of the mussels are in her portion too.
So to the end of our meal. With full bellies and just about ready to lay down and have a nap right there in the sunshine, we trundle off back to the office, singing the praises of The Tempest Inn’s new seafront, seafood menu. I’m sure we’ll be returning soon, hopefully with the sunshine in tow once again.
The Tempest Inn, 159-161 Kings Road Arches, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1NB