The refurbishment of Brighton Dome Corn Exchange officially opened in May alongside the world-renowned Van Gogh Alive exhibition, but next door is also the new Redroaster restaurant.
Many passers on New Road have been stopping to look at the menu, enticed by this corner spot which has been empty for so long. The attention Redroaster has been getting is just because their menu flaunts brunch, lunch, dinner, cocktails and coffees perfect for the summer months. Their location in the sun too, with plenty of terrace seating, deceives diners into thinking they have gone on holiday for a couple of hours. At least, that is how I felt while eating fancy salad and sipping from a dainty martini glass.
Redroaster is also located on St James Street, a minimalistic coffee shop serving cakes and brunch plates Melbourne-style. They have been there for over twenty-four years, knowing the perfect coffee roast and creating an ideal atmosphere to enjoy it in. What you may not know is that Lucky Beach is also part of the Redroaster gang, serving organic burgers, local fish, and that well loved Redroaster coffee on the seafront since 2013.
The Brighton Dome location is just the newest branch to an already very successful establishment, which is why we were especially keen to get a taste of how this adventure could be bigger and better.
What strikes me most is how this spot feels more like a restaurant rather than a coffee shop. The clean, white aesthetic calls for casual yet fancy dining. Like enjoying soft sand on a beach, it is inviting and comfortable but luxurious. We took a seat in the shade outside, and were brought a large jug of water for the table. There are three menus: breakfast, all-day and evening. With it being 12:30pm, we received the all-day menu (reduced breakfast options, some lunch choices, and a few lighter dinner mains).
To start, we ordered a cocktail each. The ‘Lucky Peach Spritz’ was recommended (£10.40) – peach puree, elderflower liqueur, sparkling wine, sparkling water and fresh mint. It was delightfully refreshing, served in a large wine glass, gently bubbling, with a fruity twang. We also ordered the ‘Pear Grylls’ served in a dainty martini glass. Smooth, sweet and nearly too easy to drink. We also requested some Garlic & Dill tots (£8.90) and Fresh Guacamole & Crudites (£11.90) for the table.
The potato tots were served with a curry ketchup, and garlic whipped creme fraiche. They were oh so crispy with the soft inside of a hashbrown. The dill was a fresh, flavoursome touch while the curry ketchup had a small kick of sweet spice. Balance the garlic with the thick creme fraiche, and overall, this was a very moreish side.
Next, the crudites came out in a fiesta of colour.
Leaves, cucumber, tomato and vegetable crisps were arranged on top of the generous heap of guacamole on one half of the plate, and tahini on the other. There is nothing quite like a cracker, dip and cocktail on a warm Tuesday lunch time, and this plate was quite the ticket.
For our mains, we ordered the Warm Chicken Salad (£13.70) curious about the pickled pear and wild caperberries it was plated with. Plus, we ordered the Sausage and Egg Royale (£9.40) from the breakfast list. Firstly, the chicken salad was everything I had been craving since the sun came out. The sous-vide chicken was succulent, and paired with the soft pickled pear was a flavour combination I had not tried before, but would have again and again.
The perfect balance of sweet and savoury exists in this dish, completed by garlic pesto dressing and toasted walnuts.
For the Sausage and Egg Royale, the sausage patty had a great peppery flavour with visible bits of onion confirming its housemade factor. The fried egg was just how I like it – slightly overdone so that yolk is not spilling and dripping everywhere. However, it was still quite a messy meal as mozzarella was pulled by the teeth, and the bread was smothered in pesto, leaving the parchment paper damp with oil. Though, we had the gluten free bread rather than the buttered brioche which, while it was good that they could cater to this requirement, maybe the bread was not thick enough for its oozing fillings.
Amongst the other food options I would return to try is the Chilli Crab Linguine (£14.40) and the Crab and Avocado Benedict (£14.90) which are amongst customer favourites. The Fresh Fig and Burrata (£12.40) with hot honey, and Pan Roasted Hake (£19.40) also sound divine. Plus, inside the venue on the counter, was a selection of sweet treats including immaculate looking cookie sandwiches.
To finish off our meal, we could not resist trying one of their incredible iced drinks.
‘The Turbo’ (£4.90) was calling my name – double espresso, cold brew coffee, hazelnut syrup and chocolate milk – and satisfied a craving for something sweet. ‘The Taro Violet Bubble Tea’ (£5.40) and ‘Iced Bubble Coffee’ (£5.60) sounded like Willy Wonka creations, topped with cream or dusted with biscoff crumbs. For a specialty drink you won’t find elsewhere in Brighton, whether that is alcoholic, caffeinated or even soft, give Redroaster a try.
Overall, the lunch experience at Redroaster was incredibly enjoyable. For an hour or two, I enjoyed stunning flavours, textures, and all while sat in a sunny location that had long needed something to revamp the area. Redroaster is bound to be a popular spot this summer, also offering Bottomless Brunches and wines late into the evening. The service too was faultless, making sure we had drinks and everything was okay with the food. Congratulations on a successful opening, Redroaster!
Also read our review of Embers new summer menu HERE
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