I’m a sucker for pretty things and good food, so a beautiful looking menu claiming to serve organic, fresh and expertly cooked food has my attention. Centrally located on Western Road, Hove, and having recently undergone a massive renovation, it features luxurious interiors and adds a touch of sophistication to ‘that side of the road’. Obviously SIX Restaurant was trying to seduce me through its doors. It’s inevitable, with its eye-catching menu and indulgent décor, their master plan would work. Everything about this restaurant exudes quality. Allured by appearances; I wanted to find out if its grandeur was synonymous to the service and food available.
On arriving at the restaurant we were greeted by enthusiastic and welcoming staff. After being seated, we were quickly offered a selection of drinks from the exciting looking ‘Organic Cold Pressed Juice & Cocktail Bar’ menu. Not wanting to mislead my palate, I opted for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (£5). Receiving said glass of wine took a little longer than anticipated. I watched my glass take a guided tour of the restaurant in the hand of another waitress; I think it had a nice time.
Sinking the wine, we look over the menu. This is Brighton and Hove, the city may have lost its ‘Vegan Crown’ in 2013 but vegetarianism and veganism is alive and well. The menu offers excellent and varied choices for vegetarian starters and side dishes albeit, the vegetarian main courses are sparse and too similar in content, add to this that there were no obvious gluten free choices available on the night in the absence of salad dishes. Somewhat uninspired, I was disappointed to learn after I had perused the menu that the ‘Butternut Squash Risotto’ (£11) was unavailable.
Our starters were well presented with care and attention. I opted for the vegetable mille-feuille (£6.50) as my starter, this was delicious. The accompanying leaves however hadn’t been washed properly and this was apparent in their ground-like taste. My dining partner opted for the chilli salt pepper squid (£6), as tasty as it was, there was a little too much chew for my liking and they could have been crispier.
The presentation of our mains was somewhat different to the starters. We had chosen the vegetarian option of ‘The Burger’ (£12) and ‘Grand Steak’ (£17). I was reliably informed that the 28 day medium rare steak, was cooked perfectly and very good, this meal was however let down by the accompanying sauce. A split béarnaise was served and when another was requested this was inexplicably replaced with a blue cheese sauce. ‘The Burger’ (a name loaded with reputation) just didn’t hit the spot; over-thick dry buns encased a small portion of halloumi and avocado, whilst an overwhelming amount of lacklustre salad dominated the plate.
For the price of these dishes chips should be hand-cut, triple-cooked and with some stature of the crispy kind, as I type I realise that they have failed the chips test, my personal chips test.
The dessert menu, I’m sorry to say, lacks dessert and isn’t coherent with the rest of the menu. Instead it is a selection of cakes. Not feeling this ‘afternoon tea’ vibe, I went rogue and requested a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream. The selection of cakes available seems displaced and there’s a sense of eclecticism in this offering, which confuses things as eclectic evidently isn’t what this place is going for. But the brownie hit the spot! They should put this on the menu; it was rich, nutty and had real depth of flavour, a pleasing and satisfying end to the meal.
SIX is a great looking restaurant, with service staff that are more than capable of keeping the customers happy. However, my fear is others will too be seduced by the menu and the feel of the restaurant’s aesthetics, before the teething problems evident in the menu and quality of food are addressed with the necessary tweaks needed to make this a great restaurant.
SIX is at 102-106 Western Road, Brighton, BN3 1FA