Review – Food For Friends
“This is the sexiest salad in the world!” declares my lunch buddy. We’re sampling the sharing menu at Food For Friends (£22 each), a concept that lives up to the establishments name. You might have read my previous review of the Food For Friends cook book and I was very much looking forward to visiting in person to sample their recipes as they should be cooked.
As always we receive a warm welcome and are recommended the strawberry, pear and elderflower refresher plus a lemon and apple zinger to drink. After our gorgeous, refreshing fruity cocktails arrive – non alcoholic in this case – we move on to choosing 3 mezze dishes from the menu to share between us. I can’t resist Food For Friend’s take on a scotch egg and we pick the goat’s cheese arancini plus the beets, potato and parsnip spiced rostis to accompany.
We agree that the scotch eggs, which swap the usual meaty mix for chickpeas and grated carrots and are topped off with a sweet chilli mayonnaise, are the treat of the trio. They are gorgeously crunchy on the outside and moreish and soft on the inside.
The goat’s cheese, sweet potato and basil arancini is complimented well with a spicy tomato relish. I often find that goat’s cheese dishes become overpowered by the taste of the creamy cheese but these are balanced just right. The crisp rostis come with a tamarind and date sauce which we find a little bit too sweet for our taste.
For the main I select the curry platter. It’s an aubergine, spinach, butternut and chickpea balti style curry served with herby coconut and pea basmati rice. Personally, I would prefer it to be a stronger, spicier curry that would make a bit more impact but the dish is pleasant and well cooked. Beside this sits turmeric raita, a small tomato, coriander and red onion salad and papadum.
Then comes the food envy. My friend chose or the baked halloumi, avocado and mango salad, that of the pre-mentioned supreme sexiness. It looks fantastic; chunks of tasty haloumi lean nonchalantly upon the salad, with wasabi roasted cashews nestled away amongst the baby leaves and a mango dressing draped across the dish. I’ll be having that next time I visit! Both meals are a feast for the eyes too with attractive presentation.
The shared dessert is colourful and fun – another highlight. Biting through crisp warm coconut aracini offers something interesting and different. The chocolate torte is deliciously rich, too rich for my friend leaving more loveliness for me. A cooling mango sorbet cuts through this richness, as do the raspberry and mango gels dotted around the plate.
The thing about Food For Friends is that is always damn good. Sure, it can get a little squished when it’s busy – let’s just say it’s an intimate table plan. Staff are friendly and attentive, the food is delicious, the cocktails divine and the menu is fun. It’s an adventure to try new dishes from the meze selection and I enjoy meals that are “surprisingly very satisfying” as many a meat eater will admit when they visit here.
I consider Food For Friends to be good value for money and a consistently a good experience. From the flamboyant fruity cocktails to the sexy salads this is a pleasing Brighton restaurant that you can rely on.
Food For Friends, 17-18 Prince Albert St, Brighton, BN1 1HF – 01273 202 310
Laura’s food and drink were complimentary, courtesy of Food For Friends.