Review – Jeremy’s Restaurant
In the beautiful surroundings of Borde Hill Gardens lies Jeremy’s Restaurant. Already a firm favourite across the county, Jeremy’s has won numerous awards – including two AA rosettes, consecutive accolades at the Sussex Food and Drink Awards, The Good Food Guide Regional Readers’ Restaurant of the Year 2013.
It goes without saying that the reputation of Jeremy’s Restaurant’s is nothing short of excellent. So would it live up to expectations?
Run by husband and wife team, Jeremy and Vera Ashpool, Jeremy’s Restaurant entices with a menu that showcases the best in both modern and seasonal cooking, with influence from the gastronomic regions of Europe. Jeremy’s also benefits from its Sussex countryside surroundings, with chefs often sourcing ingredients from the gardens, including herbs, edible flowers, and wild garlic. The nature-centric restaurant also boasts an impressive wine list.
Arriving after a short drive from the centre of Brighton, we dashed inside, eager to escape the winter chill. Coats taken, we were seated in a pristine, small yet intimate dining area. We nibbled on thick slices of homemade walnut bread, black and green olives, and a pair of canapés – including a gorgeous, almost silk-like slither of herring with pesto, rye bread, and almonds.
The well-thought-out menu is divided into a daily set and an a la carte. Both have ample options to satisfy a range of tastes. On our visit, we agonised over dishes such as quail with mushroom arancini, pheasant and foie gras terrine, loin of Southdown lamb, and seared scallops with bisque and apple.
Sipping a light and zesty glass of white wine, I chose the home-cured Loch Duart salmon with celeriac, dill, and crispy skin (£9.50) to start. Presented delicately, curls of perfect salmon were surrounded by crunchy rotunds of celeriac all perfectly balanced atop a layer of thick creamy dill emolsion.
Dill, by far one of my most favourite herbs, went very well (unsurprisingly) with the light fish. The plate was finished with specks of crispy skin and I couldn’t help but revel in the delicate flavours and well-balanced nature of this starter.
Continuing the fish and seafood theme, I opted for the wild brill, razor clams, gnocchi, Jerusalem artichokes, chanterelle mushrooms (£20) as my main.
The lightly pan-fried brill was almost sweet in taste and provided a much-needed firm texture on the plate. Resting onto a bed of warm, almost gooey, herb-flecked gnocchi, thin slithers of chanterelle mushrooms and snippets of soft razorclam, this dish was moist yet nothing short of fantastic. The sheer indulgence of the mushrooms and rich doughy balls of gnocchi really made this plate a stand-out of our meal.
My dining partner, Verity, from Ten Green Bottles, also very much enjoyed the vegetarian options of fennel, blood orange, and watercress salad (£8.50) and roasted root vegetable mille-feilles (£15.50). We rounded off with a light sticky toffee pudding, served with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice-cream (£8), and a glass of sweet Australian riesling (£6).
What a memorable evening dining at Jeremy’s Restaurant is: welcoming, exceptional service, a fantastic location and fine dining at its best. Sussex should be very proud of one of its best restaurants.
Jeremy’s Restaurant, Borde Hill, Borde Hill Gardens, Haywards Heath, RH161XP
Originally printed in the Brighton & Hove Independent on Friday 30th January 2015