Review - Market

Review – Market

If you were blindfolded and lead into Market on Western Road in Hove, you would have no clue whatsoever that it used to be the stuffy and slightly dated fine-dining restaurant Graze. Long gone are the white table clothes and in its place bottle-green tiles, large mirrors and red leather stalls. It’s clear that Market were out to turn heads, and they’ve succeeded.

Running down the left of Market is a long bar and prep area. If watching chefs at work is your thing, you’ve come to the right place. We opted for a more secluded and intimate table for two near the back, near some questionable faux-grass decor. Astroturf aside, the redecoration was pretty flawless and manager/owner Kate created a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere on the bustling dining floor.

Market has snagged Mark Harwood as Head Chef, who previously worked with Marco Pierre White, and his influence seems clear in the move away from fine-dining to the more on-trend small plates. Market puts an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, the most local supplier being La Cave a Fromage, a few doors down.

The small plates are separated into ‘from the butcher, from the greengrocer’ and so forth. If sharing isn’t your bag, Market do have a main menu with dishes that include market price fish, steak, gnocchi and shin of beef. Good that Market haven’t just focused on sharing plates – this trend could wear thin soon.

We started with a glass of Reisling – which was described as dry and full, and nibbled on a bowl of bitter and salty padron peppers (£4) before grazing on baby artichokes (£4.50) that had a delicate nut flavour and were enjoyable dipped in a light aioli.

Market 6

Crispy curls of kale with taut, fresh stems of green broccoli and tahini (£5) were enjoyable and definitely something I will try to replicate at home. The other main vegetable plate – polenta, mushroom and cream-cheese balls (£7) – had great flavour, but for me the texture didn’t work.

Polenta balls - not to my taste.

Polenta balls – not to my taste.

‘From the fishmonger’ gave us an plate of pert, soft and expertly cooked octopus with salty capers, smoked paprika and sprigs of fresh lemon balm (£7), alongside a surf and turf-esque plate of large, fleshy scallops and crunchy strips of wild boar (£8).

Fantastic octopus dish at Market Restaurant.

Fantastic octopus dish at Market Restaurant.

The plate of beer-braised pork ribs (£8) in a tomato sauce. This plate could have packed in bags more flavour, as the tomato sauce was a touch bland. The ribs, however, were melting and tender, sliding off the bone and into my (already slightly full) stomach.

Beer braised ribs in tomato sauce.

Beer braised ribs in tomato sauce.

Owner Kate persuaded us to try her favourite dessert – baked popcorn cheesecake with salted popcorn and praline (£7). This was excellent and reminded me of the cheesecake I’d eaten in New York. Not too sweet with a moist, crumbling base. I’d highly recommend ordering this to finish off your meal at Market.

Excellent pudding - highly recommended.

Excellent pudding – highly recommended.

Really like the presentation, not too fussy but an effort made. Easily be mixed and matched, start with a couple of small plates and move onto a main if feeling particularly fanciful. Six to seven small plates was enough to happily fill us both. The price points were remarkable for the food on offer – I’m surprised Market aren’t charging a quid or two more for some dishes.

Clearly the team at Market have a lot of talent and passion. Kate and Matt have a clear goal – relaxed dining in a swanky, yet laidback setting. Market is perfect for intimate dates, a catch up with friends and work lunches. I would be interested to see the kitchen team push their talents a little further and innovate a touch more.

Market Restaurant, 42 Western Road, Hove, BN3 1JD

Claire’s meal was complimentary, courtesy of Market