Review – Riddle & Finns
Riddle and Finns is synonymous with Brighton’s fine dining scene. Having been established in 2006 in the historic Lanes, Riddle and Finns still retains its classic fine dining appeal, serving a varied and modern menu utilsing delicious locally caught seafood.
Upon entering Riddle and Finns you cannot but help notice the stunning and simple décor. The walls are covered in clean white and green tiles, with around 7ft high seated tables sitting around 40 guests in total. Each table has a wax encrusted candelabra which is nearly the only source of light within the restaurant. The amount of choice on offer is so diverse that it’s quite hard to decipher what to opt for, however the front of house team suggested some of their favourites.
Being in Brighton I went for the Pan Fried Brighton Scallops – in Chorizo and Chilli (£8.95). The scallops were served in a decorative scallop shell and a small accompaniment of rocket and finely grated celeriac. The scallops were perfectly cooked, being slightly crispy and charred on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside. The chorizo added a deep background heat that didn’t over power the dish.
The server asked if I would like to try an oyster course, being in a seafood restaurant I couldn’t say no. Oysters are not my favourite molluscs and when Lucas (my server) learned of this fact he prompted me to try to them deep fried in a light tempura. They were then served with a small pickled vegetable garnish and a citrus mayo. The oysters were unbelievably light and full of a delicious sea flavour, just with more of a bite as opposed to the traditional brine texture.
For main I ordered the Locally Caught Cod – served two ways with squid ink risotto & stuffed piquillo peppers (£15.50). The cod fillets were cooked perfectly, with a crispy well seasoned skin and flaky white meat. The two peppers were fairly large and were filled with a smooth cod stuffing that had a garlic undertone. The risotto was served al dente and had a creamy texture, with the squid ink giving it a salty, sea water flavour. Although each component was of the highest standard, I felt like the stuffed peppers and risotto were slightly too heavy together – perhaps an opportunity to refine this dish?
For dessert I tried the black forest gateaux. A small round sponge topped with chocolate mousse encapsulating four black cherries and served with a raspberry coulis. It looked amazing and was very visually appealing. The chocolate mousse was incredibly rich and thick but did over power the cherries which could have easily been more prominent. Riddle and Finns was a great night out with beautiful surroundings and interesting, varied dishes.
The starters are where the seafood really shone, they were so simple yet effective and really let the ingredients do the talking. Some components of the mains and dessert could have been more refined, but if you’re looking for a special, high end meal seafood in a great setting with terrific service, Riddle and Finns has it covered.
Words + images by Rob Ling.
Rob Ling’s food and drinks were complementary of Riddle and Finns.