1847 is perfectly nestled in Brighton’s North Laine and shares the latest vegan and vegetarian offering in town. Surrounded by a diverse range of plant-based cuisine, it’s not short of competition, but it’s definitely not one you should overlook. Although the menu is succinct, it offers a variety of combinations and flavours, whether you desire the nutritious and mindful or something a little more extravagant and rich.
It’s a short walk from the hustle and bustle of Kensington Gardens making it a great place to watch both the locals and the tourists explore and potter up North Street while you sip on one of their inventive cocktails and feast on some delicious and comforting grub. The restaurant is flooded by natural light and the soft pastel grey palette is offset by the lemon yellow booth and ‘live’ wall which creates a sense of tranquility. In the background plays funky soul beats which makes it feel current but relaxed.
To begin we shared the vegetable Pakora topped with shaved fennel and served with a coriander yoghurt. This is a gluten-free starter and they also offer a vegan alternative which you should opt for without a second thought – it’s coconut yogurt and absolutely divine. There are many perks to opting for plant-based dairy alternatives and coconut yoghurt is definitely one of them!
These three round pakoras were perfect. Crispy with a gooey and moist inside, the spices were balanced and set off beautifully by the exotic coconut yogurt. They reminded me of an upmarket onion bhaji, which I found hugely comforting and a real treat. I would order these again in a heartbeat.
Many Brighton pubs now offer beer-battered halloumi and chips as the vegetarian alternative to fish. Finally I’ve found somewhere in town that offers a vegan alternative – tofu! 1847 offer a cider battered smoked tofu, with hand cut chips, and kept classy with lemon curd and mint infused crushed peas. They also offer a gluten free option. The waiter kindly found us some veganaise for our chips which was much appreciated, so much so that my vegetarian pal turned down the usual mayonnaise because she preferred the vegan option.
The cider batter was crispy and evenly coated the smoked tofu which added to the flavour, standard tofu would have been too bland. The ‘crushy’ peas were spot on. I adore mushy peas, but preferred the texture of them crushed and the mint nicely complemented the slither of lemon curd. The portion of chips was very generous and reminiscent of those you would find in your favourite local chippy. Some may want their chips to be a little crispier on the outside, but overall I felt very content and thought they were delicious. The only thing missing was a traditional tartar sauce, it would have taken this plate to the next level.
For our other main we chose the Surf & Turf, an aubergine steak, seaweed salad, coleslaw and jersey royal potatoes. This is a good dish if you’re gluten free and keen to eat a purely plant-based diet. The aubergine was cooked perfectly, it had that real smokey flavour and soft texture and was complemented by the crunchy coleslaw. The potatoes were cosy, soft and fluffy and made sure you finished your plate feeling fulfilled and well-fed. The seaweed salad didn’t have a strong flavour and I don’t think added much, but overall it worked with the rest of the dish.
This plate tasted as good as it was nourishing, however, it didn’t feel special enough in the sense that I felt like I could have easily made this at home. In comparison the cider-battered tofu was a huge treat and felt incredibly indulgent which I loved.
For desert we shared the warm 1847 brownie. A gluten free dark chocolate brownie with chilli brittle, pistachio soil and a basil syrup. I enjoyed the crisp texture of the outside of the brownie alongside the soft inside which also crumbled. Some people like their brownies to be really gooey but given this was gluten free I really admired this rich brownie.
The chilli brittle although had a kick wasn’t fierce and pistachio soil added another level to the combination of flavours. Although I enjoyed the basil syrup I felt it was overpowered by the brownie, I’d upgrade it to a basil sorbet to cut through the richness of the chocolate and make the plate extra special.
I was very impressed with the portion sizes, we left feeling perfectly full and agreed that every plate was generous in it’s size. 1847 offer two courses for £19.75 and three courses for £25.50. We chose to share a starter and the desert which was perfect for lunch. Given that many pubs in central Brighton now charge double digits for vegan and vegetarian food I think the price-point was very reasonable, especially given the size of the plates and the it’s location.
Every plate was colourful, plentiful and always well presented. The service was smooth and evenly paced across the three courses and always friendly from start to finish. A great location and vibe for a lunch with friends or partners and ideal for an evening out with the range of cocktails followed by one for the road at one of the pubs or bars.
Tel: 01273 677776