Favourite Tables

Brighton

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Review – TheSet Brighton

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The Set Brighton is just waiting to be discovered…

The Set Brighton is one of those restaurants that once you discover you feel like you’ve missed out having never been here before now. It is a bit of a secret, hidden just out of the main shopping district of the city, in Regency Square, carefully tucked around the corner. That being said, it’s difficult not to spot with a bright sign on the door, marking it out upon the townhouse facades of its shoulder-to-shoulder companions round the square.

The Set Restaurant Brighton

Its location is enviable, the square begging to be flopped onto under the sun after dining, your stomach full and pleasantly content. The i360 is a stone throw away and you can hear the gulls squawking and waves lapping upon the shore. It’s small yet eccentric, part of the Artist Residence Hotel. In a nod to its namesake, it is decorated in such a way you almost crane your neck trying to look at everything at once. Rustic brick walls with contemporary artwork and chalkboards displaying the specials are complimented by large windows at the front of the restaurant, allowing the room to be flooded with light. If you are happy enough to sit here it’s a great spot to look out to the seafront. The tables and chairs are made of wood and you can choose to sit at the pass, a great opportunity to watch the chefs at work. It’s a space that’s as unpretentious as the staff, you feel comfortable and relaxed as soon as you enter and nothing is too much effort.

The Set Restaurant BrightonThe Set Brighton Restaurant

The menu at the Set Bar is vast and varied and you can choose tapas style dishes which you can pair with glasses of wine. The dishes are seasonal and proudly British, with beautifully arranged combinations of flavour, of texture and colour.

The Set Brighton RestaurantThe menu of the Set Brighton is laid out with hot dishes, cold dishes and then desserts. It is delicious and the price tags are low – something you rarely get in places like this. Dishes on the cold menu include Maldon Oyster with ponzu/ shallot vinegar (£2.50) Burrata, pea pesto and rhubarb (£4) and Flint owl Sourdough and whipped butter (£2.50.) On the hot menu you can enjoy potatoes, buttermilk and herbs (£3), lamb meatball, goats cheese and anchovy crumb (£4) and Honeyed artichokes with tahini (£3) among a whole other host of delicious offerings. We recommend you pair wine with your main meal and swap to a cocktail for dessert.

The Set Brighton Restaurant

They’re simply too good it would be a crime not to try. Dessert wise, you can indulge in a dark chocolate & dolce lecce mousse (£3), Lamington with whipped cream (£3) or Carrot cake truffles (£3)

The Set Brighton Restaurant

The Set Brighton is somewhere you can go to enjoy fine wine, even finer food and leave without your bank balance having taken a major bashing. The atmosphere is great, the setting ideal and the location perfect. It is somewhere you will return to again and again, with friends, with family, with your other half and with everyone in between.

The Set Brighton
33 Regency Square
Brighton
BN1 2GG

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Chef Patron Michael Bremner Talks To Chef’s Table

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Michael Bremner is originally from Aberdeen in the North East of Scotland, he started out washing pots in the country house hotel where his mother worked as a chef. Remaining in Aberdeenshire he started a five-year apprenticeship at The Pittodrie House Hotel and attended a local college one day per week. Once qualified he moved to London to further his experience working as a Demi-Chef de Partie in the pastry section at the Michelin starred Orrery Restaurant. Staying in London he gained experience at a few restaurants including working for Curtis Stone at the award winning restaurant, Quo Vadis.

Michael then worked and travelled for a couple of years spending time in Australia and then Canada where he combined his love of snowboarding with cooking and was a chef in the kitchen of Pan Pacific Hotel, Whistler in Canada, before returning to the UK and settling in Brighton where he now runs his own restaurant 64 Degrees.

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Since it opened, 64 Degrees has gone from strength to strength, each year being awarded a Bib Gourmand by Michelin, awarded the number one spot on the Brighton Top 20 in 2016 & 2017 and being voted number 30 in the National Restaurant Top 100 list 2017.

Michael now has more than one restaurant to his name, he has recently opened a relaxed eatery called Murmur (the name comes from the word for a flock of birds moving in unison, a Murmuration) in the arches on the Brighton promenade.

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2017 has been a busy year for him as he also appeared, for the second time, on the popular BBC programme The Great British Menu, where his Main Course dish was selected for the final banquet held at Wimbledon.

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Q: If you were not a chef, what could you have been?

A: When I was younger I always wanted to be a stuntman.

Q: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet)

A: The Ledbury

Q: Is there a food or style of preparing food you would not eat?

A: I like to think that I’m quite adventurous but I don’t think I could ever eat dog.

Q: With the increased TV food programmes, is there a greater rivalry among chefs?

A: With my experience of being on Great British Menu I’d honestly have to say no. I think everyone involved is kind of in the same boat – it’s a very tough, high-pressure environment so if anything there’s a lot of unity between everyone.

Even between the chefs in Brighton, I would say that it’s the same unity rather than rivalry – we actually end up doing a lot of collaborations together

Q: How are you spreading your time between your two restaurants and what are the challenges of having two locations?

A; It’s not easy, I’m not going to lie! I am lucky enough to have a great team at 64 Degrees so at the moment I don’t have to be there every day to make sure the day-to-day running of the kitchen is how it should be, although I’m still heavily involved with working alongside Sam, my Head Chef, in developing the menu.

With Murmur, we opened just as the summer holidays were starting. In Brighton. On the seafront. It’s been pretty crazy and I’ve been in the kitchen there for the vast majority of my time over the past few weeks. It’s all coming together now though and the eventual aim is to get to a point where I’ll be splitting my time evenly between both restaurants. By then I might have forgotten how hard it is and try and open another one!

 

Q: What is your favourite dish on the current menu/s in which you use produce from your most local supplier?

A: It’s got to be the braised ox tongue, as much for sentiment than anything, as this is the dish I won Great British Menu with. In terms of the suppliers, pretty much everyone we use is local – BNFS for their great fresh fish, Barfields Butchers, plus at 64 Degrees we get a whole lamb each week from local Saddlescombe Farm and butcher it ourselves, serving different cuts throughout the week.

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Q: If you could invite any Chef past or present to cook alongside you for one night who would that be and why?

A: I would love to have the opportunity to cook with Bob Ovington, who was the guy who first trained me at the Pittodrie House Hotel in Aberdeenshire. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today

Bob Ovington

 

My Favourite Tables – Two restaurants I have visited and why?

 

 

Locally I’d say that my favourite place is The Chilli Pickle. It’s such a great place to eat and my two little girls love it there too so we end up going quite a lot.

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The other place I eat at a lot is Pho. I really enjoy Vietnamese noodle soup and their spicy beef brisket pho dish is right up there for me.

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A day at the beach with Chef Lee Redman

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Favourite Tables talks to Chef Lee Redman of the newly opened The Jetty at Brighton’s Harbour Hotel for “Chef’s Table”

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FT: are you a born Chef?

Lee: it does feel like that! I’ve been in kitchens since the age of 13. Like most teenagers, I wanted more cash in my pocket, so took on a weekend job working in a local pub. Like a lot of chefs I talk to, I started as a pot washer and stuck at it… it must’ve been the £3.15 per hour! Then slowly I started learning how to prepare and cook (I remember endless amounts of peeling and sorting parsley!) Once, when the owners were away, the agency chef covering messed up and from then on I got more and more involved in the kitchen.

FT: How did thing progress for you?

Lee: I completed a three year course at a local college, 2 years studying an AVCE in Hospitality & Catering Industry, then a further year completing Level 3 NVQ Practical Cookery & Food Service. I moved from that first pub to a local bistro/restaurant and then to a local hotel. I landed my first Head Chef job at the very young age of 22 at a beautiful gastropub near Arundel and retained 1 Rosette, before moving on to London as it was always a wish to further my knowledge working there.

Here I started working at The Stafford Hotel  in St. James’s as Junior Sous. After three years moving to The Bluebird in Chelsea which is a 2 Rosette Brasserie, then on to Galvin at Windows  in the Park Lane Hilton which has 1 Michelin Star and 3 Rosette where I ran the the fish section.

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FT: Who has influenced or helped you along the way?

Lee: After a few years in London the Head Chef from The Stafford Hotel, Chef Mark Budd, approached me. We had worked really well together and our styles of cooking complemented one another. Mark asked me to come and work back in Sussex as his Senior Sous at Alexander House Hotel & Spa. Here I was given the opportunity to work across the kitchen and we took the Hotel from a 4 Star to 5 Star, and the restaurant to 3 AA Rosettes, whilst retaining 1 Rosette in the Brasserie

FT: Would you say you are settled in your style and how would you describe it?

Lee: I would say my approach to food is to always strive to get the best out of the ingredients, from sourcing the correct quality and as local as possible through to executing precisely on the plate. My style would have to be classic French / British with modern touches.  As to being settled, I will focus on the classics, however I am keen to learn new techniques and styles and will incorporate those that can help me deliver exciting seasonal dishes with great flavours to our customers.

FT: How did you find yourself working in Brighton?

Lee: I believe I have built a good reputation working within Hotel restaurants and was approached about the possible position of Head Chef for what would be a totally refurbished Brighton Hotel, which had me already interested.  When finding out the group was Harbour Hotels, it was literally a no brainer. The company is extremely well set up with good solid knowledge through all departments in all venues, award winning & great place for a chef. We have developed a great menu and I am lucky in having an incredibly talented brigade working with me. The Jetty has really achieved incredible results and we are getting full services every day and incredible customer feed back.

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FT: What are your favourite dishes to cook at home and in the restaurant?

Lee: That is a hard questions for any chef to answer because of using seasonal ingredients and what’s available……….You’re not going to let me away with that answer are you….

OK, If I’m cooking at home for my wife then it has to be my Beef Chilli and I add a few squares of dark chocolate (trust me!) It has to be good quality chocolate I use Valrhona

In the restaurant the best dishes are those when you don’t do too much to the signature ingredient. I love to use Hand Dived Scallops and my favourite dish is Scallop, oyster emulsion, oyster leaf, oyster foam, tempura cockles, razor clam, pickled kohlrabi, seaweed butter. It is great to eat and really keeps the freshness of the sea.

FT: now chef, where are your two favourite tables, the restaurants you like to visit when ever you can?

Lee: Locally I’ve been eating at one of the restaurants belonging to a small group called the Gingerman company, the Ginger Pig in Hove is a real favourite at the moment, great menu, lovely presentation and flavours with all locally sourced produce and clever usage of it.

When I get up to London then it’s Gilgamesh right by Camden Market. The presentation of the food is just brilliant and so fresh. As it’s Pan-Asian you can have dishes from across the region Sushi, Dim Sum, Tempura and Wok dishes

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FT: When we asked if you were a born chef you laughed, can we ask why…..

Lee: Ah you noticed.. I know many chefs would say they were inspired by their Grandmothers or Mothers and in a way my mum did get me interested in cooking, it was a survival thing………..(her cooking was terrible). please don’t send this to her!  But she did burn most things and then just flip it over and dish it up, sorry mum! So I was inspired to to become a good cook……my mum still tells me how to cook when I visit, thanks mum!

 

 

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Indian Summer

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Authentic regional cooking with a mix of  traditional family recipes passed down through the generations and new creations with a modern gastro twist.

Nawabi Murgh Min and Byron

The menus features popular Mumbai street foods such as the Bhel Puri – a tasty  snack of puffed rice, gram flour sticks with potatoes,  chickpeas, tomatoes and red onions.

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My main of Indian Summer Nariyali Swordfish steak in a coconut, chilli, mint & yoghurt marinade served with roasted fennel potatoes, mixed salad and cumin raita was outstanding.  This was followed by an excellent Chilli & Chocolate Sponge with vanilla ice cream Mango Bruleé with shortbread .

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On a different planet to the Bangladeshi fast food curry houses that populate every high street in the UK which serve ersatz Indian foods, which their chefs would never eat at home.