‘Brighton’s Grand has a recipe for success with this restaurant’

The challenge of a hotel restaurant is that it has to cater to everyone. It’s an ongoing frustration for hoteliers – especially in older buildings – how they can all serve in the same room business guests traveling alone, informally dressed tourists and locals out for a celebratory meal.

Unfortunately, British hotel restaurants outside of London and the super-premium spa hotels of the home countries have also gained a reputation for mediocre, overpriced food and poor service. You can see the problems of the hoteliers: we just want to drop our bags and go to the door while they want us to stay and play.

The Grand in Brighton has seen a fair number of relaunches over the years – none of which have specifically addressed the above issues – but with its restaurant Cyan, which opened before the pandemic but hasn’t had a chance to shine, has it finally achieved a working format.

In terms of interior design, it seems to have landed in the sweet spot between effortless style and laid-back nonchalance, which is a mise-en-scène that many other Coastal restaurants have clearly hinted at, no matter how hard they tried.

When I visited, Cyan’s huge oval central bar played host to a few eclectic groups of work colleagues and clients, but the majority of the guests were enjoying the sunset over the West Pier from the adjacent conservatory.

It was a mixed mix of couples and families with a decent level of upbeat entertainment and harmless background music from the 60’s to the present day.

Overall, the menu features classic, tried-and-true dishes that offer a pretty good selection for all tastes.

The plating is contemporary but the food is reassuringly familiar, which isn’t a bad thing. And obviously, a lot of emphasis has been placed on sourcing quality ingredients and preparing them just as well.

To start, we opted for crispy kale stalks in a light, crunchy batter, served with sweet chilli sauce. It was a perfect example of something very simple done very well.

Likewise, the crab and crab cocktail was packed with good stuff – no skimping on the shrimp here – and it was also beautifully served with a mini Bloody Mary shot on the side, which was a nice touch.

Our mains included a seafood linguine, which looked a bit disappointing on arrival as the noodles had been piled on top of lobster and tiger prawns – but no complaints from my dining partner as we twisted his fork.

I went with cod accompanied by assorted peas and beans, minted potatoes and cream sauce with a satisfying toasted crumb.

The Argus: The delicious cod dishThe delicious cod dish

The fish was clearly first class and the vegetables exemplary and that is high praise indeed as this dish makes a weekly appearance on the chez moi table.

For dessert there was a shared pineapple tatin with coconut sorbet which had an impressive texture and filled the whole room with the most delicious scent.

If I could have bottled the aroma and taken it home, I would have.

The drinks menu is extensive with a really decent selection of craft beers, cocktails and wine by the glass starting at five.

There’s a great tribute to the Sussex vineyards with Stopham, Bolney, Rathfinny and Nyetimber, and – everyone’s favorite spirit – Brighton Gin, topped the selection of gins.

Staff wise it was a pleasure to see a few familiar faces of Brighton hospitality once again bringing professional yet friendly service to The Grand.

I was equally impressed by our young waitress, Sarah, who clearly understood all aspects of the menu and wine list thoroughly and provided exceptional service.

We definitely need more Sarahs in Brighton.

The price of the menu is variable. Decently sized starters range from £7.50 to £12, with mains starting at a very reasonable £15 to a slightly jaw-dropping £58 for a whole local lobster, but most dishes are between £20 and £30.

Note that the sides are billed separately, which is a personal bogeyman of mine.

I know these days that every penny counts when it comes to margins, but a fiver for mashed potatoes?

Simply serve as a balanced portion and ask for a few extra pounds if needed.

All in all this was a really enjoyable evening and I can easily see myself coming back with my parents or popping in alone for a sneaky second round of codfish.

Without a doubt, Cyan is the best incarnation of The Grand restaurant I’ve experienced in my 20 years in the city. It has jettisoned formality and pretension with the proverbial bath water and is now a welcoming place with an accessible menu that offers something for everyone. Proof that there is definitely still a lot of life in this Grand Old Dame.

Nick Mosley

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20279718.brightons-grand-winning-formula-restaurant/?ref=rss ‘Brighton’s Grand has a recipe for success with this restaurant’

Fry Electronics Team

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