Opened since 1993, Terre à Terre can rightly claim to be a Brighton institution. Founded by chefs Amanda Powley and Philip Taylor, East Street Restaurant is known for its creative vegetarian cuisine, packed with fusion flavors and colorful, layered plates that are always visually spectacular.
I have to admit it’s been a while since I’ve eaten there.
With the pandemic followed by the opening of so many new restaurants in town, Terre à Terre had kind of slipped off my radar, which I find a bit strange now as I’ve always loved the place.
So I suggested to my colleague Nathalie that we stop by for a quick midweek lunch to refresh our minds and tummy.
As I’m keeping a close eye on the menus and offerings at the moment, the new “Plantiful” promotion, “more veggies for less wedge,” as they whimsically put it, stood out.
On arrival we were greeted by the manager Vanessa who I think I’ve known for well over 15 years and hasn’t changed a bit. It must be because of eating great vegetarian food.
The decor of the restaurant hasn’t really changed either – it’s not fancy, but it doesn’t look cheap either. Red walls with simple wooden tables and chairs all felt reassuringly familiar and cozy.
Being greedy, we ordered all three main options.
The sweetcorn pies are an old favorite of mine, but the sides have been refreshed with a bold pesto made with oregano, cilantro, and lime and tangy jalapeño. The seared oyster mushroom offered deep umami flavors with a fresh tasting sauce of peas, lemon and barley.
The star of the show, however, was the smoked karekatsu tofu: deep-fried chunks of tofu in teriyaki sauce paired with a tangy ginger-sesame salad of carrots and turnip greens.
Nathalie literally licked this plate clean, which is really high praise.
We then ordered a trio of puddings, including the ever-popular cinnamon-sugar churros — a favorite Terre à Terre dessert — with vodka-soaked cherries and warm chocolate dipping sauce.
The Terry Berry Brûlée is soy based, but you’d never know – it’s so smooth and creamy you’d actually think it was milk pudding.
It certainly didn’t have that “beany” earthy flavor that can come with soy dishes.
For lovers of a refreshing sorbet to end their meal, the homemade mango and clementine margarita flavors are a must.
The entire Plantiful menu is completely vegan, which is surprising as the dishes have so much depth.
It’s a testament to the skill and knowledge of the kitchen team that simple vegetables can be transformed into such exciting and flavorful dishes.
Priced at £18.85 for two courses and open daily from 12pm to 6pm, it’s hard to find food of this quality at this pocket-friendly price anywhere else.
The drinks menu is comprehensive and it’s good to see local spirits including Brighton Gin and Ditchling Spirits.
All wines are organic and there is also a variety of biodynamic and vegan wines on the menu.
A pint carafe – perfect for sharing with lunch – costs £22.50, meaning a hearty meal with drinks is available for £30 per person.
The service team really know their stuff and are passionate about the restaurant, so don’t be shy about asking for advice and recommendations, especially as it can be confusing to imagine the dishes on the menu as they have so many ingredients, of which many you may not be familiar with.
One of the joys of dining out is stocking up on Terre à Terre goodies on the way out.
There are plenty of pre-packaged chutneys, jams and snacks to buy and take away.
Let’s just say that a crate of boozy rum truffles found its way back to Hove that day but didn’t see the sunset.
My long overdue visit to Terre à Terre was a welcome reminder that Terre à Terre is not just the best vegetarian restaurant in Brighton. It is quite simply the best restaurant in Brighton.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20775936.review-terre-terre-brighton/?ref=rss Rating of Terre a Terre in Brighton