Why beaches and curry are a winning formula
The seaside resort of Brighton is a well-known cosmopolitan party spot, proud of its pebbly beach, famous pier and iconic observation tower. What elevates Brighton high above other British coastal destinations is the staggering variety of places to eat out. Indian Summer, a first-class modern Indian restaurant, is a perfect example of exceptional fine dining in Brighton. Conveniently, the restaurant is located within striking distance of the beach. The sophisticated mirror-and-chandelier interior is inviting and comfortable, and you can’t help but be drawn in by the mouth-watering menu descriptions.
Our starters were splendid. The spiciness of the cashew nut marinade in the Paneer Tikka complemented the firm creaminess of the homemade paneer. The Onion Aubergine Pakoda in a gram flour batter were so moreish, they should surely be contenders for best ever gluten-free, vegan snack. And the golden Masala Dosa served with an appetising coconut chutney and sambhar was a comforting classic.
The main courses were so tempting, it was difficult to narrow down our choices. The Tandoori Platter, a veritable lamb and chicken feast, is definitely the one to pick if you like your meat to arrive sizzling, with the added bonus of a lovely mint raita. The Malvani Mutton, a Marathi warrior dish cooked in cardamom, coriander, cumin and black pepper, was nicely tender and came in such a flavoursome sauce, I couldn’t resist spooning it up like a soup. The mound of accompanying coconut rice balanced this dish beautifully. The delicious Goan Prawn Masaledar had proper-sized king prawns in a light coconut sauce with curry leaves.
It is clear that a lot of thought has gone into the flavour mixes. This is no ordinary Indian restaurant. There is no flatness here; only layers of interesting tastes to savour. There is confidence in the use of unexpected combinations such as an orange raita paired with prawns, sesame and fennel with bream, and chilli with sage. I particularly liked the apple clove chutney and the punchy garlic pickle. I’d love to be able to buy these to take home!
Indian Summer is passionate about its complex use of spices, but is not afraid to keep things simple too like the tasty plain roti and the clean and refreshing salty lassi.
We appreciated Indian Summer’s professional expertise throughout our three courses. It was nice to see their sense of fun too, such as the cheeky Pina Colada Sundae with Malibu Poached Pineapple dessert. The fragrant Mango Brulee also provided a suitably sweet finish to a wonderful Indian meal.
The seaside may be synonymous with fish and chips, but Indian Summer proves that beaches and curry are a winning formula.
Indian Summer, 70 East Street, Brighton, BN1 1HQ