Indian Summer Brighton
69 East St, Brighton, BN1 1HQ
Since we extended the range of The Hedonist to cover the south of the UK as well as London, it has been a great opportunity to revisit old haunts as well as pastures new. Brighton is a city I have both lived and worked in and so know it well, but Indian Summer is somewhere that hasn’t been on my radar before, so it was great to be invited to review it.
Indian Summer interior
The restaurant has been a mainstay of the Brighton dining scene for 12 years now. Situated in East St, a favourite location for shopping and dining, that borders the Lanes and snakes down to the sea, the interior is an attractive blend of wood, dark browns, chandeliers and evocative huge black and white photographic portraits.
As we checked out the menu La Hedonista was drinking a Kingfisher Beer but I threw caution to the wind and opted for a glass of Sula Indian wine (£5.95 for 250 ml). It was a pretty fierce Sauvignon that did at least stand up to the spice flavours that were to come.
As a pre-starter snack we opted for the Bhel Puri (£4.95). It is a classic mix of puffed rice, gram flour sticks, potatoes, onions, chickpeas and tomatoes, served with an overlaying of coriander and chilli, date and tamarind chutney and yoghurt. Combined together it’s a refreshing blend of crunch and sweetness, sourness and spice. It has a terrific mouth feel and is a deservedly popular dish.
Indian Summer offers a selection of lunchtime Thalis (£9.95-£12.95) but we opted for the 2 course lunchtime set menu (£14.95).
Our first starter was Paneer Shashlik which featured grilled cubes of paneer, pineapple and beetroot. This was a simple but really effective dish-the beetroot was perfectly grilled and the paneer still moist.
Onion Aubergine Pakoda
Onion Aubergine Pakoda was really like a bhaji. It had subtle cumin inflected spicing and came with a crisp batter and yoghourt dipping sauces.
Alleppey Prawn Moilee
Alleppey Prawn Moilee, our first main dish, came with a good helping of juicy prawns in a mild-flavoured onion and coconut sauce. The additional beans, courgettes and broccoli were a bit overcooked for my taste but the basmati rice was perfect.
The Pao-Bhaji vegetable subz was a rich, buttery and well-spiced vegetable curry topped with coriander and butter.
Mango brûlée with coconut shortbread
For dessert we shared a Mango brûlée with coconut shortbread. This was a really good creme brûlée with a crispy caramelised top and a ‘yolk’ of mango purée inside.
Dinner at Indian Summer is £22.95 for 2 courses and £27.95 for 3. There is a wider choice of dishes than at lunchtime and on Sunday lunch they do a Tandoori roast; but whatever time of day you choose you are going to find some of the best Indian cooking in Brighton at Indian Summer.