Voted the 10th best restaurant in Brighton, I was delighted when I was invited down to review Semolina. It seems to be a new tradition of the blog to venture down roads I'm not a fan of to find little dining gems. A family run restaurant with a simple but stunning recipe and a homely and community-like feel.
The Restaurant and MenuBased off of London road, just down from the newly renovated student accommodation is hidden Semolina. With an open plan dining room and bar with a small kitchen in the back, it is warm from the kitchen and filled with the chatter of friends and the heat from the kitchen.
The menu is simple and clean with four starters, five mains and 4 desserts. The drinks menu is extensive, which was a little daunting but our waitress Linda was amazing; they are having a month of celebrating fine wines and so she was extremely knowledge on the right wine choices for our meal- even bringing tasters of the wine to ensure we were happy- we were, the wine was stunning.
We were advised to start with the homemade bread and we decided to accompany them with some Sicilian Nocellara green olives. The homemade bread, flavoured with rosemary and thyme, was actually the highlight of the entire meal. Filled with delicious olives and served with a truffle and sea salt butter and an olive oil with balsamic vinegar. The bread was crisp on the outside with a perfect fluffy middle.
For starter, I went with the Cuttlefish tartare with a breaded tentacle and ink vinegarette and Henry opted for the Sweet potato and Medita fritters served with chickpea, kale and tahini.
The Cuttlefish tartare was perfection. A beautiful balance of fresh fish, chilli heat, salty capers and acidity from the citrus, made the tartare perfect; with a generous size as well. Alongside this was served a lightly battered tentacle with a thin batter and a perfectly cooked through tentacle; the squid ink vinaigrette added an extra layer and a beautifully presented plate.
Henry's starter was Sweet Potato and Medita (cheese) fritters with Kale, Chickpeas and Tahini. The fritters were crispy and not unlike Falafel, with the Medita cheese going runny inside. This was nice with the slightly sharp Kale.
For main I went for the roasted pollock served with labneh, shrimp tabbouleh and chermoula. I wasn't actually sure what a couple of the elements were but I was so impressed with the starter I was intrigued. The fish came out perfectly cooked with a crisp skin and fall-apart flaky flesh. The tabbouleh matched it well with a citrus taste and bursts of raisins throughout; the shrimp taste was less strong than I thought but finding them added a pop of flavour. The chermoula added an extra creaminess to the whole dish.
Henrys main was a rump of lamb with mint, pancetta and charred lettuce. The flavours of the dish were lovely, with the smokey pancetta and the mint going really well with the tasty lamb rump. The lamb was served pink, which Henry is always a fan of.
I was actually really full after all of the food but, as I am sure you have worked out by now, I am an absolute sucker for a pudding! We decided to share the Pistachio parfait and brittle served with flourless chocolate cake.
The chocolate cake was rich and creamy with the crunch of fresh pistachios on top, mixed the cold creamy parfait it was a perfect end to the meal.
I will definitely be heading back to Semolina again; the service from all staff was outstanding from the greeting to each customer having the door held open as they left. If you went, what would you order? Let me know in the comments below or @brightonbbblog
I was invited to Semolina in exchange for a review, but all views are my own (or occasionally Henry's)