Spice up your life with these great Indian restaurants in Brighton, and it’s Brighton, so they’re going to be a little bit out of the ordinary.
Open since 2001, and after a relocation in 2015 (they were too popular!), Indian Summer is going from strength to strength. There are a number of menus you can choose from here, the main menu, the sharing menu (for big groups), and the #ThaliTime menu (basically their pre-theatre menu). Order some lentil papads to start, and try the masala dosa, a lentil and rice pancake stuffed with a spicy vegetable filling with coconut cream on the side. This is a pretty sophisticated place so don’t be surprised if you’re offered a palate cleanser. The main dishes are delicious, especially the paneer curry, note how perfectly it’s cooked, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. The desserts are equally as delicious, which isn’t the usual chat you’d get from an Indian restaurant, the Mango Brulee with Ajwain shortbread is smooth, cooling, and offsets the richness of the main courses. The blooming teas put on a spectacular show, they actually bloom in the water. Bloomin’ book already!
The Chilli Pickle
After catching the travel bug and working overseas as a chef in Dubai, Alun decided to bring his favourite food to Brighton, where he’s settled down with his wife Dawn. They’ve been awarded the best takeaway in Britain four years in a row at the National Curry Awards, so even if you can’t get a table, get a takeaway. The menu is full of Indian delights, with everything from nibbles, to street food and small plates, to curries, to grills and biryanis, you won’t go hungry. If you’re looking for something to do on a Sunday, you should hit up the chilli pickle. Their all day Sunday brunch is a great alternative to the usual avo on toast. They are also renowned for their playful spin on Anglo Indian classics with the unctuous Oxtail Madras winning their first national award in 2008 for Britain’s hottest curry (phwoar!). You might want to book as it’s popular with locals and tourists alike.
Curry leaf cafe
Want to go somewhere a little different from the usual Indian restaurant? Curry leaf cafe is a warm, inviting, and relaxing place to dine. Make sure you order the mixed nibble platter to have while you drink one of their great beers, because what’s an Indian though without a beer? There are so many options to choose from for starters, but the lamb kebabs are so juicy you’ll want more. If you’re going to the curry leaf cafe, a must try is the Goan Fish Kadi, the fillets of local grey mullet are simmered in kokum and coconut sauce flavoured with fenugreek and turmeric, deliciously rich and warming. The curries are saucy (naughty!) so make sure you get some naan to mop it up (peshwari v garlic – where do you stand?! – we’re more peshwari…). If it all gets a little to hot, then try one of their raitas, they have three different types, coconut yoghurt, smoked aubergine, and the classic mint. Don’t fear if there’s no room at the inn here, they have another location, Kemptown kitchen on Upper St. James’s St. Plus, if you’re travelling, try their food at their Brighton Station kiosk. Delish.