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Food & Drink

FOOD REVIEW: No 32 on Duke Steet

Besi Besemar February 28, 2016

No 32, on Duke Street introduce two new menus for the spring, offering brunch, fish and traditional grill options along with classic dishes including fish and chips.

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No 32, a glamorous place to eat as well as to be seen eating, has successfully created an dining ambiance unparalleled anywhere in the city.

The restaurant is stylish and spacious with little nooks and crannies where you can escape for a little more privacy and there is a wide choice of chairs to sit on ranging from hard wood to soft comfy sofas for lounging and drinking a cocktail. The restaurant is framed by a spectacular balcony where you can sit and watch the theatre below or better still you can sit at the long bar on the ground floor, have a cocktail, a snack and let the people on the balcony look at you.

The 32 Street Casual Menu (not available from 6.30pm on Saturday) includes:

A Brunch section featuring Eggs Royale with muffin, smoked salmon, poached eggs, caviar and hollandaise (£12), Poached Eggs, Avocado and Chorizo on sourdough toast (£9) and Fluffy Pancakes with bacon, banana, maple syrup (£7) amongst others.

A Burger section featuring the No 32 Classic Burger with bacon, monterey jack, relish and pickles (£10), a Salmon Burger with cornichons, parsley, aioli and calamari (£11), Brie Burger with caramelised onion, lettuce and tomato (£11) and the top of the range Truffle Burger braised in beer with onion rings, black truffle paste and truffled parmesan fries (£18). All burger patties are made from a 6oz dry-aged chuck steak and served with fries on a brioche bun.

The Chicken and Salad section features a Goat’s Cheese Salad¬†with¬†pomegranate, quinoa, fig, rocket and beetroot (¬£9.50), Chargrilled Chicken Salad¬†with avocado, red pepper, crispy capers, mustard mayo, baby gem lettuce (¬£10.50) and a Slow Roast Chicken served with fries and a choice of herb butter or spicy sauce (half ¬£12, full ¬£23) .

The Classic Section features Fish & Chips with peas, tartare sauce (£12.50) and Minute Steak with salad, confit garlic butter and chips (£12).

The Dessert Section offers among other favourites a Chocolate Brownie Sundae with honeycomb, vanilla ice cream, salt, caramel (£6), Sticky Toffee Pudding with white chocolate ice cream, toffee sauce (£6), Strawberry Trifle with strawberry sorbet, black pepper, creme patissiere (£7) and a first class selection of British and French Cheeses with grapes, chutney and water biscuits (£8).

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The 32 Grill Menu includes a selection of platters, ethically sourced fish choices and a selection of beef steaks (including sirloin, rib-eye, fillet and beef rump cap), chicken and pork.

Starters include: Salt & Pepper Squid with Singapore sauce (£6.50), Feta & Watermelon Salad with Israeli couscous, mint with lemon oil (£6) and Steak Tartare with whisky mayo, shallots, parsley, confit egg york and sourdough toast (£8.50).

Sharing Platters include: Veg Tempura Platter with chilli salt and ginger soy dip (£10), Tempura Fish Platter with chilli salt and ponzu sauce (£12.50) and a Charcuterie Board with pickles, crostini, brie de meaux and homemade chutney (£13).

Fish choices include: Whole Chargrilled Sea Bream in Thai curry butter and charred brocolli (£16) and Roast Cod with mussels, chorizo, new potatoes and samphire (£17).

Grill Choices include: Lobster cooked in confit garlic butter with fries (at market price), Sirloin steak (7oz; ¬£18, 10oz; ¬£24), Rib-Eye steak (7oz; ¬£19, 10oz; ¬£24), Beef Rump Cap steak (8oz; ¬£20), Fillet Steak (7oz; ¬£28) or if you really want to spoil yourself with¬†Bone-In Rib steak¬†(20oz; ¬£45.00). A No 32 Classic Burger bacon, monterey jack, relish, pickles and fries¬†costs just (¬£10) while the Squash, Aubergine & Goat’s Cheese Stack with arancini, pine nuts and fine beans (¬£13) is the sole vegetarian choice on the grill menu.

On our lunch time visit, I chose for starters Steak Tartare with whisky mayo, shallots, parsley, confit egg yolk and sourdough toast (£8.50) from the 32 Grill Menu. Some might think slightly pricey, but I can guarantee worth every bite with perfectly balanced flavours offering a slight kick from the whisky mayo. My dining partner, a vegetarian chose the Charred Tomato Toast with baby mozzarella and basil (£6) from the Brunch section of the 32 Street Casual menu. The tomatoes were sweet and tender the mozzerella lightly flavoured and moist and the dish was charred to perfection.

For mains I chose the Chargrilled Chicken Salad (£10.50) from the Street Casual menu. Tender chicken well marinated and charred served on a lush bed of baby gem lettuce with avocado, red pepper, crispy capers with the mustard mayo lifting this salad to another level. It was really very satisfying and alone will ensure I will return to dine at No 32. My dining partner chose the Falafel Burger from the Street Casual menu with tahini, halloumi, grilled aubergine, herb mayo, and served with fries (£9). He said the burger was exceptional but thought maybe more effort could have gone into the presentation of this dish which looked ordinary on the plate.

Even though it was lunch we both found room for desert. I chose the selection of British and French Cheeses with grapes, chutney and water biscuits, costing a very reasonable (£8). The portion was huge and the cheeses had been given plenty of time to breath and included a lovely blue and camembert. My dining partner indulged the Passionfruit Cheesecake served with dark chocolate sorbet and passionfruit jelly (£6.50). A triumph!

Having restricted ourselves mainly to the Street Casual menu at our lunch visit, I sneaked back later in the week to try some main course grills from the 32 Grill menu.

The 10oz Rib Eye steak served with slow roasted tomatoes and salad (£24) was cooked perfectly, medium rare as requested, and the steak was well marbled and full of flavour while my dining partner tried the Iberia Pork-Chop with burnt apple, creamed potato and pointed cabbage (£16.50). He found the pork tasty and tender and well set off by the burnt apple, while the creamed potato and pointed cabbage provided the icing on this particular dish.

When ordering from the 32 Grill menu most of the steaks need vegetables and fries which can be ordered from the separate Sides section on the menu.

I enjoyed both my visits to No 32. The venue is perfect for socialising and chatting over a meal and no doubt, will really come into its own in the warmer weather when you can also dine outside on the pavement. On both visits there was no loud background music playing which for me is a big plus but most important of all the staff were attentive, well-trained and beautifully presented.

My only very slight criticism is that the vegetarian choices were thin on the ground and limited to just one choice in each section. Maybe something that could be considered when constructing the next menus.

You will find No 32 at 32 Duke Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1AG
Telephone: 01273 77 33 88
Open daily: from 11.30am to 11pm on Sunday to Thursday and to 9.30pm on Friday and Saturday

For more information, click here:

 

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