“After looking forward to it all week-long, I couldn’t have been more ready for a delicious meal. I already knew it would be delicious you see, it always is.” Lady Smart
As part of our Brighton Minication which you can read about here, we visited the Food for Friends restaurant for lunch as the teenager had read a review about it on the Lady Smart blog written by Brighton based blogger and You Tuber Niomi Smart. Food for Friends is unique in that it serves a completely vegetarian menu, which was a first for me even though I’ve been veggie for about twenty-five years I have never been to a completely meat free establishment.
I was surprised to find out that the Food for Friends restaurant, which is located in the South Lanes just a stones throw from Brighton Seafront, has been open since 1981 as I had assumed it was a much newer concept . The menu is packed with a vast array of mouth-watering vegetarian dishes (such a refreshing change to the one or two options on normal menus) and the restaurant supports the local community using fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
The decor is warm and elegant combining a pale palette of colours with contemporary wooden furniture and large photographic food prints adorning the walls add pops of colour. The staff were very friendly and welcoming and the restaurant had a good vibe even at lunchtime. The capacity is considerably bigger than you initially think, with the dining area divided up into different sections as well as an outside seating area and the large windows in our area provided an excellent vista for people watching and generally nosiness.
I found myself in an unusual position of being overwhelmed with options and with so much to choose from and still recovering from our large breakfast, I opted for the Arborio Rice Risotto with asparagus, garden peas and broad beans which combined a selection of my favourite risotto ingredients and I was not disappointed with my choice. The teenager had the Marinated Roast Aubergine stuffed with bulgar wheat, persian berries, mulberries, tomato sauce and tahini remoulade topped off with crispy shredded potato which she said was a tasty combination of flavours, textures and colours. Both dishes were beautifully presented, smelled delicious and tasted divine. We definitely need to return for dinner with bigger appetites, as we were both too full to try deserts which all looked amazing.
The restaurant has recently been named in the top 50 ‘Fit For Foodies’ restaurant in the UK by OpenTable diners, has its place in the Good Food Guide 2014 and back in 2012 was crowned Best Restaurant at the Brighton & Hove Foodie Awards. According to its website, Food for Friends can cater for people with special dietary needs, has vegan and gluten-free options for many dishes on the menu and freshly baked vegan and gluten-free breads, cakes and scones and there’s also a roast on Sunday. Visit their website here to read about the concept, check out the menus and book a table online. My advice would be to make sure you visit the restaurant soon even if you are a non-veggie, just to try something new and embrace the gourmet vegetarian experience.
Read about the OpenTable Diners Choice Top 50 Fit for Foodies restaurants in the UK here.
Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2014. All rights reserved.