- June 11, 2018
With the sun beating down where better to dine than a restaurant with outside tables? Not that I wanted to sit in blazing sun, but it does mean that inside tends to be cool and quiet. Grow 40 offers such a space and, with a new chef, an exciting new menu. Do not fear, there are plenty of their old favourites but in addition a much simpler and sleeker a la carte offering.
I lured Mr L along, not that he takes much luring, and we started with a glass of champagne, it’s one of their new initiatives to champion a massive list of sparkling French wines. The menu is limited to five dishes at start, middle and end, a change I admire. I don’t need five pages to choose from and I do like to know that what is offered is cooked to order.
Mr L started with asparagus with butter, pea, egg and cress, a classic combination that he declared delightful. I could not resist pigeon, breast slices, perfectly cooked leg meat in a cigar-shaped fine pastry, a spelt risotto, beetroot and cherry gel. Each part as good as the next and all beautifully presented. And spelt risotto… who would have thought?
Mr L moved on to a lamb dish that included loin, shoulder and belly that came with the classic combo of lettuce and peas. It looked divine and he ate it with relish but did feel that a potato would not have gone amiss.
Very French – what’s not to love?
My dish of halibut was sensational and flavoured delicately with lemongrass. I chose it because I like halibut but also because it included cockles and as a Lancashire lad cockles are my heritage. I am pleased to say that unlike many restaurants where the word cockles means a meagre scattering, here they came in abundance, not only on the dish, but laced through the immaculate daube of risotto on the side, I was not carb shy for sure and a woofed it down.
The desserts on offer are simply listed, one strawberry, one banana, one milk and one cherry with a cheese option as well. Mr L chose cherry, a clafoutis made with ground almond and a separate cherry soup with marscpone. It was big and very yummy and I was filled with envy. I chose banana which was almost a trifle of cake peanuts and toffee with a banana milkshake on the side. It was very good but dare I say it, too big. I like generous but it was out of kilter with the finesse of the rest of our dishes.
Service is immaculate, old school polite but friendly too, and very French. What’s not to love?
40 Kensington Gardens, Brighton BN1 4AL
01273 622519 grow40.com