Andrew Kay Dines – Hot Spots – Chilli Pickle

Chilli Pickle Brighton


When friends who have moved abroad come to visit there is always a desire to show them what’s best on the city’s dining scene. But what do they miss most. After years of doing this it has to be Indian food, not a roast or fish and chips but Indian. I have to confess that outside of the UK, and of course India, I have never found good Indian food.

Mr & Mrs T were here for only four days from their new home in Brisbane and true to form they wanted Indian. It was mid evening on a Sunday but we were lucky enough to get a table at a city favourite, Chilli Pickle.

Chilli Pickle proved to visting friends that it really is a jewel in the crown of our city

From the very start in their tiny Lanes premises to Jubilee Square, the brilliant team of Alan and Dawn Sperring and their brilliant brigade of chefs and front of house staff have been wowing customers with their vibrant menu of regional Indian cuisine. It’s a place I like rather too much and I will sneak in on my own to indulge in a spicy pre-theatre feast or clandestine lunch, so it was an obvious choice for showing off the city’s best.

The ubiquitous Mr L joined us and true to form ordered his favourite dish, the chicken biriani. Mrs T followed suit and was suitably impressed,loving the side dish of creamy pink sauce that comes as part of the deal along with a sweet chilli chutney and riatta.

Mr T was persuaded by me to order the tandoori lamb cutlets. I will often choose this as they are so perfectly cooked and come in a plentiful portion. He ordered rice on the side and another of my favourite dishes, the aubergine crush which is wonderfully moreish. Judging by the wide grin on his face he was more than happy.

I chose one of their newer dishes, an Indian take on surf and turf. I’m not sure why really, surf and turf is an odd concept and is often rather disappointingly dull. Not this time, I’ll start from the base up. So as a foundation the platter is covered in a delicious coriander jeera naan, sweet and toasty with those lovely smokey blisters that are only achievable in a proper tandoor. To the side a small portion of smoked aubergine, a sweet chutney and kachumber riatta. All good, all in fact enough to call a meal alone. But then to crown it all there is a Nawab lamb chop, perfect crisp fat and tender eye of meat, a chicken seekh, minced and delicately herby meat in a huge sausage, red chicken tikka – a large chunk of succulent breast meat and finally the surf – two king prawns cooked perfectly in the tandoor and dressed in a fierce chilli sauce.

Having started with a simple selection or poppodoms and pickles I was relieved to have skipped starters on this occasion, this was an absolute feast and certainly more than enough for one, even a greedy one.

We drank a bottle of Sicilian white which was a perfect crisp and fragrant accompaniment to our spicy dinner and once again Chilli Pickle proved to visting friends that it really is a jewel in the crown of our city.

17 Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE

01273 900383

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