Andrew Kay Dines – Out of the Blue
It hardly seems any time since I wrote here about a splendid lunch at The Grand. I love The Grand, I love the feel of its… well its grandeur! Anyway, I was lunching with a young friend and quite frankly was blown away by both the food and the excellent value offered. So much so that a week later I persuaded a group of friends to join me there for lunch and once again we were all blown away.
A few weeks later I was surprised to here that GB1 was closing for a month for a refurbishment. Not that after the length of time that GB1 has been open a refurb is unusual, in fact it’s quite common, it just seemed odd when you have had two great culinary experiences so close together.
Cyan is a real step into the future for The Grand Brighton
Anyway, a month later the place re-opened with new decor and a new name, Cyan, and of course a new menu. The chef has given that a complete face lift and on my first visit I was more than impressed by the stylish dishes and careful sourcing of prime ingredients.
But let’s take a look at the new interior. It’s strikingly blue, more teal than cyan perhaps but had they chosen the industry standard cyan it would for sure have been a garish horror, no this looks good and is restful and for such a large space pleasant, with a sense of intimacy.
The menu follows the fashion for sharing lots of smaller dishes and none of them crazily priced. I was joined by my good friend Ms M, a serious lover of good food and someone who I know enjoys the food sharing experience.
We sat in the glazed conservatory and very soon had menus and cocktail menus. Well it was the run up to Christmas so in we went and enjoyed two very well conceived drinks, and again not stupidly expensive. I think it only right to state the Grand dame of Brighton hotels is not over-priced.
Our waiter, fresh to the hotel but already in his stride, did a great job describing the dishes on offer and given that he had tried the entire menu we were happy to allow him to guide us. The griddled corn with a bloody mary ketchup was truly exceptional and quartering the cob length ways is such a good idea, easy to eat, I will be doing that from now on. The peanut enhanced hummus is great too as are the interesting colcasia crisps that come with it, my only caveat is one of engineering, the crisps snap too easily in the dip, it doesn’t spoil it but it makes it challenging.
The squid is sublime, simple as that,full of flavour and truly tender, some thing few places achieve. We both love liver and the calves liver with a croquetta, maple bacon and cavalo nero was stunning, next time two portions of that for sure, everything about it was perfection.
We stuck with sharing for a main course, yes we had our hungry heads on,and we could not have been happier or more impressed. Chef has come up with an interesting riff on surf and turf that actually works. Monkfish, pulled leg of lamb, baba ghanoush and tabbouleh might sound a little out there for the grand old dame, the hotel, not Ms M, but it is a stunner. The whole loin of monkfish is precisely cooked, the loin simply falling apart and the aubergine a smokey delight. The tabbouleh was packed with vibrant fresh herbs and the whole is pulled together by amazing freshly cooked flatbreads, something even trad Eastern European places often fail to do. It was robust food, lip smackingly tasty and generous to a fault, whatever that might mean because it was faultless.
Ms M was sated but in the interests of readers I had a pud, treacle tart, a tart of real pedigree to be sure, deep and unctuous, rib sticking joy! Cyan is a real step into the future for The Grand. A plus for city residents not just guests and visitors. Hotel restaurants have turned a massive corner and I can think of three exceptional ones that we should applaud and support, Cyan for sure!