Monday, August 16, 2010

Sussex Gastro Pub Series: The Ginger Dog in Kemp Town, Brighton

On those rare Saturdays when we haven't got anything much on, Ant and I will usually find ourselves a-wandering down the hill to Kemp Town for a mooch - perhaps picking up a paper and grabbing a coffee in Spinelli's, indulging in a haircut and some people-watching at Barber Blacksheep, browsing the shelves of the Kemp Town Bookshop or picking up indulgent foodie supplies from Bona Foodie or Kemp Town Deli. More often than not, we'll end up still knocking about at lunch time and grabbing a meal at one of the many pubs or cafes in the village. 

On our last one of these perambulations a week or so ago, we discovered a new addition to the Kemp Town gastronomical circuit, which has popped up where the not-so-glamorous Wellington pub once was. The latest addition to the 'Gingerman' local restaurant chain (which includes the original Gingerman restaurant, The Ginger Pig and The Ginger Fox), The Ginger Dog is tucked away on College Place, sat between The Golden Cannon and (our favourite local) The Barley Mow on the Kemp Town pub trail. Having heard good things about the other Gingerman restaurants, we were chuffed to find one practically on our doorstep and decided to give it a try.

With its muted buff walls, rustic mis-matched chairs and funky artwork, the newly decorated interior certainly looked the part of a trendy gastro pub and the friendly staff were a vast improvement on the pub's previous incarnation. Not wanting to spoil our afternoon by being over-stuffed, and still having a big hill up which to scamper, we both decided on sticking to starters, along with an extra portion of chips (just in case). I had a goats cheese and baby onion gratin, which came with a slab of griddled bread (ciabatta I think) and a salad garnish, Ant went for the salmon tartare - something he'd never sampled before. Both of us were happy with our choices, which were nicely presented and beautifully cooked. The chips were the icing on the cake, perhaps the most perfect pub chips I've had - lightly crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, not too greasy - and a vast improvement on the awful ones we'd been served at the Open House the week before.

All in all it was a delightful, if rather indulgent, Saturday lunch and I'm looking forward to going back for the full three-course experience one evening before too long.
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