It is no secret that Brighton’s vegan scene is huge and with that comes so very good recommendations for restaurants to try, the most reoccurring recommendation being Terre A Terre, just off the seafront, an entirely vegetarian restaurant with plenty of vegan options to keep a piglet content.
Before I even begin to describe the immense culinary experience of the evening, I want to first mention the incredible staff, not only were the superbly attentive, they were friendly, talkative and really just very lovely and I thought that made such a lovely addition to an incredible evening. Not to mention the layout and decor of this restaurant it is no wonder that it was fully packed mid week.
The menu uses much alliteration and plays on words, which as you will know from my blog, is something I am very much in tune with. I love a linguistic approach to anything especially if there is food up for grabs at the end of it!
Starting with the ‘Beautiful Bread with Enticing Embellishments’ delicious focaccia and fried lavash bread with generous amounts of dukka served bread with plenty to be dipping and slather on the bread including an incredibly rich kalamata tapenade, some delicious sun-dried tomatoes which were just divine.
After eating quite a substation amount of bread it was on to my starter the ‘Aubergine Genie’, a mouth-watering appetizer of tofu and aubergine marinated in miso, sweet ginger and tahini coated in toasted seed oil, black sesame salts and amchur hibiscus salt, served with a salad rich in flavour with a wasabi yuzu pesto. This was sensational, it was so tasty with the slight char to give it, even more, depth, this was by far the best starter I have ever had, it was bold but delicate at the same time, the tofu and aubergine cooked to perfection and the yuzu and wasabi, giving this dish, even more, flavours to balance. This accomplished dish left me exceedingly excited about the mains!
Feeling freakishly festive, I thought I would order the festively named ‘Deck The Balls’, not only did this dish look incredibly the flavours and textures were absolutely incredible. I would go as far as saying this is probably one of the most delicious things I have eaten in my entire life and I could eat this every night, though I wouldn’t know where to begin should I attempt to cook it myself. Every element was cooked to perfection with polenta making the spherical shapes for the ‘Christmas puddings’ filled with mushroom and tomato duxelle, topped with horseradish and turnip creme that made the top look like like the cream of the pudding and regal ruby port cranberry beads with potato fondant bold with garlic, just how I like it, parsnip puree that was super smooth and rich, pickled rainbow chard and a porcini gravy that was just as decadent as everything else on the plate. This was a festive sensation worth celebrating and as a foodie, this falls in to the emotional category, such a triumph, not only as a dish but as a vegan dish, this dish alone proves just how far veganism has come and can go as far as I am concerned and I loved every mouthful of this magnificent, mouthwatering mountain of food!
Also for main, we had the ‘Sneaky Peeking Steamers’, at this stage of the meal we were pretty confident they were going to be delicious and of course, they did not disappoint. These steamed rice buns came in a 2 tiered traditional steamer and were filled with Szechuan marinated tofu and ginger bok choy, and kimchi Chinese cabbage, were big on flavour, they had been marinated so well that the tofu had become rich in flavour and was absolutely delicious served with lapsang souchong pickled watermelon and cucumber, a miso chilli sauce and spring onion garnish, this was a dish that was not holding back on flavour or textures. I loved steamed buns but have never had them with pickled watermelon. This elevated the dish, even more, the flavours were unreal. This was a phrase that we repeated to each other several times throughout the evening, as the food was exceptional and it just seemed to keep getting better and better.
We also had some cocktails and mocktails, well I was on the mocktails and it is really going to be that hard for you to believe that even they were fantastic. Being 90% tea total these days, I have had my fair share of mocktails and I think it is fair to say that sometimes they aren’t given much thought, however, I keep ordering them and hoping that it pays off and luckily in Terre A Terre it did – finally! Yes, their ‘Velvet Sunset’, a refreshing mocktail of Elderflower, mango and grenadine topped with ginger ale, was a welcoming drink and of course, the grenadine sunk to the bottom to make the ‘sunset’. However, I am told that the ‘Twisted Bramble’ a gin-based cocktail mixed with blackcurrant liqueur muddled with fresh ginger topped with ginger ale, was rather dashing also.
Desserts, were necessary for this place as the food was so exquisite, there was no way I was missing out on more of this culinary genius. I had decided a cup of tea was also necessary, usually, I would have one or the other, but as I was in a world of immense joy, there was nothing holding me back, uh uh no siree, a cup of tea and the ‘Snap, Crackle and Choc’ for me, please. Oh, and we also ordered the ‘Churrosimo’ because churros are never to be missed.
Let me start with the ‘Snap, Crackle and Choc’, another emotional dish, this was beautiful, it was presented elegantly, it was ambrosial in flavour, accomplished in textural variety and above all else, was predominately chocolate. I mean where can you really go wrong with a decadent cacao mousse made with 70% cacao, hazelnut cream on toasty praline, served with chocolate shortbread and a sharp and sweet clementine sorbet that was then topped with tiny pink pepper berry aqua faba meringues and if that wasn’t enough there were chocolate shards, as well as some fresh blackberries to add some extra tartness, making this a masterpiece of unforgettable magnitude. This was so good, that I can remember every single mouthful perfectly. I would like the chef to know that I am so grateful for this creation and think that they are fantastic!
With all of that to contend with and believe me, I was the lead contender, it would be unbelievable to think that I could possibly eat another morsel? WRONG! I was in full force to taste the churros, being one of my favourite things to eat, my family used to live in the Canaries, and I would eat these like there was no tomorrow there, since returning to the UK I have struggled to find churros that taste as good as those. There is something about them being fresh and hot, that is when they are at their best and Terre A Terre surprise surprise, triumphed on this account also. The churros were delicious and what made them even more exceptional were the sauces, chocolate sauce is served traditionally with churros and their chocolate sauce was velvety with rich chocolate nodes, however, what I loved the most was their salted caramel sauce, this was absolutely incredible, in fact, had there not been other people in the restaurant, I would have drunk from the pot, it was delicious. Served with fruits and some vodka soaked cherries, this was a dish of excellence, as we had learnt to accept in this restaurant of divinity.
One of the best dining experience ever, probably one of the most emotional food experiences in my entire life and entirely worth the visit. Will be eating here regularly, as there are far too many dishes on the menu that I haven’t tried and I have no doubt they are all as superb as the ones I have discovered. 10/10 for this restaurant, the staff and the atmosphere, simply amazing.