Restaurant Brighton's post on

Noodles Vs Pasta: A Battle Royale!

Never in my 20 years of being a Brightonian have I encountered a culinary head-to-head that was so epic, so divisive, and yet so uniting, as the Battle Royale between CIN CIN and Lucky Khao: Noodle Vs Pasta! 

interior shot of Lucky Khao restaurant during Noodles Vs Pasta: A Battle Royale!

The city’s foodies, young and old, came to bask in the glory of these two titans, open and ready for an impending flavour first fist fight! 

A Historic Culinary Collision…Buckle Up.

Chefs – start your sous vide baths, spark up those grills and get the tweezers out, because THIS. IS. Noodles Vs Pasta Round 1! 

On an ordinary Thursday evening, wandering the streets of Kemptown, one would hardly know that beyond the calm facade of the intimate and inviting Lucky Khao restaurant was nothing less than war being waged. 

Noodles Vs Pasta: A Battle Royale - menu

During the day this mild mannered restaurant masquerades as a top-end brunch spot serving exceptional cocktails, moreish breaky, and perfectly poured coffee but, as the light fades, a change occurs. Suddenly you are whisked away to a slick and seductive Thai restaurant, humming with the vibe of Chiang Mai and serving sultry sophistication with every flicker of the neon sign. 

As you glide through, the iridescent bar turns into their open plan kitchen where Lucky Khao’s mohawked-maestro performs culinary magic before your eyes. However, today was a day unlike any other, today Lucky Khao was joined by the exceptional team from CIN CIN in Hove. There they all were, sharing a kitchen, and plenty of playful banter, while serving eager punters something truly special on Lucky Khao’s home turf. 

Move over Euros 2024 – This is the Real Deal!

To steel our nerves we popped across the road to Affinity, a favourite queer bar, for a splash of dutch courage. Then, with nothing but chopsticks and forks to defend ourselves, we cut through the culinary tension and strode confidently into the glowing neon light.

From the moment we were seated we were welcomed with open arms and big smiles from our superb server, knowing that behind the pass, energy was rising and gastronomic gears were grinding. Cocktail orders were taken and the first course was en route! 

Gawd but I love a set menu! If you don’t love set menus well, just TRY AGAIN. Seriously though, my date Emily is not a tweezers and small plate portion kind of lady, but THIS set menu was absolutely bangerang. You can quote me on that. Brittany Hart RB blogger can be quoted as saying “Absolutely Bangerang”.

Thank the culinary gods that Emily is a pescaterian and went for the Veggie Set, which meant that this greedy gob could try BOTH menus…result! 

The Ring Walk

For our first course was a trio of cultural palate cleansers that should have been at odds, but were delightfully simpatico. A soft and perfectly salted focaccia served with a tangy spicy kimchi, fried mushroom biltong, and a crazy good panelle. (Yes we googled it too!) A panelle is a beautifully dense, and oh so delicious, Sicilian fritter made with chickpea flour. The meat version came with a naem-cured pork ball that was out of this world. Let the battle begin!

Noodle vs Pasta

Round One: FIGHT

Okay so if you were going to ask me what my favourite two bites in the entire meal were…these were them, and there was absolutely no way to choose between them. (Hey relax, this isn’t Master Chef – get a grip kids.) CIN CIN came out swinging with a one-two punch of rich, round flavour bombs exploding with just the right amount of crunch-to-cream ratio. Spicy Lamb Ragu encapsulated in a glorious golden crunch of fried risotto, sat atop a shock of green tarragon emulsion, and topped with a grate of gloriously salty parmesan. CIN CIN indeed! 

Lucky Khao served us a smoked chicken dumpling that was so juicy and tender that the dumpling acted like a tiny little soup bowl. Ginger, lemongrass, soy-flavoured smoked chicken mince was wrapped in the most tender dumpling dough; thin, smooth and mouthwateringly memorable. I shall require 20 on my return, please make note.

Round Two: Bring it!

Brighton, let me just say…it’s already been broughten! *Laughs in Millenial*. The culinary champions went in for the second round of deliciousness and we were ready for the blood, sweat and…ew…this is food (best chill with the analogies). 

CIN CIN wasn’t pussy-footing around, they came in again heavy with a flavour ninja that kicked life into my flavour-saver. Perfect, tender little parcels of Culurgiones Fritti were served with potato puree, Thai basil, dreamy confit garlic, and a pop of pad kra pao pork that was an unexpected but delightful hit to my taste buds.

Culurgiones Fritti with pureeLucky Khao bounced back with a Khao Soi of duck and fennel sausage served with a fresh pulled wonton noodle and a creamy coconut broth all topped with a side of fresh Thai basil, bean sprouts, pickled pak choi, shallots, fresh chilli and a reviving squeeze of lime. A welcome open-handed-slap-to-the-face of freshness, yum! 

Khao Soi of duck and fennel sausage served with a fresh pulled wonton noodle and a creamy coconut broth all topped with a side of fresh Thai basil, bean sprouts, pickled pak choi, shallots, fresh chilli and a reviving squeeze of lime.

Knockout Round: Finish Them! (Laughs and sobs, in elder millennial)

For the final round, no one was ready to pull any punches, and we braced ourselves for impact! To cleanse the palate we were served a sweet and refreshing Lychee Limoncello Spritz that reinvigorated our flavour-fatigued taste buds. Flannel fresh and bright, it was the just what we needed before the final knockout, a splendid take on Tiramisu; so good it hurt.  

Coconut SangSom Whiskey filled Tiramisu, served with a hint of smoked jasmine, and a smooth as silk mascarpone. A perfect blending of beautiful symbiotic flavours to finish with a flourish! 

Coconut SangSom Whiskey filled Tiramisu,

So what is the verdict? Who won you ask? Nuh Uh, I’m not saying a word until Round Two, which will be announced shortly and hosted at CIN CIN Hove’s gorgeous venue this autumn. What I can say is that it’s bound to be rife with flavour and full of fun! If you claim to be a Brighton foodie and you aren’t there…I’m calling you out! You heard me!

Want to know more about Cin Cin Hove?
Find Out More
Getting there
Opening Hours

Monday Closed

Tuesday 5:00pm11:30pm

Wednesday 5:00pm11:00pm

Thursday 12:30pm11:30pm

Friday 12:30pm11:30pm

Saturday 12:30pm11:30pm

Sunday Closed