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Pub Dinner | The Better Half Hove

Small plates with a big heart at The Better Half

Pub dinner at the Better Half pub in Hove.

Despite Brighton and Hove famously having more pubs than there are days in the year, punters looking for something different may be forgiven for thinking there’s a distinct lack of variety on offer in our fair city.

The food, the drinks, and the vibe can seem samey as we move from one watering hole to another. But The Better Half, an independent boozer with its own independent style, certainly bucks the trend.

The Better Half Pub Brighton
Architecture and Interior Photography by Jim Stephenson

Tucked away in Hove Place, a side street just off Hove seafront, the venue has put its very own twist on the traditional pub aesthetic.

As such, it’s as cosy and familiar as it is modern and cool, making it the perfect spot to settle in for the afternoon, the evening, or even the whole weekend.

Anything but small

We were there to try the new menu, which, in keeping with the “something a little different theme”, offers a smorgasbord of small plate treats to get the tastebuds tingling.

The small plates menu consists of 15 dishes, and there’s an offer of a £2.50 discount when you order three. There’s a fair mix of meaty, fishy, veggie, and vegan options, so there really is something for everyone; choosing wasn’t easy.

overhead shot of a wooden table laid with a selection of small plates

Over on the carnivore side of the table, he went for the pork bites, a substantial pile of succulent pork belly morsels coated in a rich and smoky Korean BBQ sauce. The ham hock croquettes, which were stuffed full of tasty meaty slithers, also hit the spot.

I finally settled on the beautifully creamy potted mackerel, served with toasted sourdough and pickled cucumber, which cut through the richness.

The bean and sweet corn fritters were delicious and came with a side of chimichurri sauce that I could have drunk straight out of the ramekin. We also shared the largest bowl of roasted beetroot hummus I have ever seen in my life, topped with dukka, and served with toasted flatbreads.

sweetcorn fritter with chimichuri sauce

When the food arrived, we realised almost immediately we’d over ordered.

Our small plates were anything but small, filling our entire table and making us look exceedingly greedy. That said, everything was so good that we couldn’t stop eating, and we practically had to roll each other out at the end of the night. There are worse problems to have.

close up of breads and cucumber in a glass lidded jar. Pub dinner

The only disappointment was that items including the fish bon bons with mango and chilli mayo, sticky chipolata sausages, and baked Camembert (insert salivating emoji here) didn’t make the cut. With hindsight, we realised that they wouldn’t have fit on the table. And at least we already know what we are having next time.

Classic options | Pub Dinner Hove

The small plates menu is a great idea for those wanting to share a few nibbly bits while soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying The Better Half’s impressive collection of craft ales and wines. That’s not to say it neglects the classic pub staples, however.

A pint of Unbarred beer and a pint of Aspals cider on a wooden table in a pub. Pub Dinner

The burger menu features a chicken katsu burger for the adventurous, a Moving Mountain burger for the herbivores, and even a naked burger for those who like things altogether less “bready”. The classics section also boasts sausage and mash, and a pan-fried catch of the day with crushed potato, sautéed shrimp, fennel, and Pernod velouté.

A chicken burger and chips with a pot of sauce served on a wooden board alongside a pint of beer. Pub dinner

The team bill their culinary offerings as contemporary food with The Better Half twist – done simply, honestly, and brilliantly. After spending an evening with the friendly team in their super chilled out surroundings, I’m inclined to agree.

Want to know more about The Better Half Pub – Hove?
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Opening Hours

Monday 4:00pm11:00pm

Tuesday 4:00pm11:00pm

Wednesday 12:00pm11:00pm

Thursday 12:00pm11:00pm

Friday 12:00pm12:00am

Saturday 12:00pm12:00am

Sunday 12:00pm8:30pm