Restaurants Brighton Food Reviewer
Meet Sarah Louise Gathercole
Coming to Brighton 12 years ago for University, I fell in love with the city and still can’t imagine living anywhere else. I love to travel and experience new cultures and cuisines, broadening my horizons at every opportunity, but heading back home to Brighton is never too hard to swallow.
A cosmopolitan city by the sea, Brighton opens its doors and welcomes in so much diversity and creativity, making it a consistently interesting place for me to be.
I have a lust for life and a taste for the new and exciting, which leaves me spoilt for choice when it comes to the city’s restaurant scene. The ‘Foodies’ have taken up a permanent residency here and dishes to whet the appetite are always right around the corner.
Coming from a family of ‘Foodies’ my interest in good food started at a very young age whilst helping my mum in the kitchen and when staying at my Grandparent’s home in London.
My grandparents, who are very well travelled, took us to all kinds of wonderful restaurants and during our visits, consistently bought to the table an array of different meals inspired by the places they had been.
As a result I developed a very mature and adventurous palate even back then.
I have loved to write as long as I can remember. Expressing in words things that I am passionate about, using my own voice in my own way, has always bought me great joy. I love to inspire and excite people through my writing and writing about food seems to come naturally, due to my passion for it.
Nothing makes me and my partner happier than finding a hidden gem in this city of culinary delights that we can tell all our friends and family about. Through writing for Restaurants Brighton I look forward to being able spread the word and ignite some new passions.
What do you think of Brighton as a dining destination?
We are so amazingly spoilt here, finding fantastic cuisine from all over the world and within this plethora, plenty of choice, variety and vision. You can dine out for £5 or £50, eat inside or out, on the grass or at a well-dressed table, from a buffet or an a la carte menu and still experience exciting tastes and flavours of equal measure.
Which is your favourite food dish or genre of cuisine and why?
Being a lover of strong flavours and well spiced foods, but at the same time equally fond of the light, delicate nature and detail of Japanese dishes, I have always migrated towards Asian cooking. Enjoying the more adventurous menu, I am always inspired by the ‘different’ and the ‘exciting’, in search of that dish I have never tried before. I have also travelled Thailand where I developed a palate that is not afraid of spice, which has certainly contributed in encouraging this interest and particular preference for Asian cooking.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all types of food, but if put on the spot and asked to just pick one, Asian or Asian inspired cooking it would have to be.
As a keen cook myself, at home, a Thai curry or Japanese Ramen is what you will often find bubbling away on the hob.
Favourite restaurant in Brighton & Hove?
Choosing myself just one restaurant in Brighton and Hove to call my favourite is so difficult; near on impossible. However, I believe you simply can’t beat a good Thai and for me the most authentic, tasty Thai I have found, so far, is UniThai in Hove.
From the outside, it is simply an unassuming Asian supermarket, which makes it all the more exciting when you venture inside and find the ‘secret’ restaurant area hidden out the back behind the shelves of food. Big flavours in a modest setting, but quite simply great Thai food.
This restaurant’s popularity is clear and understandably.
The menu is not extensive, but it doesn’t need to be, as it is thoughtful and authentic and includes one of my favourite takes on a classis Thai Green Curry. On their ‘specials’ menu, my ‘go to dish’ and allocated ‘favourite (for today) has to be the Green Udon Noodle Curry. At first I was intrigued as to how a traditional Thai Green Curry would team up with the thick Udon noodles I had always associated more with Japanese cooking, but I was drawn to this dish as I had not seen it anywhere else. Now I order it because I know how great it is and it never disappoints.
What areas are of great importance to you when you visit a restaurant?
When I first walk into a restaurant, the overall atmosphere is important to me, I want to feel the energy of the place when I arrive and the buzz of the other diners.
However most importantly, a great restaurant to me, is somewhere that serves great food. By that I mean a great restaurant doesn’t necessarily need to have a roof in my book, it’s about the food, the love that goes into that food and the pride that the food is served with.
I want to be excited by what I am presented with, whether it comes in a paper wrapper or on a plate, all I ask is that it looks great and tastes better.
The ingredients have to be considered and good quality and the chef has to care about every aspect of the dish.
Living where I do, means it is never a struggle to find the perfect restaurant for every dining experience and every mood and with new restaurants popping up all the time, there is always something new to try, making Brighton and Hove stand out for me as a being a hot bed of culinary delights and just simply a great place to eat out.
Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahGathers