Meet Brighton Food Reviewer: Sharna Waid
My fondest memory of food is when I used to sit on my grandmothers kitchen counter, taking in the rich aromas, and luxuriate in watching her cook for the whole family.
I feel extremely lucky to have an asian heritage that combines the importance of family and flavoursome food, and on the regular occasion a family get together is the perfect opportunity to eat a real punjabi feast.
No one can cook like my grandmother.
She taught me the importance of taking time to create authentic indian food, and using the right combination of spices with variations of textures and tastes.
Originally punjabi food was cooked to meet the demands of a traditional lifestyle, made with high calorie counts to support rural workers.
But since this doesn’t contribute to a balanced diet (and a slim waist!), I’ve enjoyed modifying these dishes with healthier alternatives – using wholesome vegetables instead of meats and coconut oil instead of fats.
Since moving to Brighton over a year ago, I have had an abundance of indian food to choose from.
Although finding one that reaches a standard to my grandmothers cooking is one of my favourite pass times, I also enjoy sampling the flavours of east Asia, especially Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. And like many foodies, I take delight in discovering new dishes – particularly vegetarian and vegan food, which is no longer short of options in Brighton.
I’m only excited to discover more in this wonderfully eclectic town I now call home.
Favourite restaurant in Brighton?
It’s hard to choose from so many great restaurants in Brighton, but my favourite so far has to be Chilli Pickle. I love their modern take on traditional south indian dishes, and the lunch Thali trays are particularly exceptional.
What’s important when you visit a restaurant?
I think the whole experience is extremely important. When you go out to eat, you shouldn’t just experience the food. When you walk into a restaurant the ambiance needs to feel right. Thats why I like restaurants with dimmer lighting, comfortable seating, and interesting interior that initially makes you take a look at the walls before looking at the menu.
Customer Service is paramount, and although it’s cliche – service with a smile is always a winner.
Favourite food dish or genre of cuisine and why?
I guess that’s a given, judging by what I have written above, but another favourite cuisine of mine is Thai food. I love the variations of flavours and ingredients in Thai dishes, and I’m always keen to experiment with traditional Thai recipes at home.
What has inspired you to become a food reviewer?
A love of mine is blogging and photography.
The blogosphere is an amazing development, and now anyone has the power to share their voice and creativity with the world!
There’s copious blogs out there offering everything from recipes, reviews, news, photography, to travel. It’s the best place for inspiration from a variety of people.
My one burning desire is to travel to Indian and visit my origins, absorb the culture, take photos, sample the food, and create a blog in the process. However contributing to Restaurants in Brighton is the perfect start, and allows me to combine my passions in life – writing, photography and good food!