The Cloak Room, Brighton
The Cloak Room, Brighton is located at the top end of St James’ Street, Kemptown. The area is known for its colour and character and a horde of independent cafés, bars and eateries awaiting discovery by those willing to step off the beaten track.
The Cloak Room ticks plenty of boxes for what is great about Brighton. The vibrant design featured throughout is inspired by the golden era of hip-hop, vinyl toys and graffiti. Exposed wood, metal and brick in the interior suggests a commitment to honest materials that extends itself to the food and drink ingredients.
Lucy tries takeout
All this dreary lockdown weather calls for some serious comfort food to put a smile back on our faces. Luckily for us Brighton folk, Low + Slow Smokehouse can rise to that challenge. Based at The Cloak Room in Kemp Town, these clever guys smoke their Sussex produce over flames and, with take-out Cloak + Dagger beers also on the table, it’s a match made in (a very fiery) heaven.
The menu features barbecued dishes, smokehouse sides and shawarmas (smoked pumpkin or pulled meats stuffed into flatbreads with slaw and sauces). There’s so much good stuff on this menu, it’s hard to hold back… so we didn’t!
Ordering a sharing feast for two, my boyfriend Tommy and I concentrated on the barbecue dishes and sides. Our feast arrived nice and hot in recyclable cardboard tubs with compostable Vegware lids and pots.
For meats, we sank our teeth into rich and deeply smoky 12-hour hickory smoked beef brisket, along with saucy gochujang chicken with tongue tingling Korean green onions. To mop up all that sweet/spicy/umami gochujang sauce, we used charred garlic and coriander flatbread.
Our barbecued Sussex cabbage (which you could order as a veggie main) was a revelation. Charred at the edges and stuffed with roasted peppers, it had a ‘straight off the grill’ depth and was elevated with a garnish of cooling curd.
For sides, we chose loaded potato skins with burnt ends (just awesome), along with crisp barbecue slaw. We pimped our feast with homemade sauces (barbecue and smoked garlic vegan mayo) and house pickles, which ranged from fresh and crunchy to downright spicy.
A banquet like this needs a great beer to wash it all down. Sussex’s Cloak Room does the honours with one litre take-outs or cans – we opted for the very drinkable Petite Beast and the juicier Never Dug Disco.
I can’t rave about this place enough – seriously, you need to make friends with these guys and invite yourself round for a barbecue. In the meantime, you can order Low + Slow takeaways from Wednesday to Sunday via Uber Eats or Just Eat. Enjoy!
The Cloak Room Brighton is the taproom for local brewery Cloak + Dagger with food by Slow + Low Smokehouse. As such it is one of a small number of exciting local venues who are big on serving the very best quality food and drink while keeping the atmosphere casual and informal. Think fine-food but no need for a shirt and shoes – just how Brighton likes it!
The food at The Cloak Room comes from Slow + Low Smokehouse who are locally based with their own smokery in Hurstpierpoint. The team behind Slow + Low are Emily and David Pearse, who previously ran and brought to much acclaim The Shepherd and Dog pub in Fulking.
‘Smokehouse’ normally conjures ideas of American or Australian barbeque, so take that as your starting point and then make it all about Sussex produce and style. Or better still, forget what you think you know and pay them a visit, it’s a game-changer.
The menu consists of small plates intended for sharing that take local seasonal ingredients and elevate them through smoke and creative cheffing. All meat is local and high welfare, with their own butchery Slow + Low work on a principle of tail to snout, so that no part of the animal is wasted.
Vegetarians and vegans needn’t go hungry, there is a good selection of specific plant-based dishes that are much, much more than an afterthought. These focus on and celebrate plants rather than going down the popular trend of meat substitutes. There are also plenty of gluten-free options. As everything is prepared fresh to order with whole ingredients plates can usually be tailored to requirements.
Cloak, dagger and whiskey barrel.
Cloak + Dagger is a local brewery for which The Cloak Room Brighton is the taproom. These local brewers turn out great beers in small batches and are always looking for new and exciting flavours. There’s also an ever-expanding whiskey menu, including lines that are unavailable anywhere else on the south coast. Keep an eye on The Cloak Room’s social media for details of upcoming tasting and menu pairing events.
If great local beer and world-renowned whiskey isn’t your thing, don’t worry! These guys want you to have a great time and have cocktails, wines, spirits and soft drinks for all.
Sustainable and local.
At The Cloakroom, the sustainability message starts with the team they work with, the team here are skilled professionals and part of a family that values them. Just as quality and care come out in the flavour of the food served, it is equally evident in the team atmosphere which welcomes you.
The message of valuing local is at the core of The Cloak Room, extending way beyond the ingredients. Regular food and drink events, live local bands and working in collaboration with other venues is an important part of their ethos – to create a sustainable, innovative, shining and above all fun, local food and drink scene.