We had the pleasure of getting an inside scoop into Brighton’s best eateries and record shops, thanks to local and Skint Records founder Damian Harris aka Midfield General. Be on the look out for his new release out now on his imprint, they’re remixes of his huge 1999 smash ‘Reach Out’ with Linda Lewis. All three of the new remixes come from the one and only Crooked Man and feature vocals re-recorded by Linda in 2000. We hope you enjoy it!
The Little Fish Market – (10 Upper Market St)
It is remarkable that a city like Brighton doesn’t have a restaurant with a Michelin Star. However there are a couple of strong contenders and this fine place would be the most likely to get the rosette. Chef Duncan Ray puts the local fish catch centre stage and presents it with stunning simplicity in a 5 course fixed menu. Beautiful produce served with skill, charm, dedication & passion. You wonder why more people don’t try it?
64 Degrees – (53 Meeting House Lane)
Once every few months four of us from Skint have lunch and talk about the glory days of Big Beat – we are The Old Skintonians and 64 Degrees is our most ‘returned to’ venue. A small restaurant (20 covers) that serves small plates with 4 meat options, fish and vegetarian categories. And in all our times there I’m struggling to remember a bad or even average plate of food. Bold, innovative and ridiculously tasty. Chef Michael Bremner deserves all the accolades that have been heaped on him over the last few years – even though it means it’s harder to get a table.
We Love Falafel – (37 Sydney Street)
I ignored this place for a long time, the long queues at lunchtime put me off… I’m a busy man godammit. Then someone I share a studio with insisted I try it… and well, Hay Caramba!
The Falafels are worth every second of the wait, fresh, delicious and even moderately healthy too.
I have been converted… the only reason I don’t have it everyday is that I worry about turning into a falafel myself.
Fatto a Manno – (77 London Road)
There has been an influx of artisan Pizza restaurants in Brighton over the last few years and as a self appointed pizza expert I find they can be a bit hit & miss – Fatto a Manno always hits. It’s easy to say your Pizzas are inspired by Naples but hard to pull off, this place however really means it. No pandering, just quality, consistency and the smoked ricotta… oh my word the smoked ricotta. In our office this is the go-to restaurant of choice for those special treat days.
Bincho Yakatori – (63 Preston Street)
Most restaurants like to push how damn ‘authentic’ they are but Bincho Yakatori is the real deal. Stunningly simple Japanese street food, low on fuss and fancy, supremely high on taste and quality. Alongside the awesome meat dishes the fried cauliflower is sensational. Even the toilets feel they belong in a Tokyo side street. Brilliant.
Cin Cin – (13-16 Vine Street)
One thing I have learnt from the restaurant trade – this is where I shoe-horn in my connection with The Sportsman in Whitstable, run by my brothers and one of the few sensible things I did with the Skint money – is that the most important part is consistency. Most chefs can cook a great plate of food, doing it 500 times a week is the tough part. Cin Cin is one of the places you can always rely on. A local neighbourhood restaurant serving consistently high quality Italian food – pasta dishes that always surprise and delight, meats and cheeses fit for the gods and always the right wine.
The West Hill Tavern – (67 Buckingham Place)
I’m slightly biased as I do a night here once a month… but Ben & Heather have done marvelous things with this place since taking it over a year ago. Positioned next to the main station and with a stunning view over Brighton, if you stretch your neck a bit. Good beer, good food, good people, laser guided music selection and a meat raffle… yes, a meat raffle.
Resident – (19 New Road)
The first thing I did when I arrived in Brighton as a student was to get myself a job in a record shop. Back in 1990 there were a lot to choose from, I got a position at Rounder Records, a place that bought together most of Brighton’s musical tribes – DJ’s and dance heads, indie kids, metallers & moody hip hop boys from the suburbs. Nearly 30 years on and Brighton’s record shop scene has, tragically, been decimated… so thank the lord for Resident. Still flying the flag for the eclectic left-field music lover with new releases on vinyl & CD.
Rarekind Records – (104 Trafalgar Street)
One of the only specialist shops left in town… A great selection of new and used vinyl, predominately from the funk, soul, jazzy, hip hop end of the spectrum but dubstep and techno also appear and if you’re knees can bear it there re some gems in those crates. Passionate and knowledgable staff make this spot a must visit.
Family Store – (33 Kensington Gardens)
I’m not sure if having 2 boxes of records officially qualifies you as a record shop but I’m sticking it in anyway. Concept store is probably more accurate term for this shop but whatever – it’s great. Alongside the box of strange & obscure vinyl releases are t-shirts, badges, original artwork, comics and books – many exclusive and unique to the shop and all curated with style & panache by shop owner Andrew.