Last Tuesday after a long old day at work I met up with my friend Yasmin and trotted off to Food for Friends, which is Brighton’s Original Vegetarian restaurant, and has been open since 1981!!! Although it was a Tuesday the restaurant filled up fairly quickly, but we had a great table in the window which was perfect for a spot of people watching! The restaurant is located in the South Lanes, a two minute walk from the Seafront and is surrounded by lots of my favourite pubs, if you go and wanted to make a night of it!
Food for Friends not only serves a wide array of Vegetarian dishes, but many of the menu is suitable for Vegan and Gluten free diets too. They bake GF scones and cakes daily in fact.
Although intrigued by the daily cocktail special (a strawberry Mojito I think!) I am not currently drinking alcohol (a combination of stomach issues and wedding dress nit fitting into nightmares!) I had a chilled fruit drink, with Yasmin choosing the amazingly named ‘waggle dance’ beer. As we perused the menu we were given a little dish of salted popcorn to nibble on, and some bread and oils.
We opted for the three course menu, which was £19.95, and is available all day every day!
I plumped for the French onion soup, which came with a huge cheese topped crouton, and was gorgeously caramelised and perfect for ever cooling evenings! For my main course I chose the Sweet Potato, Aubergine, Tomato and Spinach Curry with poppadum, aromatic basmati, chilli mint cucumber raita, fresh red onion, tomato and coriander salad (I am a curry fiend!) and it didn’t disappoint. In an Indian restaurant I normally choose a meat curry, and then never finish it, so I think next time I will go for a vegetarian option! Anyway, this one was really filling, but I just about managed it all! the mint raita was really tasty, and the curry itself was really scrumptious, not too spicy, but enough to enhance the flavours of each vegetable.
Yasmin chose the Courgette & feta starter and then the Portobello Mushroom, bean & pesto main course. I tried some of her starter, which was amazingly presented and just the right size, and I am reliably informed her mushroomy main was ‘divine’ although I didn’t try any due to my almost phobia of mushroom texture (don’t even ask!) & she said that the pesto & creme fraiche added a lovely touch.
Saving the best for last (I am even more of a pudding fiend than a curry fiend!) I had the Dark Chocolate Torte with berry compote, and Yasmin had the Hot Banana fritters in rum batter with ice cream. (I also dislike Bananas, I think she chose her meals to avoid me having to try any!)
The torte was incredibly rich, but the size was perfect so it didn’t feel too sickly and indulgent, and the hazelnut biscuit base added some nice texture, and was of course beautifully presented. The Banana fritters (GF by the way!) were moreish and tender so I am told!
The service was spot on, not too intrusive which I find really irritating when it does happen, and there was a nice mixture of diners, which helped the atmosphere to stay relaxed (apart from when a small child fell off his chair, but he was okay…!) and chilled.
My dad and his wife are staying for a few days for my wedding in November and they are Vegetarian, so I will definitely be marking this restaurant on a map for them, its so conveniently located, and has a really good wine menu! And now I’ve eaten here not only was I happy to review it here, I can give a reliable & personal review to all the guests who stay at my hotel who have no idea where to eat! (you would be surprised how many people rock up to Brighton for a weekend and have made NO plans or looked anything up, surely that’s the best part of a trip!?)
Anyway, my verdict is that you definitely can’t go wrong if you want a relaxed meal with friends or family, with substantial portion sizes and carefully put together menus, and if you have anyone with special dietary requirements then choosing a meal will be easy here! Food for Friends is starting a tapas menu at lunchtimes soon too, which will be perfect for a quick stop (with or without a cocktail! (probably with is better!)
You can book online, or call 01273 202310 for reservations.