In At Home

Fine Dining in Brighton & Hove is a thing of beauty. Despite not yet getting our first Michelin Star (what is up with that Michelin people?!?) we have a bountiful offering of wonderful restaurants including ‘Great British Menu’ 2017 winner Michael Bremner’s 64 Degrees (3 AA Rosettes & a Michelin plate) and excellent sister restaurant located on the beach – Murmur. MasterChef Professionals 2013 winner Stephen Edwards and his restaurant Etch (3 AA Rosettes & a Michelin plate) Drakes Hotel’s restaurant, Amarillo led by Head Chef (and Michelin Star award winner) Ian Swainson and BRAVO awards Top 10 & several times winner of the ‘Observer Food Monthly Best Ethical UK’ vegetarian restaurant Terre a Terre. Always featuring alongside these greats is the formidable ‘The Set’. A pop up for almost six years in quirky, beautiful (and slightly eccentric!) boutique hotel ‘The Artists Residence’.

All was good…until the flippin’ pandemic came along and messed with our beloved local hospitality scene. HOWEVER, in true survival style the guys behind The Set adapted. In a big way. ‘Five Star Kebabs’ was born. Traditionally trashy junk food (that we all secretly love) but with a high-end twist. Just one meal offered, with optional sides & drink. Message them to say you want in. Hope you get accepted (I missed out a few times but was lucky enough to be one of the chosen few for the Christmas offering.) Then collect from a secret window in the heart of Brighton. It was exciting. It was special. It was all the local foodies would talk about on their Instagram pages ‘If you know, you know’ they wrote.

Despite being two paragraphs in, I still haven’t got to the best bit…The Set have come up with a BRAND NEW exciting thing! Oh yes. On 12th January the rather thrilling post: ‘Set At Home. Feb 2021. 8 Courses' appeared. When one of your favourite restaurants does something like that, it gives you tingles. It truly does.

This was NOT an "I’ll offer this to VisitBrighton so they can write a blog about me" deal. I just happen to work for VB and LOVE what Dan & his team do. They kindly offered to bring the launch date forward a few days because it was my wedding anniversary on 27th January and all my original plans had to be cancelled. Once again, I need to remind you that they did not know who I was or my plan to write this. I paid for this myself because I absolutely knew it would be worth every penny. And it does cost a few pennies, but when you weigh up the following, it makes sense because:

  • It would be more expensive to experience a tasting menu in a restaurant.
  • You have your own personal selection of drinks (providing you have stocked up in advance – it’s your fridge after all!)
  • This is probably the only time the food in your kitchen will match this quality (unless you live with Dan, I guess?!?)
  • Getting dressed up for a fancy dinner in your own house feels quite decadent, plus, you can always put your slippers on if you’re feeling chilly.
  • The menu is EIGHT courses. We had the first one at 6pm and the last one at 10pm. Leisurely & lovely.
  • Consider the money saved by not requiring taxis & babysitters.
  • Lockdown 3 combined with bleak January means you deserve a cheery treat.

How it works:

Check out The Set 8 course tasting menu on Instagram. Email dan@thesetrestaurant.com or setathome@thesetrestaurant.com You’ll be given the option to collect or have it delivered on the choice of two dates. Pay in advance. If you choose collection, just turn up at the restaurant at your allocated time to be greeted by hand sanitizer, a pile of boxes for the equally lucky ‘chosen ones’ and a friendly (albeit masked!) face asking how you are.  Take home (obvs!) and read the enclosed details pointing you to a website with all the instructions. Don’t worry – it’s all simple & easy. You just might need to ensure all of your crockery is clean to avoid a mid-evening washing up session or eating out of saucepans/gravy boats/pie dishes or any other clean receptacle you might find. Although that could actually work quite well!

Photo of food from The Set

What’s in the box?

  • 1 - Nacho Cone. (It’s mine!) Squeeze in the jalapeno spiced nacho cheese from the piping bag into the bric cone.
    Fancy top tip - Display in a ramekin filled with uncooked rice.
    Non-fancy top tip - squeeze the rest of the nacho cheese directly into your mouth.
  • 2 – Baked Potato & Rosemary Sourdough & Chicken Butter. Everything will stay fresh in the fridge for 72 hours, therefore I saved the excess chicken butter to use on a bagel for lunch the next day. It was a wise decision. Future-me thanked past-me.
  • 3 – Buffalo & Bone Marrow Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Sauce. Stick in oven for a bit. Put sauce on. Easy peasy. Not being a ‘pint and chicken wings’ kinda gal, I wasn’t sure about this one. It turned out to be my favourite.
  • 4 – Carrot Tartare, Croutons, Yolk. Put on plate in the order directed. You know those cookery programmes where the host goes ‘Make something really special from a simple carrot!’ That’s what happened here.
  • 5- Turbot & Seaweed, Bisque. Turbot goes in oven. Bisque heated in saucepan. No, wait. Maybe this was my favourite.
  • 6 – Pork Belly, Pumpkin Gratin, Walnut Ketchup. Put in oven. Also comes with Cabbage & Bacon Fricassee – warm that in a pan. Even if you don’t like pumpkin, walnuts or cabbage, you will like this. I can only assume it’s due to some form of witchcraft.
  • 7 – Cereal Milk. It’s Cereal Pannacotta with puffed rice. If you’ve ever been to The Set Restaurant before you may have tried this one. It’s so popular that local’s request it even when it’s not on the menu.
  • 8 – Treats. Beef Fat Fudge. Miso Marshmallow. Dandelion Pastille. This messes with your head. Sweet & savoury. It’s bonkers. But it works.

An extra detail is that The Set have also organized a Spotify playlist for you to listen to during your meal. Niiiiiiiiiiiice.

Photo of food from The Set

It seems too dramatic and insincere to say that absolutely everything was astoundingly good, but it really was. When something is great, you have to tell people. When I’m trying to think of any negative points I can only say that I would have preferred more than one baked potato and rosemary sourdough bread roll between two and that I don’t have Spotify account, which isn’t actually their fault. At a time when supporting local, independent businesses, having something to look forward to and enjoying food is so important – this is the way to tick all of those boxes & feel fabulous.

Lucinda

Related

The Set Restaurant
Restaurant
The Set Restaurant

The Set is an intimate 20 seat restaurant overlooking the kitchen, serving seasonal British tasting menus with optional wine flight to match each of the 4 courses

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