In Reviews

We headed to Rybka to discover amazing fish & chips and learn why the Fish Likes to Swim.

As you can imagine Brighton & Hove is not a city short on fish restaurants, in fact our fishing history is something we’re very proud of, this is celebrated in our eateries which boast the freshest fishy dishes in loving homage to our location right next to the sea. Enter Rybka, a new fish & chip restaurant that is a little different to the city’s current offering. Rybka (Meaning the fish likes to swim), is a reference to the Polish roots of this restaurant and relates to the tradition of eating pickled fish with a generous shot of frozen vodka, a legacy which makes it such a unique dining experience. Drinking a shot of vodka with dinner? Yeah, we can get behind that tradition! As we were heading back to the office after lunch our fish swam in lemonade instead of vodka, at least it was really refreshing, tasty and local though. 

Close up of drinks bottle and lemonade in glasses.

On a drizzly grey Friday, we were invited to try the food, (God I love my job!) so not really knowing what to expect myself and Charlotte headed off to see what all the talk was about. The first thing that hit me was location, Rybka is right in the heart of the Lanes, absolutely perfect if you want to grab a takeaway and head to the beach (Other eating spots are available. 😉)

My next realisation is that our lovely friends at Brighton Food Tours have Rybka as a dining stopping point, now if Rybka is good enough for the local foodie scene aficionados, then it is a cast iron guarantee that the food being served will be of the highest quality. If it is good enough for the expert Food Tour foodies, it is good enough for me! On a side note, if you haven’t booked a food tour yet, please do so now, you can thank me later. 

Close up of a piece of battered fish and mushy peas.

Entering the door of Rybka we were met by a modern, fresh décor, plants adorn the walls giving the space a really bright welcome. Meeting us the owner Rafal, showed us the amazing space, aside from the main dining space, they have upstairs dining and even a bar, this is not just a nod to drinks with your meal, the staff are no strangers to high quality mixology, having also run one of the city’s most popular bars for years.

Image shows interior of Rybka, plants hang above a modern table setting.

I digress, the star of this show is the food after all, so what can you expect? We ordered the hake and haddock alongside curry sauce, mushy peas, homemade tartare sauce and of course the chips, all served in a disposable takeaway box. The chips were crispy and golden, triple cooked loveliness, the perfect bed for the fresh, light fish. The batter around the fish was crispy and golden, a warm coat protecting the Hake, and keeping the flavour inside. We were surprised by the generosity of the portions, but finishing it all was also very easy. 

Image shows fish, chips and peas in a cardboard takeaway box.

Now when I say I am a fan of chip shop curry sauce, which lets face is a whole separate food group from actual curry, I mean I can drink the stuff happily and consider myself a good judge of curry sauce character. This sauce is all at once fruity, spicy without overbearing the delicate fish, a 10/10 from me. Home made tartare sauce was a fantastic addition to the meal.

Overall if you are looking for a central, friendly restaurant to enjoy fresh fish & chips with all the trimmings then Rybka is that place. We loved dining at Rybka, I’ve been looking for opportunities to make the fish swim again, and next time it is getting the vodka it deserves.


Add helping the fish at swim to your #BrightonWishlist




Nobody has commented on this post yet, why not send us your thoughts and be the first?

Leave a Reply