It’s been one year since the team at Isaac At set up their permanent residence on Gloucester St, Brighton. We were invited to their opening last year, and the guys invited us back to celebrate their one year birthday with them.
The Scandinavian-style restaurant is intimate, seating only 22 covers, with an open front kitchen so you can watch the team at work. The team itself is made up of a group of close friends, all aged 18-24. Their talent at such a young age is incredibly impressive, and just shows that these chefs are ones to watch.
The evening was a real celebration of the impressive range of ingredients Sussex has to offer. Everything on the menu has been sourced locally, with the miles travelled included. Some have even been locally foraged, with apples even sourced from Isaac’s mums back garden.
We were treated to a full tasting menu, with a wine pairing with each course. Each wine (or juice for the non-drinkers) were also locally sourced from suppliers in the Sussex region.
As always, the team surprised us with an off-menu pre-starter consisting of a rye bread croute, topped with smoked mackerel, charcoal mayo, goosefoot gel and lemon thyme leaves. We popped the whole thing in our mouths at once, and I was blown away at the flavour explosion from such a small mouthful!
The rye bread was sourced from the Flour Pot Bakery, which you’ll know is my favourite bakery in Brighton if you follow my Instagram.
No meal is complete without a bread course. This is how I try to live my life and the guys at Isaac definitely know how to bake some damn good bread.
Arriving on a small wooden board, we were treated to a treacle and stout loaf and a grain brioche. Complete with a lump of salted butter. We’re not ashamed to say we may have had more butter brought over to us… it was so good! Both breads came still warm from the oven and our favourite had to be the brioche.
Yes you read that correctly. We’re only just onto the starter!
Who knew cucumber could look so pretty? For this course the menu simply stated “Crab & Charred Cucumber” so we didn’t know what to expect. I don’t actually like cucumber so I was a little wary.
I had nothing to fear. There is so much more to this dish than meets the eye. The crab is a mix of dark and white meat mixed with mayo. The charred cucumber was the heart of a cucumber that had been blow torched in the centre. Dressing the plate there were balls of cucumber that have been pickled in sugar and white wine vinegar, cucumber ketchup and in-house grown radish cress.
The chefs have completely elevated what would normally be seen as a boring ingredient you use in salads! This is one of the many reasons why we love eating here.
The fish course was probably my favourite course. The plaice was cooked so so perfectly. Meaty, juicy and just flaked away when cutting into it. The plate was completed with wild garlic mash which was the creamiest mash I’ve ever eaten and dressed with a parsley infused rapeseed oil.
Hands down the prettiest course on the menu, but sadly our least favourite. Nothing to do with the lack of meat though!
Pan-seared aubergine was topped with caramelised shallot petals, beetroot ketchup and pickled beetroot disks. I loved the shallots and all the beetroot aspects to this dish but sadly I don’t like aubergine and have yet to be convinced otherwise.
For our main meat course we had lamb chump cooked to medium-rare with a reduced lamb stock sauce, salt baked turnip and wilted coriander. The lamb was incredibly soft and we’d never heard of that kind of cut before! The combination of the sauce, turnip and lamb went really well together but neither of us really liked the coriander.
Now that the savoury courses were over it was time for a little palate cleanser before dessert. This was a simple yet delicious flavour combination of blackcurrant and cucumber. Perfect to refresh your taste buds!
For dessert we were brought another gorgeous plate of food. The dish consisted of greengage juice blended into ice cream mix, date puree, pink peppercorn meringue which had been set in a dehydrator and short crust biscuits. The biscuits were so so good, definitely our favourite aspect of this dish but really, everything in one mouthful is just perfection. The flavours worked so well!
After Dinner Surprises
As always, there are always extra surprises when you visit Isaac At. This time we were treated to two delicious Petit Fours: an almond sponge with apple syrup and a lemon thyme fudge with burnt apple puree. It’s very hard to pick which of these were our favourites. The sponge had syrup drizzled through it and was really moist but the fudge and burnt apple had an amazingly powerful flavour punch.
Isaac At have now been at it’s permanent residence on Gloucester St for a year now, and it’s so clear how much the young chefs have grown in that year. Each dish was packed with flavour and they make such ordinary ingredients exciting.
It remains one of our favourite restaurants in Brighton and we recommend it to anybody who’s looking for a special occasion restaurant. So here we are recommending them to you too!