Food + Drink

OctoberBest Is Back!

OctoberBest, Brighton’s premier restaurant festival, is back for its second exciting year. From 1st-15th October, the city’s top 20 restaurants (as compiled by Brighton’s Best Restaurants) will offer special £20 menus* including dishes and dining experiences created especially for the festival. In addition, this year’s OctoberBest will encompass a roster of one-off culinary events with special guests including renowned cocktail guru Mr Lyan and leading food writer Tim Hayward.

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Details of the festival menus and events were revealed last night to an invited audience of journalists, bloggers, chefs and restaurateurs at a launch party held at Murmur, chef Michael Bremner’s seafront restaurant. Highlights will include Isaac At’s Brighton Gin dessert bar that will serve two cocktails and three Sussex-inspired desserts; an OctoberBest special pizza (designed by the public) from Fatto a Mano and a selection of small plates showcasing local suppliers at The Gingerman, such as shellfish bouillabaisse.

Events will include:

  • A special six-course dinner at Silo on 3rd October co-hosted by Ryan Chetiyawardana, AKA Mr Lyan, named the King of Cocktails by The Telegraph, who will be pairing specially created drinks with chef Douglas McMaster’s sustainable menu.
  • Claw and Craft, a night of seafood and craft ales at The Urchin on 5th October.
  • A beer and cheese-pairing event at the Brighton Beer Dispensary with Brighton’s Best

Restaurant’s co-founder and cheese expert Patrick McGuigan on 9th October.

  • Renowned broadcaster, food writer and Financial Times restaurant critic Tim Hayward will visit the city during the festival (date to be confirmed) to give a demonstration based around his bestselling book Knife at The Ginger Pig in Hove.

Three restaurants are taking part in OctoberBest for the first time in 2017 and are set to make impressive debuts. Cin Cin, which offers casual Italian dining, are serving three courses to include reginelle, a type of pasta rarely served in the UK, with squash, wild mushrooms and sage; The Urchin, a Hove seafood and craft beer gastropub, will serve up ‘The Urchin Sizzler’, a platter of scallops, prawns and squid in a black bean sauce with sticky rice; and small plates and wine specialists Fourth and Church are matching three glasses from their extensive list with three courses that include red wine-braised ox cheek, smoked parsnip and cultured leeks.

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The battle to win the Best OctoberBest Dish award – which will be announced at the third annual Brighton’s Best Restaurants ceremony in February 2018 – is fierce. Current titleholders The Chilli Pickle are attempting to top their mighty pork knuckle vindaloo with ‘Al and D’s Toddy Shop’, a take on the food served in working men’s social shacks in Alleppey in Kerala and will include a platter of fresh fish, curries, fiery snacks and tender coconut home brew. Michael Bremner is serving his Great British Menu-winning dish ‘The Grass is Greener’ (braised ox tongue served with grass-cooked potatoes) at his flagship 64 Degrees restaurant, while leading vegetarian restaurant Terre a Terre have created ‘The Asian Persausion’, an array of dishes that includes steamed rice buns stuffed with Szechuan-marinated halloumi and ginger bok choy.

“The inaugural OctoberBest festival was hugely successful in bringing Brighton’s rapidly evolving restaurant scene to greater local and national attention and this year the participating restaurants and we, as organisers, have gone the extra mile to make the event even better,” says Andy Lynes, cofounder of Brighton’s Best Restaurants alongside fellow Brightonians Patrick McGuigan and Euan Macdonald (co-founder, 60 Second Reviews). “There appears to be some friendly rivalry with each restaurant trying to out-do the next and so the menus are even more inventive, delicious sounding and better value than last year, which is great news for the dining public.”

The quality, wealth and diversity of Brighton’s restaurant scene will be represented by fine dining at Little Fish Market (Brighton’s most highly rated restaurant with three AA rosettes, 5 in the Good Food Guide and 5 out of 5 for exceptional food from Hardens), Japanese gastropub food at Bincho Yakitori and stunning Sussex seafood at The Salt Room and Riddle and Finns.

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Each restaurant will offer its own spin on OctoberBest and all the details of the offers and how to book will be available to view at  www.brightonsbestrestaurants.com from today.

We are proud to announce that this year’s OctoberBest is supported by  MHA Carpenter Box (carpenterbox.com), the leading firm of Chartered Accountants, Tax and Business Advisors in Sussex and that our media partner is Square Meal (squaremeal.co.uk).

For more information, hi-res images or interviews with the founders or any of the restaurateurs or chefs involved in OctoberBest, please contact us at press@brightonsbestrestaurants.com.

(*Except Little Fish Market who will be offering a 20 per cent discount on the cost of the menu with paired wines).

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