Skyfall is a new addition to the Brighton and Hove restaurant scene having opened its doors at the end of July. Situated on Church Road in Hove this contemporary and stylist establishment has instant kerb appeal with its mock industrial styling. Promising a menu of locally sourced meats and fish; Skyfall describes itself as a “British Burger and Lobster restaurant” which is a new one on me. According to their website they aim to offer a high quality dining experience in a relaxed and informal atmosphere; I decided to see whether this was the case.
Taking our seat in the window my first impressions of Skyfall were good. It is a pleasant place to sit and spend some time. The décor is easy on the eye and not so trendy that you question whether you’re cool enough to be there – that’s a tick each for relaxed and informal.
I order from the main menu choosing cider and bacon mussels (£7) to start followed by a special of Red mullet stuffed with crab and wild mushroom with creamed potatoes (£12). My fellow diner decides to go with the lobster bisque to start followed by mussels of the day from the fixed price menu (3 courses for £12 – limited to certain times of day).
The starters arrive and initial thoughts are positive. The mussels are a vibrant orange colour and have been cooked well. They are plump and juicy with a subtle sweet flavour. If I were being picky the cider sauce would have benefitted from more depth and bacon could’ve been crisper; otherwise a good dish. Similarly the bisque looks great and has a lovely creamy and smooth consistency. Salty and sweet and tasting of the sea there is a slight lingering heat which is a nice touch. A promising start.
The mains arrive and there are mixed feelings. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with specials boards as they often let me down; unfortunately this is one of those occasions. Very little thought appears to have gone into the mullet dish in terms of presentation; and it doesn’t deliver much in terms of flavour either. The whole thing is a little dry and the potatoes are undercooked and under seasoned. There is nothing that really ties the whole dish together. A forgettable special.
The mussels are much better and the quality of the produce is clearly evident. Served with a thick sauce which has elements of marinière and thermidor about it they go down well. The sauce would have benefitted from being less rich and more like a traditional marinière to better complement the shellfish.
For dessert I plumped for the chocolate torte, raspberry sorbet and praline custard (£7) with an espresso martini (£7). The torte was fantastic with a strong cocoa flavour and crisp pastry; my only criticism is that it could have been executed with a little more finesse. The sorbet was wonderfully fresh and cut through the richness of the torte. The praline custard had a pleasant caramel flavour but felt a little surplus to requirements. The martini was spot on in terms of bitter coffee flavour and was a great end to the meal.
From the fixed menu we opted for the burnt orange posset and lemon shortbread which tasted as good as it sounds. The posset was beautifully smooth and creamy with well balanced orange notes. The Shortbread was delicately flavoured with lemon and deliciously buttery – a faultless dessert.
Skyfall certainly has all the right elements to be a hit. Some aspects of our meal were right up there – the desserts particularly – but there were a couple of bum notes that could do with tweaking. The fixed price menu is fantastic value and you would be hard pressed to get a better meal for that price. With a little more care and attention they are not far off from serving up high quality food at a very reasonable price.
This review first appeared in the October 16th edition of the Brighton and Hove Independent which can be viewed here
Disclaimer: The restaurant were aware that I was reviewing and the food was complimentary, this did not influence my review in any way.