REVIEW: Easy Tiger, Brighton


Easy Tiger is one of Brighton's latest successful pub kitchen pop ups, and we have quite a few to choose from to be honest. I don't think any Brightonian will put up with your average pub grub any more; we're spoilt rotten and the only way is up - eradicating every frozen chicken goujon in the city by 2025.

Still, I have to say it does take a bit to drag me from the dining comfort of restaurants, old woman I am. But headed up by chef Kanthi Kiran Thamma this is one to take particular note of. Kanthi, formerly of Curry Leaf Cafe, is quite possibly one of the most passionate chefs for all things Indian you'll ever meet. The man practically levitates when talking his craft, even orchestrating his own chef-led food tour, The Spice Circuit.

The Hampton has had a full makeover from the same team behind the successful The Pond. A superb selection of small brewery beers, cool interiors, great design (the murals by See Creatures are ridiculously brilliant) and really good food. If you haven't had the bao buns at The Pond, where the hell have you been? Their eye for creating modern pubs for the modern market and demands, whilst retaining an authenticity of what the pub stands for is unparallelled. 

Easy Tiger food is inspired by street food and rustic dishes served in southern Indian Toddy Shops - bars selling fermented coconut palm sap and brutally hot food to encourage more drinking. But all we know is that spicy food and beer go hand in hand and the menu has been tailored for the pub environment very well. With no coconut palm sap on offer (actually I didn't check) a pint of local Burning Sky Arise did the trick nicely.



You could easily just upscale your pub snacks here with some marsala chips or Peanut Pakodi - fried peanuts in a spiced batter or there are some filled Ceylon parotta (an Indian style wrap) that would make an ideal lunch on the fly.



A toss up between the KFC (Keralan Fried Chicken) was the Tandoori Tangdi which didn't disappoint. Grilled pieces of tandoori spiced marinated chicken leg had a coating so crisp, that I'm surprised it wasn't fried. There was an optimum level of heat for the spice layers to come through which is the smart way to do spicy. This was excellent chicken to maybe rival Bincho Yakatori for the best in town.

Really enjoyable was the Gobi Manchurian, a dish of cauliflower pieces in a light batter, deep fried and slathered in a soy, ginger, garlic, and chilli sauce. If you thought cauliflower was boring, you haven't tried this.


Of the big dishes, a vegan Biriyani or Keralan vegetable stew are your bets, but for the meat eaters there's Jaffna Lamb Curry, inspired by Kanthi's trip to Sri Lanka. The Jaffna spice mix lends itself to rich, deep favours; coriander and cumin seeds form the base with sweet notes from cinnamon and cardamon, absolutely perfect with the slow-cooked lamb. You can order rice but this came with Malabar parathas, another Indian flat bread, pineapple chutney and a sour raita.



They don't over-look the details here. The pickles, chutneys and accompaniments really make the dishes, not least when ordering poppadoms - worth ordering for the mango and coriander and pea, mint and coconut chutneys alone.

The food was unquestionably good, my only negative was that foods were served on environmentally friendly plates and bowls made from some sort of plant or leaf. Pretty and far from the common paper plate, but they started to go soggy toward the end of the meal. Also, is there anything more environmentally friendly than washing up the damn plate? 

Still, the menu offers so much more that I want to try and if you're bored of the traditional pub Sunday roast, then this is just the ticket.



Easy Tiger Brighton
Easy Tiger at The Hampton
57 Upper North Street
Brighton BN1 3FH