REVIEW: Sugardough, Market Street, Brighton

by - July 03, 2018

"Give your throat a vacation..Smoke a fresh cigarette!" "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” Wow! We now look back at these adverts from the 40s in wild disbelief, where medical professionals are actively promoting smoking as a health benefit. How utterly bonkers consumers must have been, hacking up their guts yet happily puffing away through it.

But this is how I like to think we will look back on the anti-bread era we seem to be stuck in. I overheard a group of teen lads in the supermarket banging on about avoiding the big G too; "Nah mate, can't eat that, I've had two slices of bread today."...What? You can't put a pair of socks on, yet you know your precise carbohydrate consumption for the day? What is this World?

Firmly avoiding any of that balderdash* is Sugardough, emporium of glorious gluten, mecca of the carb. The window displays are lined with luscious loaves, perfect pastries and the cabinets contain the cakes of dreams. From the central bustle of Brighton you are transported into what feels like a French patisserie; bentwood chairs, silverware, vintage bakeware line the walls and an Amelié-esque soundtrack plays in the background.

From their popular bakery in Hove, where the magic happens, the Market Street branch was a place to sit and enjoy their efforts. What I didn't realise is that they offer more than pastries and tea with a full menu of brunch, lunch and treats, plus brunch cocktails.

I cancelled my coffee when I saw the iced drinks, I love a golden mylk (I'm convinced by the claims, ironically) so opted for the *deep breath* iced coconut milk turmeric flat white. It was delicious and I enjoyed it despite Rosie rolling her eyes at me the entire time. What can I say, Brighton got to me...hard.

There are some lovely teas, proper hot chocolate with house made marshmallows, natural soft drinks or if you need something stronger, wines and a short cocktail list. The latter, being the weekend, I chased my golden mylk with. Balance innit? My mimosa, with freshly squeezed orange juice, was a welcome perk up. There's a Cherry Bakewell with kirsch, amaretto and prosecco or an espresso martini. All of which perfect brunch or cake partners. 

The menu is served from 8am-5pm everyday starting with a pretty sounding confetti bircher, French toast, croques and of course pastries.

I chose the Turkish cilbir eggs, a dish of soft poached eggs, garlic yoghurt and an insane amount of beurre noisette, warmed with chilli. Exotic dippy eggs, if you like. To mop up the butter and yolks was sourdough toast filled with teeny chopped confit tomato and red onion. This was supposed to be served with brioche but was delicious none the less. Such a refreshingly different brunch choice and worth the order, although next time I'd love a bigger hit of spice.

If you're venturing into the lunch side of things there are some great sounding dishes, which are an interesting cultural mash up; smokey aubergine with greek skoldalia and Jerusalem classic a'ja bread fritters or roast cauliflower and chickpeas with pea humus sprinkled with Egyptian dukkah. I saw the posh ploughmans which looked a treat, but Rosie settled for a Burrata with spiced, roast butternut squash, fried sage, brown butter and sourdough toasts - simple, classic and a lovely thing to eat.

Even if you just order toast and marmalade, which is hand made here, it arrives in a beautiful cut glass bowl. So much nicer than the sugary shop bought kind, they've even made the staple basic breakfast a delicacy along with generous slices of the house sourdough bread which will have been freshly baked by baker-owner Kane McDowell.

Of course it would be crazy not to dive into the cake cabinet whilst here and it's like choosing between Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds, for goodness sake. Each impeccably decorated, glossy and enticing, it's a hard task to decide.

After much agonising I opted for a classic lemon meringue tart, which had it all and the impressive, peaks were beautifully torched. 

I completely underestimated Sugardough's food offering here. Everything is lovingly made, touches to both the food and interior made with a very keen eye that comes only with a family-run business. I struggle to think of anywhere in the city quite like it. Leave the carb bashing to Instagram and tuck in I say.

NEWS: There's also more to love about Sugardough. They have just been approved to deliver a new craft bakery apprenticeship from this September in partnership with Plumpton College. 

“We’re genuinely excited about this apprenticeship and getting more people properly trained in the artisan end of the market,” says Sugardough’s Kane McDowell. “Apprentices will learn the art of baking from scratch, and largely by hand, which fits in perfectly with what Sugardough is about. There’s currently nothing like this scheme in the area, and fundamentally it’s really important for the sustainability of independent, traditional bakeries like Sugardough.”

18 Market Street, The Lanes
Also at: 5 Victoria Terrace, Hove

I dined as a guest of Sugardough. Words and thoughts, as always, my own.
*Yes, I know some are genuinely gluten intolerant, but come on, the dietary requirement has been glorified for the masses. 

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