REVIEW: Med. restaurant, Brighton

by - September 02, 2020

Med is the Brighton restaurant I've been waiting for. A swathe of casual eateries have popped up in the city during Covid times and, hand on heart, my enthusiasm had been waning for local food for the first time in decades. Because, if I've been craving anything right now after a spot of enforced abstinence from restaurants, it's going to an actual restaurant. With napkins, plates, nice wines, a bit of pampering and food you eat with, you know, cutlery. 

Despite Covid, we have also had a large hole in our dining arsenal for simple, but elegant Mediterranean food. But Med has arrived with sunny small plates of holiday memories, which is what we all need right now, particularly those mourning the loss of their summer holibob abroad. 

Although I visited on the opening weekend and my rule of not reviewing until a few weeks have passed, due to common teething issues until a place beds in, plates and opinion have been pretty consistent from the off here. The people behind Med are by no means new kids on the block, having held up a pretty strong local presence with Wolfsmouth and their numerous pub popups, as well as  the slicker small plate operation at Paradiso Social. All of that is now concentrated into this new spot and their delivery seems rather faultless.

If you're an eye roller to the small plate format, this could well change your mind. Here it truly does work and you can mix and match to your heart's content without creating either a monstrosity of a meal nor a colossal bill. 

Grown up hummus was given a pop of flavour from the unquestionable flavours of crunchy dukkah sprinkled on top, and scooped up with their excellent focaccia is an easy way kick off to things here, washed down with one of their cocktails from the short and sweet menu -  a very good negroni sbagliato hit the spot for me. 

The main "big dish" option is a market fish of the day. A simple grilled fish to share is a thing of beauty and today the choice was plaice, one of my favourites. De-boning whole fish at the table is an enjoyable ritual, so glad we were left to our own devices with it. Add in the patatas bravas and charred artichokes and courgettes and that's a meal complete. 

Of course don't stop there though. Dish of the night for me were clams with chorizo in a fragrant wine broth, served with a spoon I imagine, not to serving the clams with but to ensure you drink up every last drop from the bowl. Do that.

Portuguese style chicken is worth the order, a gooey chourico croquette and piquant romesco.

Most surprising was the cantaloupe melon dish. I've had thousands before, mainly depressing fridge cold wedges at wedding receptions, but this was a head turner; dressed up with avocado and cured cucumbers, with a combination of gorgeous herbs making for a light, fresh, sweet and delicious dish.

Wines have been treated equally well with a carafe working out the same cost as half bottle so you can work your way around the list a little with your meal. The list is nicely curated and unpretentious too. 

Dining here was a true delight actually, and it wasn't just the thirst for returning back to restaurants. It really is good full stop; the attention to detail is everywhere. Crowd pleasing, simple food, which hits that sweet spot of being well executed but relaxed and priced honestly.
2/3 Little East Street
Brighton. BN1 1HT

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