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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I think The Brasserie at Brighton Marina is God's way of putting you off gluttony. I'm not saying it was poor last night, but the meal cost us more than The Well at Bulkington, and tasted more like the bulk of a wellington.

On the plus side, their marketing's brilliant. We were driving home from St Leonards on Sunday, and saw a banner at Brighton Racecourse advertising The Brasserie with the words "Now Open!". I said I thought it had been there for years, but having visited Asda on Monday and seen a similar sign with the same slogan, we decided we must be thinking of a different place, and resolved to visit this brand new Italian restaurant the very next day.

When we got there at 6pm last night, we realised we'd been had. The Brasserie's been in Brighton longer than I have. And having felt no urge to visit the place at any point in the past five years, all it took to finally get us through the doors was two simple words: "Now Open!". We're an advertising man's dream.

As we were working on the assumption that the restaurant was new, we didn't bother looking up reviews online before we went. If we had done, we'd have found that the users of Brighton-Eating.com give it an average score of 1.3 out of 10. Making it a miracle that it's "Now Open!", and not bankrupt and closed.

Fortunately we didn't know that at the time, so we were able to approach The Brasserie with a completely open mind, and without any preconceived prejudices. And sure enough, we thought it was better than the reviews suggested. I'd have given it at least 2.

To be fair, the surroundings were very nice. Those we could see, anyway. Unfortunately, when I opened the door marked 'Toilets', I found nothing but pitch-black darkness and no light switch. Having reported it to the nearest English-speaking person (which turned out to be Lisa) I then had to stand there for two minutes while a member of staff wandered about on the other side of the building, trying to find the power supply.

They soon managed to shed some light on the subject though, and I was able to view the toilets in all their glory. At which point I was tempted to go back outside and ask them to turn the light off again.

As for the food, I had a bit of well-done baguette masquerading as garlic bread, followed by a plate of spaghetti and bacon, while Lisa spent £16.95 (yes, £16.95) on some sea bass and a few lumps of potato. I have to say, just one taste of that fish instantly evoked memories of idyllic childhood holidays on the beautiful Isle of Wight. It was just like The Needles. And I told Lisa so, as I picked five pin-sized bones out of my mouth, and spat the rest out.

The desserts, however, were something else. Something else I can moan about, that is. The Brasserie menu doesn't give any prices for puddings, so it's not until you get the bill that you find out you've just spent a fiver on the most tasteless slice of chocolate cake ever made. Lisa's Amaretto cake was ok, but it cost us another fiver to find that out.

Having served us (slowly) with disappointing food at extortionate prices, they clearly don't expect a tip. So they automatically add a 10% service charge to your bill. We ended up spending five quid more than we did at Bulkington for a meal that was quite unWell. From this point on, "Now Open!" refers to our eyes.

9 comments:

Phil's Mum said...

Next time you have a free evening, you'd better go back to Bulkington.  It will probably only cost you an extra £60 in petrol.

Dave said...

But did you enjoy it?

Phil said...

Any time alone with my wife is enjoyable. Which must be why the waiter took so long to come and serve us.

jon the bassist said...

You be careful that you dont end up sleeping with the fishes after you complain about them.
The Don the Bassist

jon the bassist said...

<span>You be careful that you dont end up sleeping with the fishes after you complain about them. </span>
<span>
The Don the Bassist</span>

Dave said...

<span>But did you enjoy it?</span>

Phil's Mum said...

<span>Next time you have a free evening, you'd better go back to Bulkington.  It will probably only cost you an extra £60 in petrol.</span>

Phil said...

<span>Any time alone with my wife is enjoyable. Which must be why the waiter took so long to come and serve us.</span>

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