Our pick of the best places to eat and drink aross the county

New Kid on the Ox Block

By Duncan Hall

Great British Life: Ox Block - and its tasty burger - has a new homeOx Block - and its tasty burger - has a new home (Image: Justin De Souza)

Most first-time visitors to Brighton leave the railway station and head south straight for the sea.

But locals know the city’s best places to eat and drink are away from that main drag, such as the Lord Nelson Inn in Trafalgar Street. A traditional Harvey’s boozer, it’s a perfect fit for MasterChef winner Kenny Tutt’s new residency - as he says: ‘It’s a proper pub. New pubs are trying to capture this atmosphere.’

Ox Block was previously Kenny’s contribution to Brighton’s seafront food market Shelter Hall, but having decided to launch his new burger concept Patty Guy in that space, Ox Block became temporarily homeless - until the hook up with the Lord Nelson.

Ox Block is based in a section of the maze-like pub which recreates Nelson’s wood-panelled cabin, complete with ropes, porthole mirrors and storm lanterns. The dishes, which are ordered from the bar, are designed to complement the pub’s Harvey’s ales. The delicious Full Nelson Burger (£12) even has a cheese sauce made using Harvey’s IPA. At first the burger looks daunting, piled with smoked bacon, gherkins and candied jalapenos, but it holds itself together perfectly without the need to reach for the cutlery. The two smashed burgers are juicy and succulent - and extremely filling. This is food which sticks to your ribs.

Elsewhere on the menu are Ox Block favourites - Gunpowder chicken thighs (£12.50), spiced lamb kofta (£14.50) and aged sirloin steak (£14.50). And if you can’t choose there’s a Butcher’s Block sharing platter for £39 offering a selection from the menu. Veggies and vegans can pick between a King Oyster Mushroom Kebab or an All Plant Burger (both £13 each).

Twists on classic pub snacks include the three-cheese truffle mustard toastie (£7), fried chicken with pickles and kewpie mayo (£7) and gorgeous Devils on horseback with horseradish (£6). And there are two calorific Ox Block favourites for dessert - the deep-fried Oreos with dulce de leche ice cream or a crispy bacon and maple ice cream on a warm waffle (both £7 each).

There’s no way anyone could go home feeling disappointed or hungry.

Ox Block at the Lord Nelson, in Trafalgar Street, Brighton, is open from noon to 3pm Mon to Sat, 5pm to 8pm Mon to Thurs, 5pm to 9pm Fri/Sat, noon to 5pm Sun. lordnelsonbrighton.co.uk

Indian Summer at The Ivy Asia, Brighton

By Karen Pasquali Jones

Great British Life: The Ivy Asia in Brighton will entertain and excite guestsThe Ivy Asia in Brighton will entertain and excite guests (Image: (C) Nick Harvey 2022)

We’re all hoping for an Indian Summer as The Ivy Asia – the first of its kind in Sussex from the celebrity favourite eatery – has opened in Brighton. Serving theatrical drinks and cocktails alongside a menu of tantalising dishes from across Asia, the two-floor restaurant aims to ‘entertain, excite and inspire’ from the moment guests walk through the door.

From the décor to every dish, The Ivy Asia is a feast for the senses and has a sushi bar with an extensive sushi and sashimi selection created live including yellowtail sashimi with a fresh truffle salad, seared beef tataki with three kinds of onions, and salmon three ways. Plant based options include avocado silken tofu, with a lime and ginger dressing, and roasted aubergine miso and masago arare.

Lorne Hendry-Martin, General Manager at The Ivy Asia, Brighton says, ‘We are so excited to bring The Ivy Asia to Brighton. The city is known for its colourful and vibrant atmosphere, full of culture and history, making it the perfect place for this new, Asian-inspired concept’.