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“Brightons "Must Visit" Restaurant”

English's of Brighton
Ranked #38 of 1,133 Restaurants in Brighton
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $38 - $99
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
Hove, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Brightons "Must Visit" Restaurant”
Reviewed February 1, 2013

We have been dining at Englishs for over 30 years, always first class seafood backed up with first class service. A true gem of Brighton. If you only visit Brighton once, this should be your first port of call for a dining expereince rarely offered today. From half a dozen oysters, to the famous Englishs' seafood platter, garlic and white wine mussels to some truely scrumpious deserts, its too good an opportunity to miss. Mark and Anne.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mainsystems
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Englishs, General Manager at English's of Brighton, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Hi Mark & Annie,

As such regular customers it is really kind of you both to take the time to review us on Tripadvisor. We really don't expect our old friends to feel the need to do that, but we do appreciate it even more so. I'm sure you've both been back in a couple of times since you wrote this but thatnks again. Here's to the next thirty years!

kind regards,

Nick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,182 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Antibes, France
Level Contributor
64 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Acceptable, but there are better fish restaurants nearby”
Reviewed January 27, 2013

English's does a lot of business based on its long-lived reputation. I have a feeling though, that it's glory days are a distant memory, and that more recently it has suffered from lack of revenue and TLC. It's still a nice place to go if you don't mind being seated dinner-party style at the same long table as the other guests - in fact this is one of English's USPs, you always get to meet and chat with other interesting diners.
Very traditional menu, the food has never blown my socks off and it is slightly over-priced for what it offers.
No doubt finding it hard to compete with the likes of Riddle & Finn a few metres away...

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank BrightonBecki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Englishs, General Manager at English's of Brighton, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Dear BrightonBecki,

Thanks for taking the time to leave your review. Mediocrity is not what we are about and I'm dissapointed that you felt it was an average experiemce for you.

kind regards,
Nick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sevenoaks
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Disappointed!”
Reviewed January 25, 2013

Most staff, not all, are very busy loving themselves. A disapointment, my husband does better moules!
Lots of money.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Gill C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Englishs, General Manager at English's of Brighton, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Dear Gill C,

I am very sorry that you didn't appear to enjoy your meal at English's. I would ask that you try us again in the future where I'm sure my team will deliver a great dining experience for you.

kind regards,
Nick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sliema, Malta
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
“Our Daughter`s Birthday dinner in her home town”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

My wife and I spent Christmas and New Year with our Daughter and her partner in Brighton and were guests in their apartment.
Our Daughter was born 5th. January and therefore it was only proper that we extended our stay to include her birthday.
We wished to enjoy the special day with a special meal and although we had no first hand experience we selected Englishs of Brighton after a scouting trip consisting of a walk int town and a look at their Menu which is conveniently placed on the outside of the restaurant like so many continental restaurants.
We were not disappointed!
We had requested a table next to the window which was given and we were ensured of some privacy without being remote in a cold private room.In fact the restaurant area brims with character and warmth and projects a lovely and welcoming "Feel".
The service was excellent with extremely polite and pleasing staff. The food was fantastic. We savored the variety of seafood on offer which was fresh and so well cooked and presented.
I had the scallops as my starter followed by heavenly Cod Fillet grilled to perfection. The others enjoyed their selection also.
We stated our meal with an excellent prosecco followed by a nicely chilled Italian Pinot Grigio.
Our evening was a success and our thanks go to all the staff of English`s of Brighton.
Oliver De Giorgio

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Oliver D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Englishs, General Manager at English's of Brighton, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Dear Oliver D,

I'm delighted that we were able to host you all on your daughter's birthday. It's great to hear that you all had such a good time. Thanks for taking the trouble to write about your experience. We are always here for the next birthday treat.

kind regards,
Nick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“O dear..”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Englishs was recommended to my partner and I by a friend who LOVES his food and wine, probably about as much as we do... Which is A LOT!
"Great seafood", was what we were led to look forward to here.
The only trouble with the validity of our friend's recommendation however (as we later found out - upon questioning wtf he had been talking about to recommend such a place), was that he had last dined there at least fifteen years ago. Time flying as it does, the experience had misleadingly "felt more recent than that" to him.

In the present day, I now find myself wishing away the memory of what was a bloody lousy meal - and considering I went there only two weekends ago, I shall consider this review to be my necessary closure on the matter.

My partner and I were not quite sure what on earth to make of the decor here as we eyeballed the downstairs and were shown to our table upstairs - a window seat which we weren't sure if it was charming or not.... We decidedly voted on 'not' upon realising that our view had no real opportunity of escape from the shabby little kitchenette that menacingly loomed right in front of us - where, even a towel hung across to conceal it would have been better than the eyesore itself. Along with the view came the sounds one would expect from a rickety old fridge and ventilator...

No matter, perhaps the food would drastically distract us from any of the growing suspicions we had about what lay ahead. We were intent on fine seafood and so, bravely (and hungrily!) persevered with our menu choices.

When the waitress came to dole out some water to us, my partner took the opportunity to point out the incredibly unsteady table we had... Instead of (even with quiet disdain) sorting it out with a coaster or some such, she snapped at him to leave it alone and told him off for moving the table while she was pouring water.
I have to say that while this seemed like a bit of an outrageous response, it did make me laugh myself to near tears. And then the fact that she just never did anything about the table - well, we were basically in Brighton's very own Fawlty Towers restaurant.

My partner chose the prawn cocktail to start and I went out on a limb and fancying a little taster of lobster, ordered the lobster goujons.
Now, I don't want to act on my feeling of needing to use profanities when I think back to this starter but FFS.
Whilst my partner headed cautiously into his cocktail, which was at best 'alright', I attempted the lobster goujons - which I have to say, looked disgusting.
Where on earth the actual lobster was in all of this, I will never know. What I do know is this - there isn't any lobster in the lobster goujons. There was a sort of sauce that didn't taste unlike ketchup with prawn cocktail sauce, but there was so little of it within the actual batter that I couldn't be sure exactly what it was. 'Inedible' springs to mind, on reflection.
If McDonalds were ever to produce a lobster nugget, for instance, I imagine that it would be far more impressive than this was.
The mere look of our starters was enough to worry my partner into being convinced that we had made a grave error in seeking a lovely meal in this very run down, almost comedically shabby and lost, establishment (?).

We decided, as ever, not to make any complaints truly heard before our next and undoubtedly final course arrived... After all, the kitchen staff would have far less chance of tampering with our food in a thoroughly unwholesome way if it has already reached our table.. So we just held our tongues from speaking about the food and encouraged them into tasting the wine instead, whilst trying to avoid the constant glare of the dire kitchenette in all its horrific glory.

My partner had the Skate and I ordered the scallops. We ordered some sauteed potatoes to go on the side, along with what was supposed to be peas with bacon.

Each dish was brought upstairs by a sort of quasi-sub-waiter who stomped past us with our food each time (not unlike Lurch from the Addams family) to take it into the horrible little kitchen in front of us, where it seemed to have some sort of ceremony performed on it (an exorcism perhaps?) before a different waitress then brought it around to our table some moments later. The quasi-sub-waiter would then disappear back down the stairs, and my partner and I were left in amused puzzlement about this bizarre "standard procedure".

My scallops were very small indeed - a small portion AND the actual scallops themselves looked as if they were as small as they could possibly get away with being.
The skate was barely warm and wholly unappetising. The peas were just straight from the freezer-chucked in boiling water-flung in a bowl - voila! No bacon in them (as described on the menu), just remnants of the water they were cooked in.
The potatoes were a joke. I mean it - a joke. No restaurant staff, let alone "chef", in their right minds should have let this bowl of starch atrocity leave the kitchen.

The white wine was actually the best thing about the meal, and considering we had barely touched the whole meal - leaving full bowls and practically full plates, for BOTH courses - we asked to speak to the manager just to see what he would have to say about the fact that we were leaving his restaurant unfed and thoroughly put off Brighton seafood restaurants.

The manager is a jolly, sweet man. He was genuinely sorry to hear our dissatisfaction, polite, and assured us that we would not pay for what we did not eat. He was generally very good about the whole ordeal.
When the bill came, we saw that he had not charged for the lovely bottle of wine - as a gesture of goodwill - which we felt was very generous of him.

Despite the manager's gesture, I will never go back to Englishs as long as it stays sucked into the awful spiral that it seems to be drowning to death in.

They need to SERIOUSLY clean this place up, add a bit of atmosphere and romance with the lighting, a lick of paint, a new chef..... Or some kind of therapy for the existing one - because the food was awful. AWFUL!

There is potential here however, with the cobbled backstreet setting and the almost-but-somehow-not-quite charming decor (?!).
But I can safely say that I would give this place a miss on any future visits to Brighton and indeed might actually shudder at passing Englishs again.
The one redeeming factor was the manager, who I only hope can one day actually be proud of the place rather than apologetically having to give the wine away as a gesture of civic consciousness, let alone good will... ANd of course, the undeniably comical aspect to the meal, which at the very least had us amused into the night, if a little hungry and disappointed.

I am always puzzled when I see other recent reviews on Tripadvisor that are so far removed from my own honest opinions, but if you want to listen to my advice on a trip to Englishs.... Try the Hotel du Vin on Ship Street instead.

Happy dining x

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Gab8eat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Englishs, General Manager at English's of Brighton, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Dear Gab8eat,

I'm sorry that you did not enjoy your visit. I thought I had been successful in dealing with your dissatisfaction during your meal and I'm sorry you felt the need to write such a scathing review.

regards,
Nick
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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