After writing previously glowing reviews we came to the gingerman for a birthday meal. I have previously said that the food is Michelin standard and perhaps this has gone to the chef's head. The menu now is overly fussy and to be honest it is far from clear what exactly the main component of the dish would be. The portion sizes are now too small as seems to be in keeping with the impression of haute cuisine.
The starters - the cheese dish genuinely did not contain enough flavour and was very unclear in what exactly it was meant to be. It very much lacked the "umpf" expected with a cheese dish and was very small. But the langoustine dish really took the biscuit - two tiny little shrimps (honestly I was astounded - TWO only), and one half an empty shrimp shell, some scattered grapefruit slices and some crumbled up black pudding. And this dish was a £2 supplement! The dish again lacked cohesion and was very unsatisfying. Thank goodness for the two loaves of bread.
We all rather unimaginatively ordered the main of beef fillet (At a £5 supplement per head). The beef was delicious but again it looked as though they had taken an nice thick fillet and halved it. The beef came on some warmish spinach with a strange side of what looked like sugar puffs -they had an interesting texture but were quite tasteless. This dish badly needed some carbs. The plates were mildy warm but not hot.
At this point the waiter asked if the meal was ok and we did say that we weren't happy so he did tell us that the bill would be adjusted which was appreciated. We also mentioned that we were avoiding chocolate and he endeavoured to provide a nice alternative desert - which was quite tasty. Some of us ordered the assiette of deserts to share and the souffle was delicious, the carot cake was average. The parfait was frozen absolutely solid we had to use a knife to cut it and I saw a couple of other diners really struggling to eat it!
The restaurant is lovely inside and the maitre d' was as attentive as possible. In general the service was very good as usual and the food was tasty enough but not what we have been used to from the gingerman - where the food was usually 5* - I'd give it more of a 3.5* but the cost makes that difficult to swallow. The adjustment to the total cost made it far more palatable (sorry for the pun) but we'd have preferred to pay the full amount and not have those niggles.
We will certainly give it another chance because it has always been our favourite restaurant in Brighton. But I have to say we went to 24 St. George's in Kemptown the night before and it was that little bit better on every front.
I hope that this was isolated and that the menu can be refined (or unrefined if that's more appropriate!).
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