Terre à Terre – a vegetarian restaurant in Brighton that is a delight of ingenuity and veggie imagination
The Vegetarian Restaurant: Terre à Terre is Brighton’s iconic acclaimed restaurant where vegetarianism is more about indulgence than abstinence. Situated in the historic lanes, Terre à Terre has been feeding its loyal customers and international visitors for over 21 years. Eating with them is said to stimulate your mind as well as your taste buds and Terre à Terre believe it will change the way you view vegetarian cuisine forever. For a vegetarian restaurant in Brighton, you’d be hard pressed to find better.
Terre à Terre is the best taste sensation and umami destination I have ever experienced. Forget meat, Terre à Terre has usurped the throne of the Kingdom of Savoury and have donned the Umami crown. A word on loan from the Japanese (うま味), umami can be translated as “pleasant savoury taste” – Umai meaning Delicious and Mi meaning Taste. Terre à Terre has a major reputation for its quality and calibre of cuisine regularly converting the common carnivore and outstripping a meal out with meat any day. They say: “We are proud that a high percentage or our customers are non-vegetarians who return time and again having discovered that dining without meat or fish can still be true ‘gourmet’ experience!”
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Umami is the ‘5th taste’ sensation. For years one only speculated that there are 4 sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness, and now with the recent discovery that Umami as the Fifth flavour, an only recent scientific addition for Umami is not detected, or tasted should we say, in the traditional way – arising out of a combination of the 4 already recognized taste receptors – but umami is experienced through its own Glutamine receptors. Glutamine is heavily present, typically in meat broths and fermented foods and brought about the wave of supplementing fast food products with the Moorish Glutamine essence that is the chemical MSG. However, this vegetarian venue is only home to the absolute best, most delightful and desirous umami in town. Producing both healthy and balanced meals with the oomph true umami force, in the most delicate and refined ways, constructing a palette of beautiful colours, textures and flavours, crafting something so brilliant and tasty from something as pure and simple as vegetables. The Terre à Terre Chefs are Umami Masters, putting passion and perfection into each and every component of a dish – you can really tell that the Chef’s practice their Umami talents as an art form. Each and every component of a Terre à Terre dish, from appetif, to starter, to main, side and dessert, each aspect of their dishes is meticulously crafted to create a taste sensation – each element bearing its own beautifully balanced flavour coming together as a unified whole to make a meal of dream design.
And you can tell every member of waiting staff knows (as a restaurant of upstanding exemplar service in Brighton) every fine detail of the food they are serving. The 3 A4 pages that comprise their Menu is an insight into the journey and inspiration that went into designing this incredible food. “All our wonderful team in the kitchen are involved in the ideas and development of a dish, sourcing of produce and delivery of the final product”: A bunch of Vagrant Vegetarians globetrotting the culinary feat s of yonder world with magpie gathering tendencies, armed with a nose for incredible cuisine and ladles of talent and passion, The Terre-à-Terre-ites back ideas to hatch at Terre à Terre, bringing them home to roost in Brighton.
“Our challenge is to create dishes that appeal to the senses and offer a combination of textures and tastes that look tantalising. There is a sense of playfulness throughout our menu, starting with the names. We like to name dishes uniquely referring to the original inspiration and ingredients involved, it’s all part of a very fun creative process aimed to give you a memorable experience from the moment you decide to come to dine with us.”
I am telling you now this is the oracle to our Umami needs, at Terre à Terre you have found the organic and truest natural form of an MSG enhanced meal, simply in really really good, honest and greatly satisfying grub! The impeccable taste and experience of every mouthful of Terre à Terre food will begin with the undeniable quality and integrity of ingredients and skill of the well-practiced kings of cooking and connoisseurs of eating that is their Chefs – or should I say, Umami Masters.
Organic Golden Tequila, shaken with organic orange liqueur and lime juice.
Raspberry and Elderflower Fizz 8.75
Fresh raspberry puree elderflower cordial organic gin topped with organic prosecco
Bangkok Broken Balls £7.75
Coconut Thai spice rice balls ripped and refried, loaded with toasted peanuts, palm pineapple vinegar lemon oil dressing with pomelo piece, pistachio purée and Thai basil, finished with smoked tomato mince, served in shizo amaranth and gem bouquet garni with coriander mixed shoots.
Korean fried cauliflower with sweet and sour sesame, onigiri rice, soused shiso dikon and khol rabi,
pickled mirin ginger jelly and green leaf salt dried chips finished with chestnut ume plum purée.
Gewürztraminer Adobe Reserva, Cachapoal Valley DO, Chile, 2015 £23.75
Balanced with 12% Sauvignon blanc, soft tropical fruits, ideal with some of our aromatic dishes.
Did I mention that even their Wine list is 100% organic!?
Steam Dreamer £15.50
Big Bamboo Steamer loaded with …
Char Sin Roll filled with scallion and halloumi shred; Sticky gochujang baby Aubergine; Sticky rice roll and puffed Chinese dough stick, pickled ginger; Mooli and kohlrabi umami bomb; Smokey apple wood tamari steeped griddled tofu with satay sauce and crispy soy salt skin; Filled & fried Yuzu Padron pepper with sweet bean sauce; Served with melon rind candy, pickled melon and daikon smashed cucumber, chilli sauce and green onion & ginger sauce.
The Rosti : Brunch, Lunch and Dinner 14.98
Crispy fried potato, onion rosti, topped with oregano and thyme griddled halloumi, vodka spike baby tomatoes, poached egg with charred chestnut mushroom relish, smoked tomato, black bean fejoida and ketchup.
Smokey Scrunch Chips £6.75
Scrunched fried seasoned with smokey spice dust with avocado lime hash.
Cinnamon sugar spice dusted doughnut straws served with vodka cherries, salt caramel sticky dunker, warm dark chocolate dipper and finished with wild berry freeze dried crumble and extra brute cocoa powder.
The food is divine from presentation to tongue to tummy. It is not a restaurant of dainty measures made for show, but rather delivers 200% on flavour, aesthetic, moorishness and also satisfaction – I can guarantee you that you will not be leaving your dining table with one single doubt of dissatisfaction. If you dine with Terre à Terre the right way – to make an experience of your food and dining company, through sharing and really contemplating the story of the Menu and journey of you meal you will be certain to be amazed… and in preceding restaurant experience I testify that you will struggle to top this high class bill, even with the best of Blue Steaks – and that is coming from a true omnivore.
All in all, the whole dining experience at Terre à Terre was literally a dream, everything brought to our table including the personalities of the Hosts transcends this restaurant to a league above most others. The wine was a steal of a find on this wine connoisseurs list (I will highly recommend the Gewürztraminer every time, to accompany any dish; it is the best priced and best-balanced wine to suit such a strong Umami Menu. The Asian fusion elements in our dining experience were incredible and brilliantly presented as an almost Mezze/Tapas platter of a myriad of oriental staples, showcasing the breadth and versatility of Terre à Terre ’s culinary talents and gastronomic knowledge. The KFC was an awesome revision of the long stood acronym to Korean Fried Cauliflower, and not just on the value of namesake, was the best KFC I have ever tasted. The deconstructed Balls were a stroke of dissected genius, and the steam dreamer was such an eclectic matching of original complementing flavours and authentic Asian technique that I was quite literally transported to the land of Umami when I lifted the second tier of the traditional rice steamer to reveal the second layer of rice accompanied delights. Then, only to through a small spanner in the works and transport the dinner to Spain with the decadent Churrismo for dessert, I was literally blown away by how satisfied and well fed I was – I actually ended up sharing a single dessert, simply unheard of from my sweet tooth, which says a lot about the level of satisfaction and enjoyment I got out of this meal. As far as a vegetarian restaurant in Brighton goes, this is up there at the top.
Terre à Terre will quite literally be a dining experience that will be lodged in you memory box as the best food you will have ever tried for literally eternity. I went for my first meal there at the age of 14 and have been dying to go back ever since. Now that I have had the opportunity to sit in the burgundy/berry coloured dining room for the second time – 7 years on – my theory has been proved – you will not stop thinking of this restaurant as the best place to eat until the desire gets too great and you go back to dine there again only to prove your point and smugly bask in the glory of Terre à Terre ’s masterful culinary prowess once more.
Umami, a taste of satisfaction: Terre à Terre the fine dining vegetarian restaurant in Brighton is a wonderland of unassuming herbivorous bliss, a miracle of the savoury cooking, a taste sensation to be savoured by even the most ravenous of Umamists. I give you Terre à Terre : (literal translation from French) the ‘Down To Earth’ Vegetarian Restaurant: Curing and Creating food Cravings since 1993.
Terre à Terre
71 East Street