Located in Hove, just outside of Brighton, Etch by Steven Edwards is anything but your standard British seaside restaurant. Firstly, the restaurant serves only a 5, 7 or 9-course tasting menu; secondly, there’s not a battered fish in sight; and thirdly it’s headed up by one of the youngest winners of MasterChef: The Professionals, Steven Edwards.

The restaurant is set in an old bank building and features a light-filled dining room above and basement bar below – it’s essential to start or end the meal here, to check out some of the very creative cocktails on offer. We visited on a Sunday lunchtime and after a softener below went all-in on the 9-course menu – and that’s 9 courses plus extra snacks including parmesan biscuits and mushroom and truffle choux buns, plus THAT famous marmite brioche bread, which we’ll guarantee you’ll love, served alongside seaweed butter. 

Whilst the cooking displays serious skill, the menu doesn’t take itself too seriously, with fun takes on recognisable classics. Take, for example, the dippy eggs, a gooey duck egg yolk cooked at the optimal temperature with a couple of chips (hey this is the seaside!) and some brioche toast soldiers served alongside it, or the cheese course with pear ice cream and petit fours of negroni flavour chocolate skulls to end. Other highlights in our menu (the menu changes monthly) included a beautiful crab salad topped with a thin onion jelly; celeriac soup that was like a bowl of warming foam, managing to be super rich yet fluffy and light at the same time; and the duck served alongside a liver parfait filled crunchy pastry shell.

Wines come from around the globe but there’s also a good selection from Blighty too including crisp Nyetimber bubbles and some interesting natural wines from Westwell wines. With faultless dishes and amazing service from a team who have largely been there since opening in 2017 (which is clearly a testament to they way Steven runs his shop), Etch is well worth taking a trip to the South Coast. 

214-216 Church Rd, Hove BN3 2DJ