The Chili Pickle – Brighton

Well, this is a place which cannot seem to get enough praise from the people of Brighton, so when I went to visit friends in this fine city I absolutely insisted on coming here. Sadly from the word go we had nothing but problems.
First off. When i phoned up to book a table they told us they were fully booked. The woman on the phone was convinced there was nothing she could do. I decided to look online on their website which said there was one available table, so naturally, I booked it.
However when we finally arrived at the restaurant on the day, the place was nearly empty the entire time we were there!
The place is very over priced, though it offered a selection not seen in many other Indian establishments. They are clearly going for the more traditional market here. This is all well and good but I paid £30 for a main meal, some poppadoms and a drink. That is a lot of money, especially considering I could feed two people, well, for that price in a more usual Indian establishment.
You can tolerate this kind of thing if you are expecting a high class meal yet the food and service was both lacking so far. When the food arrived I got such little portions with everything and ended up leaving hungry. In any other traditional Indian you would have been able to feed 2 people and leave them completely stuffed. This wasn’t a one off either, even my friends had tiny portions. So not only was i paying over double what you would in a traditional Indian you got very little too!
They have tried to steer away from the traditional English influenced Indian food like onion bhaji’s, chicken tikka masalas, and Phals, which were all made in the UK. This is probably what you were paying for, being trendy and different. It’s always good to have places like this around to offer customers more choice but other than a gimmick I cannot really see myself coming back here. Especially when it is so expensive.
The ironic thing is they boasted to be more traditionally Indian with their dishes, yet only have 2 things on the menu were vegetarian, which I found strange considering over a billion people from India are vegetarian. So by default they offer less traditional Indian dishes than a standard restaurant.
The selection of food was also quite bad. You only got one choice of beer on tap, about 7 choices of main course with no flexibility of what meat you wanted with your meal. If you ordered a dish which has chicken on the menu they were unable to give you a lamb, beef or vegetarian alternative! They had a heat gauge next to the food on the menu to tell you how hot the food was…which ended up being completely irrelevant seeing as i had the hottest thing on the menu and it was incredibly mild.
I was really surprised by this place as i went there because of the outstanding reviews!
Price – Quite expensive for what you get but generally good quality.
Location – 3/5 Dead center Brighton in the alleys. Parking is expensive so you could add more money onto your bill.
Service – 2/5 friendly enough though a very standard service, though confused and disorganised.
Food – 2/5 Very nice in all but not very filling and a poor selection on the menu. You will not come out feeling very full unless you spend a lot of money.
Atmosphere – 2/5 Friendly staff but the place was dead. It felt more like a cafe. I’m also annoyed that there was no hot towel or after meal chocolates. Especially considering that there were over 6 of us and we had to hand over a lot of money for such little back!
If you’re looking to try something different and unusual then i still wouldn’t suggest this place. I would recommend just going to a normal curry house and ordering something unusual on the menu there. There are also many other traditional Indian establishments in the city which could probably offer you better value and service.

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