Sat spitting distance from Soho Square, Sussex is the latest opening from farm-to-fork fiends the Gladwin Brothers. Joining the likes of Battersea’s Nutbourne, Chelsea’s Rabbit and The Shed in Notting Hill, this Frith Street spot is dedicated to low-waste dining, as everything from the beef to the booze is sourced from the Gladwins’ south coast farm, and the surrounding areas.
Housed on one of Soho’s busiest thoroughfares, the calm and rustic interiors of Sussex seem at odds with their locale - dark-panelled walls conjure up warmth when offset by light sanded-wood floors and paned windows running the width of the venue.
Offering three courses for £28, Sussex is showing that you don’t need to be of the manor born to enjoy high-end country pursuits. Tempura garden herbs offer new textural sensations as strands of assorted aromatics hold their own under layers of light batter and zingy coriander mayo. Similarly the mushroom Marmite eclairs balance delicate choux against the deep earthiness of the filling.
A chopped raw beef starter comes topped with a runny quail’s egg, cheddar crust and surrounded by umami relish and cubes of sweet redcurrant jelly; while a lighter-than-light butternut squash carpaccio with kale and candied ginger succeeds in bringing something a little different to the veggies’ table. To match our meal we’ve opted for a bottle of Nutbourne 2016 Chardonnay (£38) - dry, citric and refreshing, it’s a summer garden-ready sip perfect for brightening a dull Saturday afternoon.
South coast crab ravioli is a maelstrom of salt and ocean smells. Al dente squares of crab-stuffed pasta come floating in a powerful sea shore bisque, topped with caviar, samphire and shaved fennel. Serious seafood-lovers will want to take a bath in the stuff, while those more at home on land might find it more akin to face-planting in a rock pool. However, a mushroom and squash pithivier with cabbage, mustard and pickled ‘shrooms barely touches the sides, disappearing in a flurry of flakey pastry.
With a stunningly affordable set menu, friendly, knowledgeable serving staff and fresh wholesome food, Soho’s Sussex is bringing farmyard flavour to the heart of the city. Dedicated to sustainability, they’re an excellent choice for date nights and long lunches with friends.
Due to Covid-19 measures Sussex is currently closed until further notice. Distract yourself with our round-up of the best restaurants in Soho.