Burnt Orange in Brighton is a warmly-lit, buzzy restaurant-cum-cocktail bar with a cosy, enclosed patio. The textured orange walls, dark wood and green leather furnishings are reminiscent of a French bistro.
Staff are friendly and welcoming and the large wrap-around bar and open kitchen mean you can watch the chefs work their magic.
The menu at Burnt Orange features an exciting array of wood-fired sharing dishes, with influences from Europe and the Middle East. We opted for the £35 set menu - which is a bargain considering the quality and quantity of the food. The table quickly filled up with vibrant dishes, featuring aromatic spices and smokey, barbecue flavours.
The first thing we tasted was the warm flatbread with sweet, nutty sesame brown butter, with notes of caramel. When the bread is this good you know you're in for a treat. Other standout dishes include the miso aubergine with crispy onions, fresh pops of pomegranate, sour cream and toasted sunflower seeds and the lamb cigars - tender meat, wrapped in light, crispy pastry served with smokey padron yoghurt, sweet golden currents and a smattering of spices.
Pork skewers with a sticky, spiced barbecue glaze and crunchy fennel were also noteworthy and the cheesy garlic and herb potatoes felt like proper comfort food.
We often find desserts a little disappointing compared to starters and mains, but this wasn't the case at Burnt Orange. The burnt lemon tart tastes like a light version of lemon meringue pie but with the paper-thin, crunchy, caramelised top of a crème brûlée.
It's also exciting to find a restaurant where the drinks are on par with the food. We sampled the North Breeze (£10) - Burnt Orange's take on the Aperol Spritz but with Campari, clementine juice, apricot brandy and fizz. It was refreshing and perfectly balanced - not too sweet, not too sour.
In summary, Burnt Orange is a lovely, cosy restaurant with delicious food and expertly-mixed cocktails. A wonderful addition to Brighton's food scene.