‘Sustainable living doesn’t have to be about sacrifice and luxury doesn’t have to be about waste.’ The manifesto at this zippy diner sets the scene for an eco-minded menu, where drinks share equal billing with food. A collaboration between bar superstar Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan of Dandelyan fame) and Doug McMaster of Brighton’s zero-waste restaurant Silo, Cub is a hub of creativity.
Engaging staff talk you through the regularly changing set menu, as they deliver seasonal food and cocktails, prepped before your eyes at the long bar-cum-pass. Our mostly veggie spring menu kicked off with bites of barbecued purple sprouting broccoli dotted with creamy fermented black garlic and yellow brassica flowers, alongside a tangy sweet’n’sour rhubarb and beetroot tart packing a flavour punch. Next up, a long drink simply titled ‘Nettle Watercress Pear’ – a fresh, herbal Belvedere Vodka cocktail with a peppery kick.
Other highlights from the 12-strong selection included hay-smoked artichoke broth, a savoury hit of comforting umami, and a textured dish of baby leeks and fermented Pink Fir potatoes topped with crispy onion strands and frothy whey sauce.
Drinks, meanwhile, roamed from a palate-cleansing Bruichladdich whisky mix with koji, chamomile and apple to a delicate non-alcoholic blend of exotic teas including Chinese Keemun black tea and Hojicha Japanese green tea.
Beautiful presentation and a sense of the unexpected add to the delight of dining here. The worthy ethos and hipster buzzwords – foraged, fermented – could too easily be dismissed as trend-seeking, but Cub proves that eating and drinking sustainably can be as enjoyable for you as it is good for the planet.