Etch by Steven Edwards

British, Modern European·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Etch by Steven Edwards

Gold Award

Steven Edwards won MasterChef: The Professionals in 2013, but the Sussex chef hasn't let celebrity go to his head. Rather than a glitzy city-centre location, his first restaurant is a small, intimate affair in the outer reaches of Hove. It's worth the schlep because Edwards has elevated the area’s already thriving restaurant scene to new levels with a mix of technically accomplished cooking and friendly service, a combination of which has earned him a place on the Michelin guide as well as three AA Rosettes. It's fine dining without the fuss.

As with many of the country’s best chefs, Edwards insists the food on offer at his restaurant changes with the months, to reflect what’s in season or available locally. The line-up changes on the first Monday of every month and his five-, seven- or nine-course tasting menus explore just a handful of ingredients – think charred mackerel pierced by the racy acidity of greengages (pickled and sorbet) or a sweet scallop seduced by the dark side of salty cuttlefish orzo. There's plenty of cheffy technique too – from sous vide to hay-smoking – but Edwards knows how to keep it simple when required: his 24-hour pork belly comes with proper crackling, while his Marmite brioche with whipped seaweed butter is some of the best bread south of the M25. For those with a sweet tooth it’s good news, as the larger tasting menus include both a chocolate and fruit dessert. Recent examples of puds have included a dark chocolate mousse with chocolate jelly and coriander ice cream, and a cherry Bakewell tart with crème fraiche sorbet, cherry gel and fresh cherries

The drinks list is all-encompassing, offering something for everyone with a good selection of Sussex wines, locally-brewed beers, a concise cocktail list and a whole host of soft options. In fact, tasting menus can be paired with both wine flights and soda ones (although you do have to pre-order if you’d like the latter). Chatty staff, comfy seats and Japanese loos that (unnervingly) wash and blow-dry at the touch of a button all add to the etch. experience.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
British, Modern European
Cosy, Dark and moody, Fine dining, Luxury, Romantic, Unique
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Celebrations, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Etch is Steven Edwards' flagship restaurant in Hove, a modern, neighbourhood joint which focuses on seasonal British produce to create its weekly-changing menus. But first, a bit about the man himself. Steven is a MasterChef: The Professionals champion having won the sixth series in 2013 at the tender age of 26. Previous to that, he trained with some of the best chefs in the business, from Chris Wheeler to Raymond Blanc. He’s also spent time at the renowned South Lodge Hotel where he became head chef of the hotels second restaurant Camellia. After six years there, he set up his own company – etch – which started life as a pop-up and delivery business but has since found a permanent home on Church Road in Hove.

This contemporary restaurant boasts an open kitchen and bar, while dark blue walls and modern art create a luxe feel suited to special occasions. The menus change weekly as they’re linked closely to the seasons, so no two meals are ever the same here. However, examples of dishes that have been served in the past include langoustine with Granny Smith apple, pork with delica pumpkin, squab pigeon with watercress amongst a range of innovative snacks and small taster plates.

Etch prides itself on having a good selection of wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages to suit diner's needs. Creative cocktails include the Etchpresso Martini featuring whisky, coffee liqueur, crème de cacao, cream soda, brown butter, chocolate, walnut and coffee. While local beers, lagers and ciders appeal to the slightly less adventurous. Finally, the wine list champions smaller, family run producers with an emphasis on sustainability, providing the drinker with a sense of place and terroir. Guests can also elect to enjoy a wine pairing with their tasting menu which is designed to challenge the diner.


How long should you set aside for the tasting menu?

Depending on the number of courses and guests, the team suggest that you allow two-three hours for five courses, three hours for seven courses and three-four hours for nine courses

Helpful? 0


216 Church Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 2DJ

01273 227485 01273 227485


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri 12:30-13:30
Sat 12:30-13:30
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 18:30-20:00
Thu 18:30-20:00
Fri 18:30-20:00
Sat 18:30-20:00
Sun Closed


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2 Reviews 

Angelika F

29 March 2019  
Excellent customer service in a lovely restaurant with superb food. Consistently high standards of cooking with monthly changing menus.

Angelika F

27 March 2018  
Best Thai meal I have ever had. Authentic food with a twist and the waiter's recommendations are not to be missed.
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01273 227485 01273 227485

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