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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. It's fine dining without the fuss. His six- or eight-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. 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.
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