There isn't really any magic to the formula for a successful restaurant: you serve good food and drink, in a friendly and efficient manner, in a convivial setting with a nice atmosphere and at a good price. That's really about it. Most restaurants let themselves down on one or more of these. It is rare to find one that managed to miss all of them, let alone one that has such a terrific reputation and has been around for so long. My brother, a Brighton resident for most of his life, had raved about Terre a Terre for ages so, finding ourselves in Brighton on a Saturday night, we decided to see what the fuss was all about. I don't know if it was because of Pride, or that it was a late booking on a long and busy Saturday, but it didn't fell severely short of expectations. We picked our way through the revelry outside, to find a half deserted restaurant. Rather than sit us at the empty table in the window where we could see such revelry (ok, this was set up for four, so we didn't ask, but a table of two was sat there later), we were ushered into the middle, by the serving station and away from the windows. It reminded me of one of a Chinese on Gerard Street. Not any specific one, but just that generic style. Having been ushered in we sat and waited. Then waited a bit more. Then got some menus. Then a bit later some water. Then much later had our order taken. Then wine. Then a long time after sitting down our starter. So the good bits: the wine (a lovely chenin blanc from South Africa) was a steal at the price. The Korean Fried Cauliflower (KFC - geddit?) was outstanding: full of flavour and texture, inventive and a starter sized offering. But the rest, not so much: the Crispy Fried lavash bread was perfectly fine as a side dish for ten, but as a starter was way too dull and way too large. The Aloo Sailor and the Rosti Revisited both sounded excellent, but were both hugely disappointing, lacking texture, almost indistinguishable in taste, being smothered in what seemed to be the same green goo, and of a size that would put most septics into anaphylactic shock. But the side of grilled halloumi had to be the worst: there is only one reason for getting grilled halloumi (other than that no supper is complete without some form of cheese somewhere) and that is the texture: the delicious squeak as your gnashers meet soft goodness. Here: no squeak. Not even a mouse-like peep. Nothing. After the event, my dear brother told me we should have avoided the rostis as they are not where TaT shines. I told him I'd avoid the place, and instead get my vegetarian fix at Vanilla Black, which (other than possibly lacking a bit of atmosphere), ticks ever box that TaT falls woefully short of.