Brighton isn’t short of great restaurants, but even in this eclectic city there’s nothing quite like The Set. Dan Kenny’s moody restaurant lies out of the city centre towards Preston Park, but make the journey north and you’ll find one of the most unique, ambitious restaurants anywhere in the UK.
The rustic, dimly-lit interiors and mismatched furniture have quite a unique vibe and if you’re longing for a restaurant that is warm, cosy and inviting, The Set may not be to your tastes. That said, there’s a special resourcefulness happening here that is worthy of note - the space doubles up as a cafe during the day, but The Set takes over on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings with a unique, Asian-flecked tasting menu. Dan and sous chef Marcin dive in and out of the tiny kitchen during service, using a small barbecue outside to cook many of the dishes.
Given the limited capacity of the restaurant and equipment, some of the food they turn out is remarkable. A handful of single bite snacks set the scene, including a crispy oyster katsu and a clever combination of beef with a bearnaise croquette. The Set is all about big, bold flavours and from here, the menu doesn’t let up, from the intense, delicious scallop tikka masala to comforting chocolate and miso pudding at the end. There’s a danger of The Set being all brawn and no brains, but there’s clever thinking on the menu too, as shown by a bread course of milk bread and cheese burger butter, and a Delica pumpkin pre-dessert.
With only a handful of tables, very rustic interiors and a single sitting on three evenings a week, The Set might not coalesce with exactly what everyone looks for in a restaurant. If what you care about is great food, we’d recommend you book a table - you won’t be disappointed.