Written by WILL MARTIN
From the Himalayas to the Konkan Coast, to Brighton – enter Alun Sperring’s The Chilli Pickle, voted Best Casual Dining Indian Restaurant at the 2012 Curry Awards.
After a stint with Vivek Singh at The Cinnamon Club, Sperring decided to ‘go it alone’, and set up camp in Brighton. The manager-cum-chef has since garnered a litany of awards, from Britain’s Hottest Curry Award in 2008 for The Chilli Pickle’s oxtail madras, to reviews in Asiana magazine, quoting, ‘The Chilli Pickle is the most exciting place to eat innovative Indian Cuisine in Brighton.’
Two distinct influences stand out on The Chilli Pickle’s menu: the traditional dishes of the Rajasthani merchant class (spread across the Marwari Platter), and ancient immigrants from Persia. The eponymous pickles feature as side orders to these stark, influential cuisines – from fresh lime, green chilli and plum to mint chutney. Street food is served as a staple, from starters (kathi rolls, dosa and thali) to the mains.
The house biryani is delicious – especially the Persian chicken version which is pronounced the star: chicken thigh, preserved lemons, Arabic masala and long grain rice are folded together and served with pickles and chutneys.
For more of Brighton’s restaurants, check out Good Things magazine’s Best Brighton restaurants.