Be Right On
There are knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns. Yes, but is it art? No, it’s Fancy Nancy. That is, coco cardamom fired spiced rice with spring onion and yuzu palm bean shoots served with a salad of lychee, coriander, mint and pickled lotus root and pinda peanut laksa, finished with yuzu crème fraîche, panang pickled chilli sambai and chilli fried egg, peanut cumin and onion seed crumble, and tapioca sea salad cracker (£14.95). Complemented by sizzly chips, truffle Mornay sauce and truffle with pickled quail’s egg mimosa (£7.65). Only in Brighton would vegetarians be in the majority. And so, on a cold rainy winter afternoon, Terre à Terre, one of Clapham-Junction-on-Sea’s best meat-free restaurants is jammers. Red walls in the dining room stimulate conversation and appetite. So do great company and great food. Afterwards, it’s a dash across East Street, seagulls serenading overhead, for the best vegan coffee and orange brownies in Brighton. VBites, Heather Mills’ cosy café, proves she’s more than just a charity fundraiser, animal rights campaigner, TV personality, model and champion skier. Actually, Fancy Nancy? It is art. The edible kind.
There are certainties, uncertain certainties and uncertain uncertainties. Yes, but is it art? Yes, it’s Fancy Nancy. That is, coconut cardamon fried rice with spring onion topped with egg fu yung, crispy shallots, chillies and a salad of coriander, mint, lychee, pickled lotus root and yuzu beansprouts, served with laksa oil oyster mushroom kebabs, pinda laksa and crispy lotus root. So that was then (January 2015) and this is now (July 2023). It’s our return visit to Terre à Terre. Pricing variance is a game of snakes and ladders. Fancy Nancy has climbed £4.70; sizzly chips now come with earthy tangy cep mushroom ketchup and have fallen 70 pence. Only in Brighton would vegans be in the majority. And so, on a windswept rainy summer afternoon, Terre à Terre, one of Clapham-Junction-on-Sea’s best meat-free (and dairy-free in places like karekatsu smoked tofu) restaurants, is buzzing. Red walls in the dining room continue to stimulate conversation and appetite. So do even greater company and greater food. Afterwards, it’s not a dash across East Street; sadly VBites closed just two years after our visit. Fortunately, Terre à Terre now serves the best vegan coffee and boozy rum truffles in Brighton. Actually, Fancy Nancy? It still is art. The memorably edible kind.