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Great British Menu winner Michael Bremner’s Murmur in Brighton: Restaurant review

PUBLISHED: 10:45 13 March 2018

Murmur is in the King's Road Arches on Brighton seafront

Murmur is in the King's Road Arches on Brighton seafront

Archant

Michael Bremner’s casual family dining offering is a boon to Brighton’s busy seafront

Brighton has been blessed with so many exciting new restaurant launches of late that we could probably dedicate all of 2018’s remaining restaurant reviews to the city. We won’t – there is too much going on elsewhere – but it’s an exciting time to be a piggy in the city.

We’d long wanted to visit Murmur, Great British Menu 2017 winner Michael Bremner’s casual seafront dining venture, and it didn’t disappoint. After a warm welcome from the charming and enthusiastic young staff we cast an eye over the menu. It’s more laidback in style than Bremner’s other Brighton restaurant, the much-praised 64 Degrees, with six choices for starters and mains. The website advertises the restaurant as child-friendly and this proved to be no idle boast – a mother and her young son were dining à deux next to us which I thought rather lovely.

There’s a great wine list with some tempting cocktails including a Negroni Sbagliato and the exquisite-sounding Raspberry Beret (Pimms, raspberry, mint, cucumber, egg white and lemonade). There are plenty of options for non-drinkers – four ‘softtails’ including the Electric Lady which I sampled (a very refreshing blend of lemon, pomegranate and mint ) – and a good homemade lemonade.

I chose the lobster croquettes (£10) to start – there were also venison croquettes on the specials menu. Without wishing to be too hyperbolic, I would ask to be served these as part of my last meal. There were three perfect little mouthfuls and I could have done with nine, but that’s my only quibble. I was so moved by the creaminess of the filling (contrasting beautifully with the crispness of the casing) that I asked the waiter how they did it. Apparently it’s a sort of béchamel made without cream or milk – just butter and the lobster. All I can say is I hope they keep doing it. It was served with crispy kale which proved the perfect foil. Similarly appreciative noises were coming from the other side of the table as my husband got behind a portion of smoked aubergine tagliatelle served with truffle, egg yolk and parmesan (£10.50). It was rich but he said he would have gladly sacrificed comfort to eat more.

Jerk-roasted butternut squash (£14) was tasty and vibrant, the spicing (cinnamon and nutmeg plus, I thought, cloves) recalling Christmas just past. The richness of those flavours was offset by a creamy tahini dressing and pecorino cheese. I enjoyed the salted cucumber too. Roast cod (£17) came with a wedge of charred cauliflower and almond crumb, delightful little brown shrimp and a buttery sauce and went down very well, being described as “delicious but healthy-tasting.”

Date and fig pudding (£7) was richly comforting, a sumptuous winter treat. Atop the syrupy, textured sponge was a sliver of praline and a little quenelle of clotted cream ice cream. It was perfect to share.

The restaurant adds a 12.5 per cent service charge to the bill and on the evidence of our experience at least, it’s fully deserved – our waiter had the exuberance and willingness to please of a children’s television presenter. Murmur’s position in the seafront arches opposite the West Pier means it is highly in-demand in the summer months (even in January our lunch reservation was limited to two hours, and the number of covers doubles when the restaurant is able to utilise its outdoor seating), so my advice would be to book now.

Kings Road Arches, 91-96, Brighton BN1 2FN; 01273 711900; murmur-restaurant.co.uk

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