boti eats | shelter hall
We don’t think Brighton – or we – realised how much Shelter Hall was needed until it opened. As Brighton’s first and only food market, it’s a fail-safe option for large and small groups alike… a buzzing atmosphere, fast service, a great drinks list and, importantly, excellent food on a constantly rotating roster.
The seafront location is undeniably great. On a hot day, you can enjoy views of the sparkling sea, sit on the comfortable balconies and enjoy the wrap-around outside area; and on a windy Brighton day, you can soak up the dramatic views from the safety of this gorgeous venue.
We were delighted to pop along to try the new menu, which showcased four exciting new chef-led food brands: Patty Guy, Tiger and Rabbit, Sear by Salt Shed and Chick Chick Crew. All four brands are exclusive to Sessions, which is the umbrella company that own Shelter Hall, founded by former MD of Deliveroo, Dan Warne; former CFO of Soho House Ian Banks; and leisure industry specialist Chairman, Graham Turner.
Each new concept started life in the Sessions Studio, the incubation arm of Sessions, where fresh brands are created around the talent that comes through the Studio doors. Shelter Hall regularly acts as a place for the Studio talent to showcase their new concepts to food enthusiasts.
That’s enough background. Let’s talk food. In 2018, Kenny Tutt won MasterChef. In 2022, he brings us Patty Guy, the second brand he’s launched through Sessions Studio, both of which debuted at Shelter Hall (the other, Ox Block moved to the Lord Nelson Inn and will be at Pub in the Park in September). This simple, yet effective, new menu takes burgers back to their traditional, nostalgic form. We loved the classic cheese burger, featuring a melt-in-your-mouth beef patty with deliciously balanced mustard and black pepper mayo. An unexpected stand-out for us were the tater tots (pictured above), which were stunning: soft and warm in the middle and crispy on the outside – the perfect alternative to chips if you fancy a change. We loved the fun feel of Patty Guy and can’t wait to go back to try the fried pickles.
Another Shelter Hall exclusive – from the founders of Salt Shed, Laurence Stevens and Francis Sweeney – is Sear by Salt Shed. Sear celebrates their barbecue prowess with meat dishes grilled to perfection on a robata grill. We tried the 32-day aged bavette steak and chips and it did not disappoint. The beef is tender and succulent, perfectly complemented by a fresh citrus and basil green sauce and pickled red onions on a bed of hot, salty chips. It’s an absolute bargain for £15 – we can’t think of anywhere in Brighton where you’d get a steak to match this quality for such a low price.
Finally, Tomas Samandi, founder of cult chicken brand, Lost Boys Chicken, recently brought his new concept, Chick Chick Crew, to Shelter Hall and – as big fans of Wing Wednesdays at The Joker – we couldn’t be happier about it. We tried the Buffalo Burger, a crispy chicken thigh drenched in hot sauce with a light crispy batter – the perfect hangover cure. A special mention goes out to their delicious Ranch sauce and Kimchi Mayo, which perfectly compliment their tender, tasty chicken.
At the time of visiting, Tiger and Rabbit were also part of the line-up, but the bold Korean brand from acclaimed chef Jay Morjaria’s residency has sadly finished (they’re moving on to the Sessions Market in Islington in August). The menu boasted a plethora of Korean flavours to excite the palette: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spice. We absolutely loved the kimchi jeon, a crunchy Korean pancake filled with kimchi and spring onions drizzled with sesame sauce. We devoured the smashed potatoes, which came with a nori and chilli seasoning and spicy sesame sauce. The flavours really smacked and were layered perfectly to keep our tongues tingling long after the last bite. Another highlight was the Korean fried chicken with its wonderful, simple flavouring, perfect batter and tender chicken. Come back, Tiger and Rabbit!
And there’s a new kid on the (kitchen) block since we last visited: Montreal-style handcrafted filled bagels courtesy of Edinburgh’s Bross Bagels are here for the summer! Look out for our taste test – coming soon.
We’d also like to give a special mention to Shelter Hall OGs Zest by Hanoi Kitchen and Amalfi by VIP. Zest’s Summer Rolls and gyoza (above) are some of the best we’ve tasted and Amalfi’s Tavola Di Affettati sharing board (below) is to die for: a large selection of Italian meats with buffalo mozzarella and warm crispy bread. An absolutely perfect accompaniment to Brighton’s views with a large glass of something cold!
Talking about something cold, we washed our food down with the delicious Chin Chin Vinho Verde – a stunning white wine to compliment any meal. It’s light, refreshing and dangerously quaffable. If you prefer your beer, we loved UnBarred’s Joosy and Brighton Bier’s range of tasty stubbies.
It’s hard not to find something you love at Shelter Hall, so make sure it’s on your list of places to visit in Brighton!
By Anna Burtt
Kings Road Arches, Brighton, BN1 1NB
Monday – Thursday, 9am – 11pm; Friday – Saturday, 9am – midnight; Sunday, 9am – 10pm
Photo credits: Max Langan (feature image and first image)