boti eats: new à la carte menu at the set

Last week, BOTI was lucky enough to be invited to The Set for a preview of their new menu. The award-winning restaurant is at Brighton’s Artist Residence, a super-cool boutique hotel on Regency Square. Chef Dan Kenny is behind the menu and he certainly knows what he’s doing. With a name like ‘The Set’, we’re used to expecting set menus by (previous) nature, but now they’ve decided to shake things up, relaunching with an incredible à la carte menu, perfect for sharing. And we do love to share…

Earlier this year, Dan Kenny opened new bar The Fix, previously known as The Cocktail Shack, which means he’s now running the entire food and drink offering at the hotel. We kicked the evening off with a welcome drink from their new cocktail list, and welcome it most certainly was. We tried (almost) everything on the menu, which is beautifully illustrated with a map of their local suppliers on the back. A lovely touch. Here are a few of our must-try dishes:

Chorizo Croquette & Paprika Aïoli
It’s difficult not to make strange noises as you bite into this beautifully crispy ball of joy. The filling is so super-soft, it makes the perfect contrast to the crunchy outer and is almost unexpected. Any dish with aïoli is dangerously addictive as far as we’re concerned and the beautiful pairing of paprika and aïoli is no exception. We also tried the deliciously moist veggie watercress arancini – less meat most certainly doesn’t mean less flavour. With so many taste sensations on offer, it’s hard to choose a favourite (so we’d recommend you just try them all).
From the snack menu, £4 each.

The Crab Bao
Now, if we do one thing well in Brighton, it’s the beauty that is the bao. Massive fans of Baby Bao at The Pond, we’re always up for trying new versions of the popular sweet buns. Cast your eye over the new menu at The Set and we reckon you’ll find it hard not to go for their Crab Bao, served with a brown crab bun, XO mayo and radish slaw. The perfect mix of sweet and savoury, we quite honestly devoured it in seconds. Can we have another one now, please?
From the starter menu, £8 each.


Heritage Carrots
We’re not sure exactly what’s been done to the incredible heritage carrots on the starters’ menu, but wow, we’d eat those again. Local carrots are served with cracked wheat, saffron and homemade yogurt. The combination of flavours works a treat and it’s pretty sexy on the plate, too. We’d be guessing what the green jus is but it tasted a lot like coriander and it worked perfectly. This would give any meat dish a run for its money and was one of our favourite vegan plates on the menu.
From the starter menu, £7 each.

Salt-Baked Bream
When you’re choosing who to go to dinner with, we’d recommend a friend that’s into fish, because that’s our favourite of The Set’s new sharing platters for two. A whole salt-baked bream is served so beautifully you may not want to spoil it, but we’d advise on getting stuck right in. Served alongside ratte potatoes with hazelnuts, BBQ lemon marmalade (HELLO!) and béarnaise sauce, it’s an incredible sharing main to get your chops around.
From the sharing menu, £32 for the platter.


Desserts you can’t miss
If you’ve got through that lot and you’ve still got room (don’t judge us, we did!), then our advice would be to order a couple of desserts and share, because you’re not going to want to have to choose between these two. As we bit into Dan’s apple pie we were transported back to our youth, sprinkled with a hint of nostalgia as the last time we had a deep-fried apple pie there were some golden arches involved. But this apple pie is on a whole new level of flavour. Served with incredible vanilla ice-crea,  it’s a classic done exceptionally well. If that doesn’t do it for you, then the Tira-miso (sorry) is a great option, too. Presented in a cute little pot, its rich, almost caramel-like miso flavours are some of the best.
From the dessert menu, £7 each.


The Set’s full à la carte menu is available every day 12.30pm – 9.30pm. Book online or call 01273 855572.
The Set Restaurant, 33 Regency Square, Brighton BN1 2GG


Photo credit: XDB Photography