Review: Bus Stop, Brighton
It’s not often the the option of Caribbean food gets thrown out there as dinner option, even more so in the all too familiar restaurant landscape of Brighton. Yes, we are inundated with Italian, Japanese and classic ‘pub grub’/artisanal burgers but, come on, we all want something new to shake things up, right?
I had heard rumblings about the new Caribbean restaurant that had opened in the North Laines, with it frequently being referred to as the ‘rum’ restaurant. Excited at the prospect of trying something new, I and fellow Brighton Girl/fabulous photographer Fanny headed down there to check it out.
The setup of Bus Stop is best characterised as having a cosy family feel with hints of the tropics. Bright red walls teamed with exposed wood, a corrugated iron waiters station, and walls adorned with pictures of Barbados - both Fanny and I felt like we were in an intimate family restaurant.
An amazing soundtrack of reggae and island beats really helped create a relaxed environment.
If you like rum, this is the place for you! With a carefully selected list of high-end rums at a very reasonable price, you can enjoy them as they are, mixed with the house's suggestion, or as part of a delicious cocktail for a reasonable £7.50-£8.50.
Fanny and I decided to try the non-alcoholic selection and we weren't disappointed - one Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri and one Bentley (Bajan lemonade with a dash of Angostura Bitters) later, we were two very happy ladies!
The menu is simple, offering an array of meat and fish options, though as mains go there is only one veggie option.
Fanny, who is Vegetarian and has nut/seed allergy, went for the Ital Stew, a traditional mixed stew of beans, root vegetables and coconut milk, served with garlic bread at £9.50 and added Granny’s Rice and Peas for £3.50. While it looked small at first, it was incredibly filling and packed with flavour.
I decided on the fish of the day (bream) cooked blackened (Bajan style with subtle spices) with granny’s rice and homemade coleslaw for £11.50. My fish was beautifully cooked and the spice combination was perfect! I got two fillets of bream and a very generous portion of rice, which I struggled to finish.
Continuous yummy noises were made throughout our meal and the conversation focused on how delicious everything was. Neither of us left the table hungry or disappointed by our choices.
Overall, the staff were incredibly helpful, friendly and relaxed. We all know that the service you get in a restaurant goes a long way and, despite being it being a really busy Friday night, they didn't miss a beat. Our overwhelming thoughts about Bus Stop were that, not only is the food first class, but it would be a great place to start a night with its choice of music and fun atmosphere.
Bus Stop definitely fills a gap in what can be an over-saturated market of eating-out in Brighton. I will definitely be going back and, next time, it's rum time!
Written by Holly.
Photography by Fanny. You can find more of Fanny's photography on her website.