Review: The Copper Clam, Brighton

We have been dying to try The Copper Clam, a new seaside fish restaurant, for a while. With an open kitchen and wide, bright windows, it is nothing if not inviting!

The menu and atmosphere

The restaurant itself is set out on two levels; the bottom being for the restaurant itself and the front of house/waiters to greet you. The seating is all upstairs, giving guests a view of the beautiful sea (a little hidden by some construction works but a great view nonetheless) - we were actually able to see both piers from our table! There is a beautiful bar on the upper level with designated bar staff and delicate decoration. The entire restaurant is simple yet special, with exposed brick walls and striking windows which result in a warm and casual atmosphere. 

The menu has a few sections to it, from starters to oysters, platters and main courses. There are options for all. The specials are presented on a board outside, which the waiter took case to remind us of.

The drinks

While there was a full drinks menu, having basked in sunny rays of Brighton beach, both myself and Fanny opted for the option of cocktails. Fanny went for a strawberry daiquiri and I went for the special; a cocktail of Brighton gin, grapefruit juice, elderflower and a pink peppercorn. Both cocktails were delicious and presented beautifully. 

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The food

For starters, I opted for the pan seared scallop with Gruyere and Pernod. Fanny chose  the tomato and goats cheese tart. The scallops were perfectly cooked with the bitter cheese adding depth to the flavours, while the fresh herb oil and leaves added texture.

The tart came with a topping of various tomatoes and charred goats cheese; the pastry wasn't quite as crumbly as we'd like, but went together nicely with the topping. 

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For the main, I went for the special which was pan seared monkfish served with charred asparagus and crisp parma ham. The fish was served in large pieces with a special butter inside and was almost meaty. The delicate taste of the fish was not overpowered, but complimented, by the crispy parma ham pieces and the charred asparagus added a lovely crunch. Overall, the dish was large but not heavy.

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Fanny went for the mushroom risotto, which was presented beautifully. It came in a large portion and had the wonderfully rich taste of mushroom running throughout. The creamy texture combined with the earthy mushroom complemented each other and, again, the dish was substantial but not too heavy.

For dessert, unfortunately, the options were limited for Fanny (due to her nut allergy) who went for berries and cream, whilst I opted for the peanut butter ice cream. Having been made in-house, the ice cream had an almost cream like texture with the bite of peanuts running through it - the taste of the peanut butter was strong and satisfying. I would definitely like to try one of the sundaes (to share) when I go back.

The allergies 

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In regards to the menu as a whole, there was a good selection of dishes for all tastes and allergies. We weren't at any point asked about allergies and when I asked about the brownies for Fanny, they couldn't tell me for sure if they had nuts in. It is forever a struggle to find a nut-free dessert, however, a suggestion of alternative options would have been a great end to the meal.

A special mention must be made to the staff at The Copper Clam. For a weekday night, it was very busy restaurant filled with a variety of characters, however the staff were professional and punctual throughout all areas of service. Our waiters were attentive and very accommodating to us and others.

Written by Amara. You can find more from Amara on her blog Brighton Born and Bread.

Photography by Fanny. You can find more of Fanny's photography on her website.