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A modern British restaurant from the team behind The Shed, Rabbit and Nutbourne.
If you’ve been following the life and times of the Gladwin brothers, you’ll know that the food-focused trio (one farmer, one chef, one restaurateur) first won our hearts – and bellies – with Notting Hill’s The Shed, a pitched-roof, shiplap-clad building with staff so enthusiastic and rosy-cheeked it was as if they too had been reared at the family farm. More modern Brit locals followed: Rabbit (Chelsea), then Nutbourne (Battersea). And now, in what feels like a finale: a central London restaurant, named for the county they call home.
As with its siblings, it’s a handsome joint, which is all the more impressive given the potential awkwardness of the U-shaped site. One side is a bar, the other a dining room proper. (Just avoid the table opposite the top of the staircase: I sat here a decade ago, when this address belonged to Arbutus, and the feeling of vertigo is unchanged.) The look is less twee: farmhouse furniture and oak floors, sure, but ebony walls and antique-style metals too. It’s all very Soho.
The cooking has its moments. A couple of dishes – moreish hare ragù over perfect pappardelle, say, or a plate of giant, puffy tempura herbs with chive yoghurt – showed the kitchen at the top of its game. But other plates fell into the ‘great, but’ category: some slip-up or other holding them in the silver medal spot. A tartare of otherwise beautiful Sussex beef was marred by too-strong raw onion; a cured monkfish starter unpleasantly salty. Needle-like ‘salt and vinegar’ potato chips were crunchy and pleasant, but lacked the promised vinegar.
And the service – always a Gladwin strong suit – was slow, and in need of the group’s trademark charm. Sussex is good, yes, but has room for growth.
A signature at Sussex, wellingtons are always on the menu; glorious re-imaginings of the classic wellington, which often include venison, hare, mallard, Sussex lamb, or beef chateaubriand.
Enjoy a fantastic 2/3 course set menu for £24/£28, including coffee and a cookie!
We have extended our Eat Out to Help Out initiative for the month of September! Join us on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to enjoy 50% off food up to the value of £10 per person.
63-64 Frith St
|Transport:||Tube: Tottenham Court Road|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £115.|
|Opening hours:||Open Tuesday 5pm-10pm; Wed 12pm-10pm.|
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