I returned to one of my favourite restaurants last month to taste some fine fish creations from the inventive chefs at Señor Buddha.
Señor Buddha’s is on the London Road, going out of Brighton, opposite the Duke of York Cinema. Small, intimate, and the brainchild of Lee Shipley, Señor Buddha boasts a unique menu based on Lee’s two favourite cuisines, East Asian and Spanish, fused together and served tapas style.
At Señor Buddha it’s all about the flavours, with Lee creating a unique choice of tapas dishes using the four main elements of East Asian cuisine: hot, salty, sweet and sour rather than the traditional East Asian curry flavours many in the UK have come to know and appreciate.
During the last week of each month he hosts a special Fish Thursday evening. We went along and what a treat we had!
To get the evening up and running and help us relax we were served a spicy shot of tomato juice in traditional Bloody Mary style with an oyster at the bottom. A perfect start to what turned out to be a perfect evening.
The mackerel course was the most risky. My partner is not a great fan of raw fish but I personally love it. The lime presented the mackerel, which is a meaty fish at its very best. The tempura seaweed was a touch of genius and the saffron allioi was just right for the fish, with not too much garlic.
The mussels were classic Señor Buddha. Full bodied, served in a not too spicy sauce and topped with a juicy shrimp.
The spectacular Tonkatsu scallop was accompanied by fruity sour apple and deep-fried roe chips. The crunchy roe chips were a first for me and I hope they are incorporated into other Señor Buddha fish dishes on the main menu. The fresh scallop melted on the tongue and reaction from diners to the dish has been so positive it has now been incorporated into the main daily menu.
I thought it would be hard to top the scallop dish, but head chef John Reed had saved the best to last! He served his Vasque Curry Asado crowned with a beautiful piece of moist halibut and cooked to perfection. The curry flavour was mild and the crunchy green beans the perfect vegetable choice for this dish.
We finished our banquet with a slice of Torta de Santiago, an almond cake from the Galicia region. Moist and served with a creamy lychee and cashew nut sauce. A perfect ending to a perfect dining experience.
All fish served was landed fresh that morning and all Thursday Fish menus are chosen and designed on the morning of the dinner once it is clear what is the best fish landed that day.
We were, as always, spoilt with a choice of fine white wines. My personal favourite was the 2013 Jose Pariente Sauvignon Blanc, a Spanish wine from the Rueda region costing £24 a bottle which I kept returning to all evening. It was clean, fresh on the palate with a nose of exotic fruits and herbs.
Dining at Señor Buddha is always a treat and it has been great to watch the restaurant blossom since it opened a year ago. Their formula of serving great food and excellent wines while creating a lively bohemian ambiance makes this a real foodie success story. And of course its worth the visit just to be served by the lovely assistant manager Cristina Garcia Viera, whose no-nonsense approach to keeping the customers happy is always winner with me.
The next Fish Thurday is on November 24. There are two sitting at 6.30 and 8.30pm and the cost is £30 per head (excluding alcohol). Reservations are essential to guarantee a place.
9 Preston Rd, Brighton BN1 4QE
To make a reservation: 01273 567832
All photos by XDBPhotography
For more information about Señor Buddha, click here: