Hove, East Sussex

Smart modern cooking with tip-top local ingredients and an intriguing drinks list are the key draws at this south-coast star


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On the site of a former curry house – apparently the ticket machine was still spewing out takeaway orders the day chef-patron Steven Edwards got the keys – Etch is an ambitious tasting menu-only restaurant and one of the leading lights of Brighton & Hove’s increasingly vaunted food and drink scene.

Edwards was the winner of the 2013 series of Masterchef: The Professionals and has been cooking for a living since he was 16 (most notably at Horsham hotel South Lodge) and his considerable experience is evident throughout the operation.

His ambitious nature is also apparent, with Edwards expanding Etch into a neighbouring building to create a much larger restaurant that will incorporate a standalone 40-seat subterranean cocktail bar in 2021. The move took the dining room from 32 to 42 covers, allowing for a much larger open kitchen.

Doubling the size of the kitchen allows Edwards to evolve his smart and modern style of cooking but the format of the various tasting menus – which are notable for their brief dish descriptions – remains unchanged, as is his commitment to local produce, with pretty much every named ingredient on his weekly-changing menu sourced from nearby.

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