Largely under-the-radar chef Duncan Ray cooks up pitch-perfect seafood on a domestic stove
Unless you’re familiar with Brighton & Hove’s restaurant scene you probably haven’t heard of Duncan Ray and The Little Fish Market, although the 40 year old must have the city’s most impressive cheffing CV. He has worked under Marco Pierre White and John Burton Race and – most notably – cooked for four years at The Fat Duck.
The restaurant – which is located on a backstreet near the Brighton-Hove border – is tiny, with around 20 covers. The team is equally diminutive: in fact when The Little Fish Market launched back in 2014 it was just Ray in the kitchen. The airy, double-fronted space is low-budget but carefully looked after, with local art on the walls and a floor the team tiled themselves.
Despite his experience at Heston Blumenthal’s flagship, Ray doesn’t do whizzbang. He is a very traditional chef at heart with a cooking style that’s satisfyingly old school in flavour yet with the light touch necessary for great seafood cookery. The 13-course £85 tasting menu includes wild prawns; Thai langoustine in two serves; and a homage to famed French chef Michel Bras.
Wines are taken just as seriously with Noble Rot’s Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew putting responsible for the wine list and the good value £55 tasting menu pairing.