Friday

Foodie Friday - Silo, Brighton

If you're looking for an innovative, avant-garde dining experience then join me as I share with you my evening at Silo. Offering experimentation on a plate, Silo mills its own flour, churns its own butter, bakes its own sourdough as well as makes its own fir tree oil. Three years in and Douglas McMaster still stands proud as a pioneer of a brave new way of experiencing food, one that is rooted in a zero waste philosophy.

Foodie Friday - Silo, Brighton photo by modernbricabrac


The event I attended had been organised in conjunction with OctoberBest and was a perfect illustration of this vision. On the night there was a collaboration with leading drinks expert Ryan Chtiyawardama and a rum with a story to tell. In fact, the night was to begin and end with this hot-damn rum from the Caribbean. Ryan had created a zingy rum cocktail for the night and had called it after the name of the company that make it, New Dawn.

Foodie Friday - Silo, Brighton photo by modernbricabrac


On a raised platform in the open kitchen area the area teemed with co-ordinated activity. Each course was plated up at the same time for the whole dining room.

We began with strips of fermented swede that looked like tagliatelle and was served with Silo's freshly baked sourdough bread.

Foodie Friday - Silo, Brighton photo by modernbricabrac


Following this came a dish that was comprised of a soft green ball in the centre of a plate with little translucent disks scattered over one side. Cutting into it, the peeled green tomato sliced like a knife through butter. Pre-soaked in fig leaf brine the tomato had become even more succulent while little disks of Mr Wick's fermented grapes added to the flavour by giving the dish a sweet top note. I loved its fresh taste and it was absolutely my highlight.

Foodie Friday - Silo, Brighton photo by modernbricabrac


This course was followed by another fruit and veg pairing this time of parsley root in whey, covered in Piroutte apples and elderflower. The closest flavour I can match the parsley root to is a block of cheese although that probably misrepresents the flavours slightly. This was course three and we had begun to dig deep into a world of unfamiliar tastes, textures and combinations.

Foodie Friday - Silo, Brighton photo by modernbricabrac


The main arrived and, I was told, is a signature dish of Silo's, potato dumplings, beetroot, stichelton (an English raw milk blue cheese) and lemon thyme. I'm not a great fan of the earthy taste of beetroot so I didn't eat all of this dish but despite that I did enjoy it and easily finished off one of the great big purple domes.

Foodie Friday - Silo, Brighton photo by modernbricabrac


We had two courses remaining and the next was a pre-dessert, a totally new concept to me. Consisting of foraged foods, creamy cobnuts had been layered with tangy elderberries and dressed with a rose flavour that came through quite strongly. Silo owner Douglas explained no sweetness had been added and instead wanted to rely completely on the natural sweetness in the ingredients to balance the dish.

Foodie Friday - Silo, Brighton photo by modernbricabrac


Finally, dessert arrived and a colour palette of ever decreasing circles in bright green, ruby red and  cream with gold chips appeared in front of us. The green was from an oil made of Douglas fir tree with enhanced colour provided by parsley. The ice cream had been infused with peated barley and the ruby red came from a raspberry compote. I wasn't keen on this dish but as Douglas sat down to join us with a bottle of the special rum in hand he shared his delight that around the room each person had chosen a different dish as their stand out for the evening.

Foodie Friday - Silo, Brighton photo by modernbricabrac


As for the rum, Douglas told us how the rum had been transported via a brigantine called Tres Hombres that travels from the Caribbean to Cornwall by the power of the wind, shipping their cargo under sail. The rum was served neat this time and tasted even more potent than it had been in the cocktail and contained an unmistakable depth of flavour.

At the very core of Silo is a deep-rooted respect for the environment and a desire to nourish us with nutrient-rich freshly made produce. Whether you're thinking of popping in for coffee, considering a leisurely brunch or a special evening meal, I urge you to join the revolution.

Foodie Friday - Silo, Brighton photo by modernbricabrac


For me, it was a great privilege to be invited along for the evening and I went away with huge respect for all that Silo represents.

Silo, 39 Upper Gardner Street, North Laine, Brighton BN1 4AN

Wishing you Happy Discovering

Sarah xx


photo 
Sarah Agnew
Blogger, Modern Bric a Brac
    

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