Tuesday, 12 April 2011
A chef's perfect Sunday in Brighton
Today I am going to hand you over to Ben the co-owner and head chef of the city's Gingerman restaurants - The Gingerman, The Ginger Pig, The Ginger Fox and The Ginger Dog. Here he tells us his ideal way to spend a rare day off...
Sunday is generally the one day where the alarm is not set for 7.30am, that’s not to say that Grace, 5 and Freddie, 3 won’t wake up at that time. Sunday is the one day where we are not in a rush to do things. No school, no nursery and generally no work. Running four restaurants in Brighton is mostly a seven days a week process, there are phone calls and e mails to sort out, food to cook and problems to solve but Sunday is usually a family day.
The start of the day is slow, kids in our bed watching telly while we read the papers, lots of tea, toast and coffee is needed as is a crowbar to get us from horizontal to vertical. We will then head directly south, to Hove Lawns, with some friends, the kids will run around or ride their bikes up and down. Our first destination will be the playground on the beach next to Alfresco. The kids will climb and tumble around for a while, the hope is they will exhaust themselves enough so as to be good for lunch.
China Garden on Preston Street for dim sum is one of my favourite restaurants. We book a table for 12 or so, if there are more of us than that we book an adults and a kids table. This is a potentially dangerous strategy but the added responsibility usually ensures well behaved children.
Dim sum is the nicest way to eat Chinese food. I like a variety of small dishes, tapas like, that come as and when they are ready. Steamed prawn and vegetable dumplings, Malaysian ho fun noodles, fried soft shell crab with chilli, prawn and sesame toast, pork and crab dumplings, turnip paste and salt and pepper squid are all a must. Pastry wrapped cheung fun, a sort of rice dough cannelloni is great and chicken feet in black bean if you are feeling a little adventurous.
The staff are great (they seem to actually like children) and it is not expensive. My wife Pamela tends to order what seems like the entire menu and we just relax and chat. When the kids have finished they go under the table, the table cloths form a sort of den. There they can do colouring or watch DVD’s from a portable DVD player, essential kit for foodie parents.
We will leave a little after 5.30pm and head home to sort out homework and school uniforms for the dreaded Monday morning.
To find out more about Ben's own restaruants go to: www.gingermanrestaurants.com