Taking up residency in The Cow, an unassuming pub on a quiet residential street, Flank has the potential to be turning out some of the most exciting food in Brighton. Chef Tom Griffiths has created a nose-to-tail menu that also applies to veg (root-to-leaf), taking inspiration from Nordic and Korean cooking to ‘store’ the seasons. This is the first solo venture from Tom, and he and his small team are clearly reveling in the freedom.
The menu changes regularly but you’ll find dishes such as rich home-cured meats and charred, not unpleasantly doughy flatbreads. Snacks also include rich, oozing Applewood croquettes that, while heaven for cheese addicts like us, would benefit from a more tangy sauce, and buttery, smoky ox tongue flash-fried, sliced thinly and served with punchy kimchi.
For main, slightly smoky pork chop (there’s a Big Green Egg hiding out back) is served with pickled apple, but the dish is let down slightly by mash that’s just the wrong side of gloopy. Veggies, fear not, you’re not forgotten in this meatopia; roasted cauliflower massaman is so creamy and nutty you won’t feel left out.
Tom describes his pastry chef as something of a Willy Wonka in the kitchen, so the bar was set high for desserts. They didn’t disappoint. An intensely rich chocolate pud had a texture that was a cross between a smooth set ganache and bubbly mouse, thankfully making it light enough to eat the whole thing, and tasted of raw brownie mix in the best, most nostalgic way. A grown-up ‘Haribo’ – a firm square of jelly flavoured with elderflower – was the perfect palate cleanser after so much meat.
It’s all great, but star of the show was sweet, sticky Korean chicken wings with a sprinkling of dehydrated, late-season wild garlic. Hot contender for the best chicken wings we’ve ever tasted (and we’ve tasted a lot). We would come back just for these, order a mammoth portion, and munch alongside a cold beer.
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