Pitch, Worthing, West Sussex: restaurant review
Try butter-soft crown lamb rump, and creamy lemon curd tart with buttered toast ice cream at MasterChef winner Kenny Tutt's first restaurant
Pitch in a nutshell
Kenny Tutt’s first restaurant champions Sussex produce to create modern and classic British dishes.
Former bank manager Kenny Tutt won MasterChef in 2018 and a year later he has opened Pitch, his first restaurant, in his hometown Worthing.
What's the vibe?
Pitch’s décor has a contemporary feel with whitewashed and white-tiled walls, a botanical-print feature wall, globe chandeliers, marble and metallic bistro tables and mid-century-style wooden chairs. A spiral staircase leads up to another, more intimate space, with large windows overlooking the street.
The welcome is courteous yet easygoing (Kenny himself makes the occasional appearance, chatting and mingling with his guests); and despite a full house on a Saturday night, the service was impressively attentive and speedy.
What's the food like?
The à la carte menu features classic and modern British dishes, with a focus on championing Sussex produce. We started with the day's sole special – properly seared, meaty, pan-fried sea bass fillet, with playful crispy popcorn-like sweetcorn fritters, silky avocado purée and a pleasingly tart green tomato salsa; the other starter, doughnuts with ham hock and Barber's 1833 cheddar, lacked sufficient filling and were a bit of a stodgy let-down.
Things perked up again with the mains, though. Our second fish dish was just as deftly handled as the first: this time a fillet of turbot, its subtle flavour shining through, and given the fish ’n’ chips treatment alongside a moreish salty nest of spiralised fries, creamy tartare sauce and samphire; the Dorset crown lamb rump was cooked just beyond pink but no less butter-soft and succulent for it – the accompanying Jersey Royal halves were creamy within, with one bitingly crisp side for good measure, the kale and herb salsa verde both earthy, while "nanna's" faggots were full-on meaty, peppery porkiness.
The desserts were spot-on. The lemon curd tart was thick, creamy and tart, but the (instantly discernible) buttered toast ice cream alongside it was the star. Cereal milk panna cotta was as shiny and wobbly as you'd hope, but the shards of chocolate cornflakes and splodge of peanut butter that came with it ratcheted up the retro indulgence points.
And the drinks?
The wine list leads with four Sussex sparkling wines, and there's a good selection of affordable reds, whites and rosés by the glass from across the old and new worlds. Cocktails-wise, the Sussex 75 (Blackdown Petworth gin, Briottet rhubarb liqueur, lemon and prosecco) was refreshingly tart with the softest of fizzes.
Look out for Pitch's cookery school, due to open later this year on the restaurant's fourth floor, for the chance for some face-to-face masterclasses with Kenny himself.
Pitch, 16 Warwick Street, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 3DJ
Words by Dominic Martin