Polpo, Brighton

Myself and mum visit Polpo last Wednesday for the first time; I am not sure why it has taken me so long to get myself over there for food! 

The Restaurant 

Its on one of my favourite roads of Brighton, the part that I like to call new Brighton. Where the theatre royal is but also a stream of restaurants and cafes. Firstly, the shape of the restaurant is very deceiving, I originally thought the venue was much smaller but once you have been led to the bottom its a large restaurant with around 15 tables.

The Food

As for the food its fair to say it was mixed reviews from both of us. We were advised that 5 or 6 dishes to share would be ideal so we went for 5 from across the menu.
We started with a selection of classic olives, marinated baby octopus and Venetian meatballs in a polenta crust. 

The olives were really nice, a good selection of different olives at the right temperature (slightly cold). I was initially worried when the marinated octopus came out; I was expecting it to be hot but it came as more of an octopus salad; in a beautiful dressing with a combination of olive oil, chilli and fennel seed. It was a small plate but a good size portion to share and to start of the meal.

Unfortunately, the Venetian meatballs were not as impressive. The polenta crust was crispy and well seasoned but the inside of the meatballs was underwhelming; it was a basic mix of meat with little seasoning. We ended up dipping ours in the oil of the octopus which added a nice flavour and made it slightly less dry, but ideally it would have been served with a tomato sauce or maybe its own dressing.

We were then served our next dishes; Whipped smoked mackerel, pickled radish & Carta di musica. The smoked mackerel was amazing and combined with the pickled radish was a perfect mix of sharp and sweet. It was served with Carta di musica; a yeast free bread essentially thin sheets of bread. 

The mussels and samphire came next. Served in a beautiful broth and a generous amount of samphire. It was a delicious simple balance of fresh flavours. The mussels were cooked perfectly and the fresh sauce and samphire were a perfect level of salt to cut through the muscles. It came with a beautiful rosemary flatbread that you could use to soak up the sauce perfectly. 

In comparison the Beef shin rage, pappardelle was disappointing. Although the al dente pasta was perfect and fresh the rage itself lacked depth. The beef shin was amazing but seemed to be lost in the under seasoned tomato sauce. Although the sauce was nice it lacked a depth and flavour that it needed to match the quality of the meat and pasta. 

For the pudding we ordered a salted caramel ice cream and the ricotta doughnuts with blood orange Jam. The ice cream was amazing, served in a large cone that tasted very similar to the wafers that come in icereams. I was a a bit disappointed with the presentation as it was served just sat in a regular water glass.

The doughnuts were much denser than regular doughnuts with a crisp outer shall and smooth centre. Due to my allergy I couldn't eat the jam however my mum did and said it was delicious; 
"yummm the sharp flavour of the jam really complemented the sweet doughnuts"

The Allergies 

I was really impressed with the service at Polpo. As some of you may know my mum has a nut allergy.  When she asked what she was able to eat they brought a separate allergy menu, with clearly stated allergy concerns for each item on the menu

Overall, I would definitely go back to eat here but potentially stick to the fish dishes. I also saw a few pizzas being served and they all looked amazing. Next time I will be trying one of those and potentially one of the accompanying salad. It is a perfect venue for a date night but also a place to grab a small bite for your lunch.


  1. That's really good that they have a separate allergy menu! Salted caramel ice cream sounds amazing! It's a shame you were disappointed with some of the dishes but at least you'll know what to have when you go back!
    Amy xx

    1. It was ideal having the second menu!! The ice cream was so good I didn't even have time to take a picture..oops!

  2. I've really started to love restaurant/foodie reviews ! I like that they had everything clearly stated / separate menus .. LOVE when restaurants do that extra mile! You've definitely tried food way out of my comfort zone .. but I guess that's where the fun of it is! Loved this post !

    1. Thank you for the love! I love doing restaurant reviews and love reading them even more; trying food out of my comfort zone is something I love!! x

  3. Wow the octopus looks amazing. I have a list of restaurants to try on my phone, this is on there!x

    1. The octopus was amazing.. thinking of trying to recreate at home soon!


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