Restaurant Review: The Walrus, Brighton (previously Smugglers, The Loft and Jazz Place!)

On 20th May 2017, I had the pleasure of having an exclusive look at brand new bar & restaurant, The Walrus. When I received my invite to visit the venue, I instantly had to look it up to read all about it. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that its address is 10 Ship Street, Brighton – previously the home of the triple-floored pub and club night venue that I used to frequent. The ground floor used to be a pub called Smugglers, the basement used to be Jazz Place (which was briefly renamed 10 Below before shutting) and the upstairs was aptly named The Loft. As a former regular visitor, I was excited to see what the new owners had done with the place.

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The restaurant

When Mr Helfy and I arrived, we were taken straight upstairs to the restaurant to be seated for our VIP luncheon. Much to our delight, the luncheon included a complementary three-course meal which was incredibly generous of the venue. As we waited to be served, I couldn’t help but stare around the room in awe of what they had done with the place. I simply could not believe that this used to be a night club that I used to go to! The restaurant has a very lovely vintage feel to it and is incredibly well decorated.

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[Yes, that is indeed a photo taken in the toilets. Look how nicely decorated it is!]

The foodwalrus_menuThe menu at The Walrus is full of lots of tempting dishes. As the food on offer all sounded so delicious, it did take us a little while to decide what to eat. When our very friendly waitress came to take our order, we decided on the following:

Starters:

Mr Helfy – Chef’s larder

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This was a very decent amount of food for a starter. We particularly enjoyed the potted beef!

Mrs Helfy – Quail scotch eggs

20170520_165421-01I would highly recommend this dish. Replacing sausage meat with chorizo and haggis makes these scotch eggs absolutely divine.

Main course:

Mr Helfy – 10oz rump steak

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The steak was seasoned to perfection and the chips were delightfully crispy. The only small negative is that the steak could have done with being a tiny bit warmer.

Mrs Helfy – 9oz rib eye steak

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Again, the steak was delightfully seasoned and the chips were spot on. It was clearly a very high quality cut of meat but as above, it could have been served a bit hotter.

Desserts:

Mr Helfy – Baked Alaska

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The presentation of this dish is a little peculiar. The garnish on the side has the appearance of something savoury but it is sweet… mostly. They appear to have added some basil leaves on top which is definitely interesting! The Baked Alaska itself is unbelievably nice – I highly recommend it.

Mrs Helfy – Dark & white chocolate brownie

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This has to be one of the best brownies that I have eaten. The presentation is a bit scruffy because the ice cream decided to go sliding all around the plate as the waitress set it down (I think it was trying to run away before it got devoured whole). The brownie was warm, gooey and full of flavour. The popping candy on top was a very nice touch.

Jazz Place

After stuffing ourselves silly, we were taken downstairs to the basement (ooh er, it sounds a bit scary when you put it that way!). I was really quite excited to see what it looked like now. If you ever visited the venue when it was called Jazz Place, you may remember that it was a bit rough and ready. It was essentially an empty basement with a DJ booth, a tiny bar and a dodgy sound system. Well, no more! It now looks absolutely fab.
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It is still very much a work in progress but the aim is to have it as a function room where jazz bands will regularly play. It is a massive improvement on what it used to be!

The verdict

I have to say that I am really impressed with this place. The food is excellent and the decor is glorious. The staff are all very new to what they are doing but they are very keen, pleasant and helpful. I will certainly be back!

Did you ever visit this venue previously? Do you miss it and want to experience what it is like now? Let me know!

Mrs Helfy

xxx

**Disclaimer: I was gifted a complementary three-course VIP luncheon for two people but views are entirely my own**

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