Riddle & Finns Champagne & Oyster Bar
5 The Waterfront, Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 5UZ
Gringos American Bar & Grill- call 01323 478151 to book a table
20 reviews of Riddle & Finns Champagne & Oyster Bar in English
My champagne sauce tasted like slime. Bland. Bland. Bland. I don’t get the big deal. I think it is living on a decent reputation cause people will always rate oysters, etc high- they seem fancy.
This is my second visit to Riddle and Finns, and had i written this last year I would have given them four stars, but yesterdays visit was less perfect. It is not possible to reserve a table here and it meant we had to wait a long time before we got a table, which was our own choice.
We were also served the bread and three dips. The dips were lovely but the bread was stale white baguette bread and not what we were expecting. We asked the waitress and she said they had run out of their usual bread. My main dish was an amazing whole mackerel cooked to perfection. It was served with gooseberry and apple chutney that was tasty but did not go very well with the fish. We ordered a side dish of sauteed potatoes that were also tasty but were served in a bowl half full of oil! I have no problem with oil but these potatoes were waaay too greasy and not what I would expect of this place.
I went here with my boyfriend to celebrate my birthday a short while back. The place seemed very hip and probably good for a date, but not if you're looking for a romantic dinner for 2. I wasn't expecting the communal style seating (perhaps I should have realized this from "bar" in the name), but the food was quite good. They start you off with bread and 3 different dips, one of which was a delicious homemade mackerel spread. I wasn't overwhelmed by my drink (I thought the Riddling Raspberry seemed a little flat), but my boyfriend really enjoyed his beer (sorry I can't remember which one it was). We didn't end up getting any of the platters, but they look amazing and I'll try one if I have a chance to go back. We both enjoyed our main courses (the smoked haddock fillet was delicious) and were too full for dessert after. Overall the food was good, the prices not cheap (but reasonable for a special occasion), and the atmosphere was hip.
My eldest son and his wife discovered this place recently and we visited as a family yesterday.
The food and selection of wines excellent but the thing that topped out the visit was the 'front of house' which made the whole event outstanding, especially for my 5 year old grandson who got to 'stroke' a live lobster!
We would all enthusiastically recommend this venue to anyone who likes seafood as it should be.
We had a very nice lunch on my birthday. My husband had oysters and monk fish & I had prawns with garlic and as main a sole - all very nice and done to perfection. The spanish white wine was very nice and worth it's price.
Normally I am reluctant to eat dessert but everyting that was served did look so nice that I did order a pear & almond tart with ice-cream - delicious.
We did pay 100 pound for 2 starters, 2 main, 1 bottle of wine, 1 dessert, 1 bottle of water and 2 coffees. The food is excellent and service very friendly. For me it is good value for money and a place to spend a birthday or anniversary. Will go again when in Brighton.
For a seaside town, Brighton lacks decent seafood restaurants. Riddle & Finn's steps up to the challenge, and being a product of these times of sophisticated marketing, features stylish art deco decor with a marine theme. Eager to please. The waiter uses his hands and words flamboyantly when describing dishes. Worst of all, it bills itself as an "Oyster & Champagne Bar". You see, "seafood restaurant" is no longer adequate not to mention sexy enough, and doesn't help shift nearly as much bubbly. I must say, though, I like the fact they have a fish market in the window so citizens able to cook can make off with a haddock or two strapped securely to their flanks.
The atmosphere: lighting perfect, but having been there in the evening it had a bit too much of a 'bar' vibe for my tastes. (Solve this by going for lunch rather than dinner.) The other guests were making merry, dressed far too trendily- you know, Ted Baker jeans, Reiss shirts, fake tans, etc. It's not an understated place, to be sure. The music, Morcheeba's "Big Calm" gives you a sense of how oh-so-Brighton the crowd is. Could've been worse I suppose (Moby.) I'd like to say that the sheer mediocrity of the evening's soundtrack nearly put me off my food, but I'd be lying.
The fact is that R&F's know how to cook fish. My wife went for the fish pie which was incredibly, nay audaciously, creamy and full of buried seafood treasure, while I opted for one of the specials, Bream, which was cooked to perfection and took my tasting buds on a magical journey of self-discovery and sensual delight I still recall fondly all these months later, in a savage and unforgiving land far from those friendly shores.
Value-wise, it's not cheap. Sides aren't included, and neither is the bread they cheekily bring over without you asking for it. But if you're drinking water you can have dinner on fifteen squid (sorry) or so. If you, like me, are the kind of person who doesn't spend a lot of money eating out then think of R&F's as a good candidate for a very occasional treat, when you have a craving for some decent fruits de la mer.
went there last sunday with my bf based on reviews on both qype and yelp. fortunately, there was table available for us :) nice bread with various spreads including fish spread, horseradish sauce, etc. fresh and nice seafood dishes. very friendly serving! what else can you expect from a seafood restaurant? strongly recommend!!
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I think every Brightonian has either been in this place or stared longingly through the window, it situated right on the edge of the South Lanes down one of the cutest winding alleys. At the front entrance you can look right into the kitchen which is always distractingly bustling and hectic. Although its name, menu and general look of the place reeks of toffs and expense, its actually not that bad price wise. Fresh fish dishes can be obtained for around £13 and occasional set meal deals.
Many people debate whether Due South is really Brighton’s best seafood place but in my opinion Riddle & Finns is equally good if not better. As it serves the best seafood risotto I’ve ever had I’d recommend it to anyone for any semi-formal to formal occasion. It’s great for a date as the décor is stylish and easily suites romance. All the dishes are delicately balanced so the saltiness of the fish always comes through without being overpowering or boring. In my opinion oysters are the most overrated food ever so don’t take my opinion on them, however, if they’re anything like the other dishes I’d highly recommend them. Hidden away in Meeting House Lane, it can be hard to find but it’s certainly worth the search.
Arguably the best seafood restaurant in town. This place clearly knows what it is doing. And the staff are so frindly that you won't feel a pretender if you aren't a foodie.
What a lot of people don't realise is that Riddle and Finns is also open for breakfast. (at weekends)
This could well be the poshest breakfast you could eat outside of a hotel. Today (valentines day) they are serving a special brunch (30 quid) which has to be the best way to start a romantic day. Bucks fizz, oysters, truffles... make an early start and then head back to bed for the rest of the day.
I've been meaning to write this review for some time as the place is oh so worth it.
Jan, Rob and myself went at the end of May 2009 after considering other restaurants, we knew Riddle & Finns was the only place that could possibly overwhelm our exceptional critical fish palettes.
It was late afternoon/early eve and we secured a tall table that if perfect for resting weary long legs.
Rob and I went for Rossmore Oysters with Black Velvet to wash them down with.
Now I like Oysters but these were something else and unmatched to date. Rossmore's. Creamy, delicate, yielding, full. Sensational.
Jan plumped for Scallops and Lemon - you can judge her by her rolling eyes and vocal Mmmm's. Clearly looking at her she was in heaven.
The guys there know their wines and they suggested an Albatino Galician Wine with tangs of Green Apples and Elderflower. He was so sure we'd like it, we could send it back. It didn't disappoint.
For mains we had Squid shellfish risotto deep fried octopus mussels and prawns; Brill with Kale and Chargrilled potatoes along with Sour bread.
A true fishy feast that despite the price tag was worth every penny (and more).
I thought I was good at cooking Fish but this place took it to amazing levels.
Service was great.
can’t get enough of this place - definately a destination when i’m in town. Waiting staff are friendly, flirty and knowledgable. Great fresh fish - superb selection of wines / champagnes .. the two course menu for £9.95 is a steal & breakfast here is a definate for wooing someone you fancy.
One of Brighton’s most satisfying and pleasurable dining experiences. Very small, always packed, full of zest and life, brilliant, friendly, flirty service, and KILLER fish and seafood. It’s a mad little place, tucked away in an alley, with strange high tables that are so wide you need to sit next to your dining companion rather than opposite - but it works. Have been here several times and always love it - except the prices. It costs an arm and a leg. But I’m not complaining. The fish of the day is invariably perfect and fluffy, the fruits-de-mer platters rival those in New York or Madrid (Madrid is a paradox in Spain - furthest away from the sea, but famous for fish - it comes in from the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Bay of Biscay all at once…) The wine list isn’t exactly a work of art, but it’s OK - it’s the champagne list that’s impressive. Unfortunately, last time I looked, there were only French wines and no sparkling wines from other places, such as Spain, New Zealand or Italy. What about Nyetimber, which is an excellent Sussex fizz? Dining is great fun, and breakfast or elevenses of oysters and a glass of bubbly is totally extravagant but a firm fixture on a Saturday morning in Brighton before going on a shopping spree - or as a break from the exhausting Lanes.
I had been meaning to go to Riddle & Finns for years but never seemed to get around to it until a couple of weeks ago. I brought my girlfriend here after a day of Christmas shopping and it was more than worth the wait. We had scallops with black pudding, crab chowder, seafood rissoto…. and of course fresh oysters with tobassco sauce. I found the atmosphere, the food and the service to be excellent and we will definitely be returning
A fantastic fish restaurant in the heart of the lanes.
You sit on high stools and are seated at “communal tables” of 6 - 8. Don’t be put off by this - it actually adds to it’s charm !
If you fancy a take away you can purchase one from the hatch in the outside window !
Impecable decor and service. Would get 5 stars if wasn’t quite so expensive. For special occasions only !
Easy to miss, Riddle & Finns is tucked away at the edge of the old Lanes of Brighton. It has a pleasant ambience and the tiled walls, de rigueur in fish restaurants, strike exactly the right note. You perch on high stools on raised bench tables. If there are two of you, you are invited to sit side by side. As the restaurant fills up, people sit on the same table as you.
You’re given a basket of fresh bread and good mackerel pate, and an inviting selection of condiments.
It was rude not to have oysters, I suppose. I’m not actually a big fan of these bivalves, but I tried two of them. One was served with Japanese stylings – a touch of ginger, spring onion, soya sauce, and wasabi, and the other nicely seasoned with little bacon grits and pickled cucumber. My companion greedily sucked down four of them with only a squeeze of lemon and her best wishes. To me, oysters really don’t taste of much other than vaguely of the sea, but I was assured by a higher authority that they were good. Eating things which are still alive doesn’t really sit well with me if I brood on it too much.
That’s where the champagne comes in I suppose, dulling ethical concerns. We shared a nice bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label NV champagne (aka the Widow) with the meal. Again I am not personally mad about champagne but it went pretty well with the fish. Callings something a champagne and oyster bar, of course, programs you to eat oysters and sup champagne.
For my main course I opted for a fish pie which was nicely served with greens. A conservative choice, but it was very satisfying. It was cheesy and with big chunks of ultra fresh fish and seafood. My companion had a biology lesson of a fish stew – I spotted the mournful faces of a langoustine, and a crayfish – and there were razor shells too.
Puddings were decorative and fruity (including the obligatory chocolate one).
The service was hard to fault. As for value for money. Well, it was a birthday and we were pushing the boat out, but expect the bill for two with champagne to climb easily into three figures.
For me as a Brighton resident, Riddle & Finns is definitely a destination restaurant. But you’ll need to spend a few quid (should that be squid?) to get the best from it.
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