With many restaurants currently struggling to re-open post-lockdown, Nick Mosley talks to The Salt Room’s proprietor Raz Helalat about why he’s taking the leap with their brand new venue Burnt Orange on Middle Street, Brighton, that officially opens on 4 June. [this feature first appeared in the Brighton Argus 21 May 2021]
What is the concept behind Burnt Orange? What can guests expect?
Burnt Orange is an all-day and late-night hangout where we want to combine great food, music and drinks. When guests come to Burnt Orange, they'll find somewhere where they can catch up with friends, hang out and just have fun.
Is the venue a bar or restaurant?
It bridges the gap between a bar and restaurant, so you can pop in for a quick bite or make a night of it and take full advantage of our cocktail menu. It'll have an informal vibe, offering all-day dining and yes, we take reservations.
With the challenges hospitality has faced over the past year, why did you see the opportunity to open the restaurant now?
Over the past couple of years, I’ve had countless conversations with friends and loyal customers about the need for a totally new space. Something different - not quite a restaurant, not quite a bar - but somewhere that bridges the gap with the right music, of course. So, after the 18 months we've all had, it felt like the perfect time to open our doors.
How does Burnt Orange complement your other iconic venues in Brighton?
As with our other venues, our menu is focused around high quality seasonal ingredients cooked predominantly over fire, so regulars at The Coal Shed and The Salt Room will recognise the style of cooking that they know and love. But we want Burnt Orange to be even more focused on the drinks, so it'll offer more of a casual style of eating and drinking than the other venues.
Who’s heading up the kitchen?
Peter Dantanus, one of our brilliant chefs from The Salt Room, will be heading up the kitchen so we’re keeping it in the family. There's a real focus on sharing dishes for casual grazing alongside a bottle of winewith friends. Our picks have to be:
Generally, why do you think that Brighton is still the place to eat, drink and stay on the south coast?
Brighton is so vibrant, multi-cultural and there is something for everyone – all ages.
We are also very lucky that it is a city that is “moving with the times and not standing still”. Culturally, there is a lot of investment happening, a lot of big London brands have their eyes set here. Plus not many cities are able to showcase such diversity in music, culinary offerings and the arts as Brighton offers – I feel very lucky to live here and be a part of it.
Burnt Orange, 59 Middle Street, Brighton BN1 1AL