Review: Kooks Restaurant, Gardner St. Brighton

Boho-bistro, Kooks, opened earlier this month, located on the bustling Gardner Street in the middle of the North Laine area of Brighton. Its location is perfect for people watching and there’s plenty of seating outside, ideal on a sunny day. Having heard good things about the breakfast and lunch menu, I thought we should venture down over the Bank Holiday and see what’s cooking.


From the outside the restaurant looks inviting and from the inside, it’s even better. It is light and airy with cool black and white artwork running down one side of the restaurant. Kooks is open from 10am till late so you can see this being a great spot for a late night cocktail or quick bite to eat especially throughout the summer.

First impressions of the menu are that it is a little limited but there were enough main dishes that we both liked the look of and it was only lunchtime. I chose the vegetarian gnocchi with vegetables and goat’s cheese while my pal chose the bacon cheeseburger – of course he did.

The sun was shining and Brighton was heaving, as you can imagine on a bank holiday Monday. Looking for somewhere to eat outside and watch the world go by, we found a table outside of Kooks, which we quickly nabbed. Instantly we were offered an espresso martini, hard to say no to when the sun’s shining and it just so happens to be my favourite cocktail… Good start.

Espresso Martini
Espresso Martini

We had high expectations but unfortunately these weren’t met once the food arrived. Both dishes were plated up nicely and the presentation was good. Once we got stuck in, the burger was slightly overcooked, the bacon was cold and the brioche bun tasted a bit dry and maybe a bit stale. The twice cooked chips were really, really good but there were only 6 on the plate so it could definitely do with a few more.

Bacon cheeseburger

The gnocchi was a little stodgy, more so than gnocchi normally tastes and if it wasn’t for the goat’s cheese, it could have been a little bland. Unfortunately, it wasn’t how I thought it would be but I’m all for trying something I wouldn’t normally go for, hence the vegetarian option.


Final Say

I hate to say it but the whole meal was not one I’d recommend… Eek. The cocktails were good and the service was on top form however the food was not. Our bill came to a total of £37.50 and, for the quality of both dishes, this seems expensive. Brighton has a great reputation for it’s burgers and the competition is high. Charging £13 for a burger that isn’t up to scratch when compared to other venues such as Coggings and Co. or the Trolls Pantry (The Hobgoblin kitchen) or even Burger Brothers, it is disappointing.

Maybe the breakfast menu makes for a better experience as the setting of the restaurant is great. It is only early days so hopefully these things can be worked on. We shall see.

Au revoir.

Jess – The Hunger Laine


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