Simple food, incredibly well executed - Cin Cin is the hottest name in town right now.
Cin Cin started out at events, supper clubs and festivals across the UK. Fast forward a few years and Cin Cin is the hottest name in the Brighton food scene right now.
You’ll find their Italian bar & kitchen on Vine Street, in Brighton’s North Laine, set in one of the small units perviously occupied by Vine Street Vintage. Cin Cin serve up antipasti, handmade pasta, aperitifs and Italian wines, all in an open bar and kitchen setting.
Open for lunch and dinner, you can stop by for some Nocellara del Belice olives and locally baked focaccia, or a glass of Prosecco and a selection of nibbles at the bar. All pasta is handmade daily, and served with sauces from various Italian regions, and seasonal specials are always on offer.
The layout is simple – just a big, Cheers style bar with the guys in the middle and the tiny kitchen at the back. Not only does it maximise the number of diners, it also makes for a nice, relaxed, sociable vibe.
It also means that David, Fabrizio and James have nowhere to hide. Everything is on show, which is great for customers but also great for them – if someone’s not happy, they can address it instantly.
I can’t move for posts of people eulogising about these guys at the moment, so was very excited to experience Cin Cin for myself.
The menu changes regularly, so I was relieved to see the Burrata (£6) with quince compote and olive oil still on there, and I hope it never leaves. Burrata’s one of those special things that must be ordered when seen, and chef Jamie has treated it with all the respect it deserves. The burrata is the star of the show, but the rich quince compote and quality olive oil both add wonderful extra layers of depth.
We also had the Cured Salmon (£8) with heritage beets and smoked ricotta, which I’m planning to steal for my Christmas day starter. Just stunning. The subtle fish and earthy beets were delicious but the smokiness of the ricotta elevated this dish to a higher plane.
The best Italian food I’ve ever had, was at a small restaurant in a village outside Siena, Tuscany. The place was covered in wood paneling, like a sauna and filled with frog ornaments, frog cuddly toys and other random froggy paraphernalia… but the food was incredible.
The dish that’s stuck in my mind is pappardelle with wild boar ragu – a Tuscan classic. I ordered Cin Cin’s version, Pappardelle with Sussex beef shin and pecorino (£10) and waited with bated breath. Antonia went for the Ravioli of squash and smoked ricotta with wild mushrooms and sage cream (£8).
Both dishes were absolutely on point.
The pappardelle was perfectly made and the beef shin ragu was full of rich, deep flavour, which transported me straight back to Tuscany. Antonia’s beautifully made ravioli had a fantastic texture, and was filled with more of that awesome smoked ricotta. Both dishes were so moreish that we considered ordering another round, which is something that’s been happening quite a lot apparently, and I can see why!
The portions are well judged here, and this meal was one of the rare occasions we had space for a third course. We skipped dessert in favour of a Cheese Board for two, and watched Fabrizio careful portion up the five different cheeses.
The richly indulgent Gorgonzola was particularly good, and with a few slices of focaccia on the side, our appetites were perfectly satisfied.
Brighton has been crying out for a quality, authentic Italian offering like this and Cin Cin have slotted into the gap perfectly.
The last time so much love was shown for a new opening, was Bincho Yakitori last year, and Cin Cin have have just dethroned Bincho as my favourite restaurant in town.
Simple food, incredibly well executed – book in immediately.