Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Nia - Brighton

The last time I suggested a trip to the beach to Stuart, we ended up in Southend .... which is probably why it has taken this long for me to suggest it again. The summer months had been drawing to a close far too quickly and I really felt like I should be doing something summer-y. With a nice Sunday forecasted (this is going back a few weeks now) ... and I suggested a trip to the beach and got a better response this time ... 'Brighton' - yay! The only time I've ever been to Brighton was in the 'in-between' phase of student-hood and ... adulthood. With absolutely no money to spare but desperate to get out of London for a few hours, we took the coach (yes, the coach in the middle of summer! If you've ever taken one you'll know what I mean) and probably just had enough cash for a cheap burger (or nothing at all .. I don't recall now).

Facade - Nia, Brighton

This time we got the train (we have moved up in life, haven't we?) and arrived bright, early and bushy tailed. First things first ... food! The first few places were passed off for being too 'quiet'. Then we chanced upon Nia. It had a bustle its neighbours lacked and it had waffles on the menu! Yum... I haven't had waffles in years! We were seated quickly in the rather bright but squashed dining room filled with mismatched furniture. I think it's suppose to be reminiscent of some country kitchen - jumble sale chairs, daisies in a chipped water jug - all rather charmingly homely. We gave our order to the rather sweet but slightly clueless waiter - one Nia Veggie Breakfast, one Nia Breakfast, one flat white and a mocha. And sat back to wait for our food. And waited and waited .... considering that there couldn't have been more than 15 tables (mostly groups of 2-3 people and only one large-ish party of 6) in the little room, they took an awful long time. Twenty minutes later our food arrived but no coffee. I admit I have quite a few pet peeves and one of them must be the arrival of my food before my drinks in a restaurant. Our waiter gave us a flustered apology but apparently there were quite a few back orders for coffee. Hmmm .. right..! So we started eating and must have been half way through our meal, maybe 10 minutes after the arrival of our food before our coffees were brought over. Tahhh dah ... a grand total of 30 minutes for two cups of coffee. Oh dear, dear me ... it's only coffee!!!! Oh when the coffee arrived, we saw that they came with a little biscuit each (aww nice!) but our waiter accidentally knocked mine onto the tray and ... yes, he never replaced it with another. I never did get my biscuit.

Nia Veggie Breakfast - Nia, Brighton

I got the veggie breakfast despite the 'oo-ing and ahh-ing' over the waffles when we browsed the menu earlier but it's almost always about the salt with me. When it was first placed in front of me it looked pretty darn good - my choice of 2 fried eggs on 2 buttered slices of wholemeal toast (also my choice) with a side of wilted spinach, sauteed mushrooms, half a grilled tomato, homemade baked beans and a homemade hashbrown. All too soon it was 'uh-oh' ... I've spotted another problem - they stacked my slices of toast on top of each other and then put the eggs over the top slice ...... which spells soggy, floppy bottom toast! Grumblings aside, I hungrily tucked in but sadly this seems to be a case of the dish looking better than it tasted. The wilted spinach was only half wilted. The other half was blatantly still raw. Alright I could have lived with that if I wasn't already getting so worked up about the other things. If something on the menu says it is homemade I automatically assume that it will be better than the shop bought stuff (ohh the mind games the consumer falls for - ME!) but dear oh dear ... please Nia, just buy the baked beans and hash browns! There is a reason why Heinz is so successful. Nia's beans were hard (undercooked) and the sauce was tasteless. The hashbrown was a notch or two below warm, hard and again, tasteless. Poking through the hashbrown was like going through the unused potato salad from the previous day's dinner service (Nia is opened for dinner) - there was some mashed and whole bits of potato and some added diced red onion for good measure. The tomato ... hmm ... it was late summer and they still managed to find the most tasteless tomato to put under the grill. Oh the eggs and mushrooms (if a tad over-herbed) were ok though.

Nia Breakfast - Nia, Brighton

You see where I'm the moany one, Stuart like most guys just tucks in and gets on with the business of ... eating. He didn't seem to mind that his bread was lost beneath the pile of food or that his tomato lacked flavour. He seemed quite happy with his poached eggs and shrugged when I asked about the bacon and sausage. Unless they were homemade, which I doubt they were, they couldn't have been too bad. He was saved from the unwilted spinach and the hard, lackluster beans. But he did make a face when I brought up the hashbrown. Ah hah!

The coffees when they did arrive were actually pretty good. I've become so used to Starbucks (they are so convenient though...) and instant stuff from the office that I have almost forgotten how nice proper brewed stuff tastes. As the food took an age to arrive and the coffee practically didn't make it before we left, we asked for our bill quite soon after we finished eating. We still ended waiting 10-15 minutes for it anyway. For all my moans and groans, it wasn't actually a bad experience. So the service was pretty hopeless and the food not all that great but it was a nice Sunday breakfast. Very chilled and well, Sunday :)

Nia Brighton
87-88 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4ER

1 comment:

discopot said...

A very accurate description of the meal