Review: Brace and Browns

A perfectly situated gem, just far enough down Whiteladies to deter the vile meatheads of W.G. Grace, says Jay Cunningham.


A perfectly situated gem of a restaurant on Whiteladies Road, Brace and Browns offers interesting contemporary British cuisine in a conceptually interesting tapas-style.

The restaurant on arrival was candle-lit and was extremely busy. The raucous chatter, against the backdrop of Al Green, created a buzzing atmosphere.

On sitting, we were pleased to discover the accessibility of their red wine list. All but the Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Waimea Estate Pinot Noir and the Chateau Tayac could be purchased by the glass: a nice touch and well-priced. Complimentary water was placed on the table.

We opted for six tapas dishes. The chorizo in honey was superb; a lovely combination of sweetness and salt. The halibut and saffron risotto was delicious, it had a fresh flavour and the fish was very cooked well.

The risotto could have perhaps done with perhaps a little more parmesan, however. The vegetable pakoras were exceptional, and very good value at £4.90. These came with a cooling raita, a mango chutney and a lime pickle. The prawns with tempura were cooked beautifully; the prawns only just cooked and the tempura light and fluffy, as it should be.

Additionally, we had the slightly less impressive blue cheese and kohlrabi salad which, I felt, lacked a little direction. It was well presented but I was not sure the flavours worked together, especially as it came with celeriac and hazelnuts too.

The mallard (duck) was beautifully presented, and cooked, but I felt the portion size could have been slightly bigger considering it was £7.50. I also think bread should be complimentary on the purchase of three tapas. These are minor points though. Overall, the standard was very high and there really was something for everybody.

Guests on ‘Mad Mondays’ have the chance to reduce their bills by a maximum of 50% but a minimum of 15%, in a raffle-like format after eating. An interesting approach, and one that will hopefully bring more students in. Brace and Browns are also starting 2-for1 cocktails very soon…

A lovely, relaxed dining experience. It is really refreshing to see a restaurant producing such an interesting and diverse selection of foods at reasonable prices. Great staff and location, whilst retaining some distance so as to not attract the vile meatheads of the W.G. Grace.