THIS country is hardly known for its customer service.

It’s like comedy in Germany. It exists – but at the end of the day, no one involved feels entirely comfortable.

But by comparison, in France, it is an art form.

And that art form is alive and well if the Gourmand’s meal this week is anything to go by.

The restaurant of choice was 24 St Georges, in the heart of Kemp Town. And our waiter was, yes, a Frenchman.

Having opened its doors in 2010, it has been dishing out reasonably priced, beautifully executed modern European cuisine ever since.

While many Brighton restaurants strive to be different, often with misplaced enthusiasm, 24 St Georges is comfortable in its own skin.

It’s a proper, grown-up sort of a place – a restaurant you could take your parents to and not worry about them having to drink out of jam jars.

And with a menu de jour offering three courses for a very respectable £25 you might even be tempted to pick up the bill.

The small, elegant space is bright and airy, with big bay windows lighting up the timber floors and white tablecloths.

And the whole operation is overseen by arguably Brighton’s best waiter.

The tables were nearly full and despite working alone, the service was elegant and flawless.

It was like a performance as he glided around the restaurant floor as if performing a Viennese waltz.

He also makes a mean espresso martini, with a big slurp of vodka and plenty of fresh coffee.

The wine list is extensive, but also affordable, with glasses starting from little more than a fiver and half-bottle portions available.

Starters begin with two quenelles of cloud-light Brighton blue cheese mousse, scooped up with wafer thin croutons.

Variations of pear – gels and marinated strips and cubes – bring a burst of acidic fruity freshness.

Our second dish was unashamedly French, a ham hock boulangère.

Buttery and rich, the paper thin spud layers interspersed with earthy leeks and meat so soft it cuts with a spoon.

On to the mains, which are a masterclass in elegant and well executed cookery.

A ballotine of free range chicken is all precision and delicacy, the soft white meat still moist and packing a punch from the chorizo stuffing.

Perfectly roasted potatoes are partnered with pert baby carrots that still hold a crunch. The whole plate was slick with butter and a healthy flourish of seasoning.

Bass is also treated with the deftest of touches – crisp, salty skin giving way to soft, flaking white flesh.

A bed of spinach comes bathed in butter and garlic, while the scattering of mussels delivers the salt and hum of the sea.

Desserts are the stuff elasticated trousers were made for.

There’s a disc of silky, set chocolate cream and a pile of chocolate crumb, dark and nutty with cocoa.

A puddle of salted caramel and two scoops of buttery banana ice cream deliver the final calorific blow.

A berry pudding is all winter comfort on a plate. The lightest of almond sponges comes bathed in a lip smackingly sharp berry coulis.

A scatter of crispy, melt in the mouth berry meringue adds a satisfying crunch and the overall tartness of red berries is soothed by the balm of smooth vanilla ice cream.

Six plates – and not a communal seat, jam jar or wisp of dry ice in sight.

And all dished up with impeccable service to boot. Restaurants in Brighton may come and go but if today’s lunch is anything to go by, 24 St Georges will be here for the long haul.

  • The Gourmand pays for all his meals.


Food: ★★★★

Atmosphere: ★★★★

Service: ★★★★★


Menu de jour – three courses for £25


Brighton blue cheese and pear

Ham hock boulangere with leek


Chicken with chorizo

Bass with mussels and spinach


Winter berry pudding with kirsch and vanilla ice cream

Chocolate with caramel and banana