A RESTAURANT and takeaway devoted to one fried cheese is opening a second venue.

Halloumilicious in Warwick Lane, Worthing, has a menu of fries, wraps, burgers, bagels and salad boxes, all based around the popular Cypriot cheese halloumi.

Now the business is set to open a restaurant in the food hall in Brighton’s Churchill Square in April.

Owner Joel Ariaman said he received a call from the shopping centre asking him if he would like to take a unit there, and it was “an offer he could not refuse”.

The 34-year-old said: “We wanted to open a Brighton street kitchen this year but we didn’t realise it was going to be this soon.

“It’s all been a bit manic, but it was amazing to get that call.”

Joel started the business in 2017 out of a street food van, as he wanted to do something different at markets and festivals.

He said: “Halloumi fries weren’t really out there at that time.

“Three years on, we have our customers to thank really – we decided to open our first restaurant in October last year, and it’s gone incredibly well.

“We’re pretty much the only restaurant in the UK to have a menu entirely based around halloumi.”

All the dishes at Halloumilicious have a Middle Eastern twist, such as the halloumi fries, which are seasoned with sumac and served with harissa mayonnaise, pomegranate molasses and fresh mint.

These flavours reflect Joel’s upbringing in Hove, as his father is from Iran and he said all he would eat as a little boy was Persian food.

There are even halloumi puddings on offer, including halloumi gelato – made with milk rather than cream – and homemade halloumi donuts, served with caramel sauce, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate.

Joel said: “The donuts have a special coating of herbs and spices, and have grated bits of halloumi in them, so you get that sweet and salty twist.

“It’s pretty delicious, I have to say.

“We also do an avocado-based carrot cake and a range of gelatos.

“Our most popular gelato is one flavoured with baklava and pistachio, and we also do one with lemon and mint.”

The menu is completely vegetarian and includes vegan options such as tofu fries.

For the Brighton restaurant, Joel said he will be expanding the menu from 15 items to 22, with options for breakfast as well.

He said: “In Worthing we open for lunch and dinner from midday until 9pm, but in Churchill Square we will be opening for breakfast from 9am until 6pm, with the exception of Thursdays when they have late night shopping until 7 or 8pm.

“We’ll be serving halloumi croissants and halloumi breakfast muffins.

“It’s really exciting for us – units don’t come up that often at Churchill Square, so hopefully we will do well there.”

Joel said he is aiming to be open on April 13, and Halloumilicious will also have a van at festivals including Boundary Festival and Worthing Food and Drink Festival.

To stay updated, follow the restaurant on Instagram @halloumilicious.