North Laine boozer Fountain Head sits on the corner of North Road and Cheltenham Place.
102 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YE
North Laine boozer Fountain Head sits on the corner of North Road and Cheltenham Place. Named after the famous Ayn Rand novel, this Drink In Brighton venue has many quintessential pub attributes: log fire, large oak tables, good alcohol selection and a welcoming atmosphere. But is the food worth a look?
Having recently revamped their menu and taken brand new head chef, Lorena Corso, under their wing, The Fountain Head explores both current food trends and also toys with more traditional pub dishes. The menu is broken down into starters and snacks, sandwiches, burgers and mains. Desserts change regularly and are chalked on one of the pubs many boards.
Burgers are popular across many demographics and this craze shows no sign of slowing down. We see more pubs veering toward serving meat patties and buns. Yet what was refreshing about the Fountain Head was that - yes, burgers are on the menu - but these weren’t the only plates available to order. Think beer battered hake, aubergine and mozzarella bake, rump steak, crispy squid with sweet chilli and you’re on the right page.
Opting for the manager’s recommendation of Chorizo Scotch Egg - with pickle and house ‘slaw (£4.95) and the House Rubbed Chicken - with couscous salad and tzatziki (£10.95), I was interested to know how well the kitchen would fare with a more traditional pub grub order.
This starter was plated vibrantly, the mix of colours really stood out against the white plate. The chorizo scotch egg contained a perfectly cooked, soft boiled egg encased in both a wrap of well seasoned minced pork and chorizo, with a light coating of breadcrumbs.
An interesting idea and one that was executed well. It would have been great to see some more authentic Spanish flavours in place of mustard and pickles, however, the homemade ‘slaw added a good crunch to the plate and rendered this starter a great pre-main nibble.
Again, the presentation was beautiful. The green of the rocket and red of diced tomatoes really caught my eye on this summery dish. It may be a little late in the day for summer-time plates but as I sat in my t-shirt, rays beaming through the Fountain Head’s large window, it could have easily been mid-July.
Topped with a sprig of mint, the well-spiced chicken sat neatly on top a mountain of red onion, tomato and mint speckled couscous and rocket, with dollops of tzatziki drizzled across the plate. The chicken was comprised of a leg and wing, both gorgeously warm and tender and not at all dry. The mildly spiced chicken complemented the well-cooked couscous perfectly and the mint that ran through the dish contributed a cooling flavour. The portion size was generous and the dish would have been great with a glass of zesty white wine. Overall, an inviting and tasty plate of food.
The talent Lorena has is very clear, and she obviously has a great eye for menu design, incorporating both pub favourites and more varied dishes. It will be interesting to see how Lorena integrates Autumnal dishes into the menu; one can only hope for her take on soups, casseroles and crumbles.
Visit the Fountain Head and order something other than a burger, if only to experience Lorena’s top presentation. A great new menu and one not to be missed.