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Matt Gillan at The Pass Restaurant

Brighton Road, LOWER BEEDING, RH13 6PS

4 rosettes

If you like your meals to be a bit of a performance, South Lodge has taken the chef's table concept to its logical conclusion and inserted a whole restaurant into the kitchen. For the uninitiated, the pass is the part of the kitchen where the head chef gives the final okay to dishes before waiting staff whisk them away. It's decked out in modernist style with lime green and cream leather seats at tables along the edge of the pass, with the industrial stainless steel of the kitchen as a backdrop and - reality television addicts take note - plasma screens to zoom in on the action out of view. If you're hoping for a Ramsay-esque shouty, sweary experience, you'll be disappointed: head chef Matt Gillan and his team work in near silence, in a serene and well-organised environment. This is the key to pulling off dishes that mobilise all the tricks of the contemporary gastronomic trade. The format is multi-course tasting menus with a vegetarian version, and if making a decision is just too much hard work, go for the 12-course surprise menu. There's a lot more going on in each course than the terse, three-word descriptions imply, but rest assured that it's full of lively invention, built on first-class ingredients that work together and are sent out dressed to thrill. Things start with an egg in crisp potato strands with watercress, spring onion and French-fried shallots, prior to Sardinian fregola with crab, celery and toasted rice, while the fish course matches sea bass simply with black pudding and white beans. Meaty ideas see venison (a seared square and a crunchy croquette of confit meat) partnered with leeks and elderberries, both poached and as a jelly. Traditionalists might breathe a sigh of relief when the selection of artisan cheese provides a break from such high-tech endeavours, before desserts burst forth with further complexes of flavour, from lavender custard and jelly with poached blueberries and violet sorbet, to lemon granita with toasted oats and a soft, fudgy honeycomb. If you're going for broke, the optional wine flights matched to the dishes are worth the extra outlay and provide a globetrotting voyage of vinous discovery. Alternatively, flights of juices infused with herbs, vegetables and herbs offer non-alcoholic flavour revelations. The Camellia Restaurant is the hotel's more mainstream dining option, providing contemporary renditions of country-house cooking in the Victorian mansion's panelled dining room.

Further information

Tel: 01403 891711
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Days closed: Mon-Tue
Dates closed: 1st 2 wks Jan
Sunday lunch available.

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern British
Chef: Matt Gillan
Number of seats: 26
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Disabled toilets.
Vegetarian meals available.
No children under 12 yrs.
Parking available.


Restaurant price guide

Sunday lunch: £37.50-£57.50
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.



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Use the route planner for your trip

From A23 turn left onto B2110 & then right through Handcross to A281 junct. Turn left, hotel on right
Nearest station: Horsham

Local information for RH13 6PS

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