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The Pass Restaurant at South Lodge Hotel

Brighton Road, LOWER BEEDING, RH13 6PS

4 rosettes

We've become familiar with the chef's table concept, and South Lodge has taken the theme a step further 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. Here, it's decked out in hyper-modern style - lime green and cream leather seats at tables running along the edge of the pass, with the industrial stainless steel of the kitchen as a backdrop and plasma screens to zoom in on the action out of view. It can be genuinely enlightening to see dishes being put together, the panoply of technique ranging from jaw-dropping to 'I could do that' (not very often for the latter, admittedly). Matt Gillan and his team work in near silence, assembling dishes that mobilise all the tricks of the contemporary gastronomic trade. The format is tasting menus only of 6, 8 or 10 courses with a vegetarian choice and optional wine flights - and the wines are stunning, worth the extra outlay if you're going for broke. The menus offer little enlightenment as each course is described with either three words or a single component, but rest assured that it's full of lively invention, based on first-class produce and sent out dressed to thrill. Contrasting textures are a big theme, so clams are matched with kiwi and radish, while the fish course might see cod with the more mainstream accompaniments of aubergine and tomato. Meaty ideas could see venison partnered with leeks and walnut, while the vogue for offering different cuts of meat brings on oxtail and tongue of beef with radish. The selection of artisan cheeses may take in Somerset's unpasteurised Rachel goats' cheese and the full-flavoured Admiral Collingwood, washed with Newcastle Brown ale. Desserts burst forth with further complexes of flavour, from yuzu with sourdough and chocolate, to rhubarb and liquorice tart with popcorn and fennel. The vegetarian menu may encompass beetroot tartare and sorbet with blue cheese and orange; salted charred leek with watermelon, pickled apple and olive; caramelised swede with butternut squash, clementine and grain mustard; and a main course of vegetable Wellington. The Camelia Restaurant is the hotel's alternative dining option.

Further information

Tel: 01403 891711
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Open/closed

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.

 
 
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Directions

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

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