Brown's In Town
Swishness is hardly what you associate with a rumbunctious city like Derry. Yet here is Brown’s in Town, Ian Orr’s second restaurant, and it is indubitably swish. Swish in the way Roscoff was swish back in 1989. Swish in the way Shanks was back in 1995.
It’s a good swishness because it isn’t blowsy or brash: it’s subtle and restrained and, thereby, all the better, all the more alluring.
It’s the kind of room that makes you want to party, the kind of restaurant that shouts: restaurant!
The cooking is so on-the-money it stops you in your tracks. Its precision and focus reminds us of the work of the late Robbie Millar, with whom Ian Orr worked in Shanks. The flavours are bright and vivid, starting with a purple carrot soup that is a carrot elixir, but the team don’t overlook texture, and the meltingness of the Brown’s in Town pork belly with their signature toffee apple purée is stunning.
They do marvellous things with vegetables – carrot and fennel salad with beef ribs; beer-braised onions with fillet steak – so the fennel and spinach that partner with some salmon are terrific, and when they turn their attention to the sweet things they show that the restraint of the room finds its way onto the plates, for the dark chocolate and orange tart with brown butter ice cream is a wow! because it is so tightly restrained.
As it is in Brown’s of Bond’s Hill, so it is in Brown’s in Town: the value for money here is unbeatable, and the staff have their work down pat.
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