Cafe Rust is one of those places I always meant to get around to visiting. Tucked in Preston Road, it sits in that strange part of town that actually hosts some of Brighton’s gems – think Señor Buddha, The Joker, Hare & Hounds and Fatto a Mano. Barely a 20 minute walk from my home, I’m kicking myself now of course.
About six months ago, Cafe Rust announced the launch of their Sunday roasts. Since then, their Instagram posts have had me, and the majority of the Brighton food community, drooling.
Last Sunday I was laying in bed poorly and scrolling through everyone’s brunch posts. Fuck this I thought, I’m having me a roast. So we called Cafe Rust a couple of hours in advance and the table was booked.
We arrived on a pretty grey afternoon and as soon as we stepped inside, majestic sun burst through the windows. Upon being seated, our friendly waitress asked us what we fancied to drink and allowed us to peruse the roast menu behind us.
Both torn between pork belly and lamb, we opted for pork so as not to get food envy. Plus crackling. In what felt like no time at all, two bulging plates were heading our way.
10/10 for presentation, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a beautiful roast! The whole plate had a wonderful rustic feel, with whole heritage carrots and stuffing served within bone.
They nailed the veggies with perfectly cooked carrots and greens, and I really enjoyed the braised red cabbage. Some places have a tendency to use a lot of vinegar or cider, making it far too sharp for my liking.
Onto the pork belly, which was huge and lined with crisp crackling. The meat was tender and soft, with an immensely satisfying crunch from the crackling that didn’t make you feel like your teeth would break. It seems a given, I know, but some places would do well to take note! Not usually one for apple sauce, I really enjoyed this accompaniment and it went swimmingly with the pork belly and stuffing. The pork and sage stuffing was some of the best I’ve tasted, with a generous amount packed in.
I try to make my Yorkshires last as I love them so much, and this was no exception. It was a decent size too, as you never usually get enough. The only downfall of this meal was that the potatoes weren’t quite as fluffy inside or crisp outside as I’d like. I’ve still yet to find the best roasties in Brighton. But they were seated on top of a very tasty cauliflower puree, which I think was really quite an underrated touch.
If Sunday were a place, it would be Cafe Rust. I fell in love with its simple and beautiful interior, and quickly felt at ease in the relaxed atmosphere. With the sun filtering through to flood the tables with warmth, and gentle music in the background, it really was quite blissful. I can see myself sitting down to do some work over a coffee (or two) and pastry on a weekend morning.
The team here really helped to make our experience. Not just our lovely waitress, we also encountered the chef that prepared our roasts, as well as the lovely owners relaxing in the corner. I mostly stuttered to them about how beautiful Rust is, and it was clear to see how proud they are of their establishment.
So, if you haven’t considered Cafe Rust for your Sunday lunch yet, or didn’t know they did one, I would strongly recommend hotfooting it over there!
Check out their website to get a feel for them – it’s almost as beautiful as the cafe itself!