Lindfield Asian Feast

The monthly Asian Feast Nights at Limes of Lindfield are vegan, gluten free and delicious. You'll even get to sample matched wines.

If you’re vegetarian, have a meat-free loved-one to treat, or even if you just enjoy trying new food, then I heartily recommend one of the monthly Asian Feast Nights at Limes of Lindfield.

They’ve been on my radar for a while so as my husband is 99% vegetarian (he makes occassional forays into fish) I took him along to one for his birthday in February.

Betel leaf canapes

The night is built around an Asian tasting menu – Limes’ head chef/owner Patcharee is from Thailand – and it’s more than vegetarian, it’s actually vegan and gluten free.

Limes is a smart contemporary restaurant within an old building. We were warmly welcomed by our hosts including Giles from South Downs Cellars – just across the road in the village – who would be paring our wines to our courses for the evening.

We started with pretty canapes, among them crunchy, zingy parcels of dried coconut, cashew nut, lime, red onion, chilli, palm sugar and tamarind sauce wrapped in betel leaf. The sociability of the evening became clear as the waitress wandered among the tables asking who wanted seconds (of course we did!).

A couple of the starters

 

There was a mix of people there – couples, doubles dates and a large group of friends with a baby. Judging by the chatter I overheard, several had been before.

We moved on to more courses – spicey Tum Yum soup, Malyasian style noodles and a nutty sweet potato Thai Massaman curry – always a favourite of mine – which proved a highlight for both of us. There were actually three or four parts to the main course (I lost track), several starters too. There are typically eleven components to the feast overall, though none so large as to make you feel you can’t go on. Because it’s a long drawn out meal expect to be there a few hours and don’t make my mistake of arriving ravenous – the courses build slowly in size.

Malaysian noodles

Giles was very informative about the wine, where it was from, and why it worked with each particular dish (tricky with spicy food) and he was also happy to chat – we ended up bending his ear with lots of questions. We tasted five wines (250ml over four courses) ranging from Europe to Argentina. You can of course buy more on the night or at South Downs Cellars another day (there’s a branch in Hurstpierpoint as well as Lindfield). You are given a detailed list of what you’ve tried in case you get too sloshed to remember.

I was driving, so gave most of my wine to my husband but still enjoyed the tasting experience as I could at least sip and pass verdict. My favourite incidentally was the Casato Manin Garganega from Veneto, Italy, a surprise to me as I generally prefer reds.

Our half eaten mains, including sweet potato Massaman curry

The evening was something different, a sociable experience with the bonus of discovering new flavours and learning about wine. Perfect for a treat or celebration or get-together and of course fantastic for vegans, vegetarians or those with gluten allergies who, rather than being restricted to a few dishes on the menu, have a night built around them. If you’re usually a meat-eater then rest assured, there are plenty of interesting flavours and textures and as vegetarianism is well-established in Asia the food particularly lends itself to this style. You can also buy gift vouchers to treat someone.

My husband said the night “completely exceeded expectations”, so a big tick for my birthday treat choice.

Tapioca and fruit pudding

At other times Limes of Lindfield offers a range of dishes, predominantly British and Asian, with both carnivorous and meat-free choices. The menu has a wide range of hearty breakfasts including pancake stacks and mains embracing sea bass, pork loin or veggie curry. It does a Sunday lunch and Sunday afternoon tea.

Vegetarian Asian Feast Nights are generally the second Thursday of every month. The next is on Thurs 13 April. It costs £35 and you’ll need to book ahead and give a deposit.

There are plenty of other diversions in lovely Lindfield if you are there while the shops are still open – not least no fewer than three Muddy Award winners – La Touche beauty salon, SWALK gift shop and Tuffnells Home interiors boutique.

Limes Restaurant & Rooms, 67 High Street, Lindfield, West Sussex, RH16 2HN. Tel: 01444 487858. limesoflindfield.co.uk

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