Locally sourced, classic British fayre in an award-winning food shop
Sussex Produce Company, Review
The Sussex Produce Company is an award winning food shop and cafe on Steyning High Street.
It started life as a greengrocer and after numerous awards including Greengrocer of the Year in 2014, expanded to include a full shop stocking local produce and a relaxed, cosy cafe.
My friend Mark, who lives near Steyning, took me along to the cafe for lunch after one of our regular squash sessions. We both had a lovely Steak & Ale Pie (£12.95) with buttery mash and probably the best braised red cabbage I’ve ever had.
After posting about it on Instagram, The Sussex Produce Company invited me back to check out their evening menu and offered me £50 off the bill.
We booked in for a Saturday night and ventured out of Brighton for the evening. Steyning High Street itself is pretty quaint, with lots of nice little shops and a few eateries. The Sussex Produce Company probably has the biggest shopfront on the street (it used to be a Co-op) and the flowers and fresh local produce guide you into the shop itself.
Many local growers are supported here and once inside the shop you’ll find a great range of beers, wines and chilled goods as well as a big red tractor! At the back of the shop is the rustic cafe, open for lunch every day and for dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings.
We were led to a well-dressed table and ordered a couple of glasses of Prosecco as we looked over the menu, which is pretty classic British fayre – Local wild mushrooms on sourdough toast with a fried duck egg and herb salad (£6.95), Lamb rump with confit garlic and thyme jus (£17.95), that kind of thing.
There was plenty of seafood on the menu, which always gets a big thumbs up from me and I opted for the Seared king scallops with cauliflower and truffle puree and herb cress salad (£9.75), while Antonia went for the Steamed south coast mussels with local Sedlescombe cider, shallots, cream and fresh herbs (£5.95).
Both of these were class. The mussels were a good size and generous portion and the creamy broth was delicious. The scallop dish was beautiful in its presentation and flawless in its cooking. The plump scallops were full of flavour and balanced well with the cauliflower and truffle puree.
Main courses come with seasonal vegetables here. Antonia chose the Poached monkfish with brown shrimp butter and fresh samphire (£16.95). The two generous pieces of monkfish were cooked well and the shrimp butter added depth of flavour and richness to bring the dish together. Really tasty but probably could have done with more of a sauce to keep everything nice and moist.
I decided to go for the steak – Belted Galloway ribeye steak grazed on the South Downs, with bone marrow, red wine and a parsley and shallot jus (£19.95). Sadly, this was a bit disappointing… The mash, jus and rich bone marrow were all good but the steak lacked any kind of charred crust, that is so important. It was still pleasant but not up to the level I was expecting, especially after our great first course dishes.
On to dessert, we shared a Vanilla pannacotta with honey roasted figs, brandy snap tuile (£5.75). The pannacotta had just the right wobble to it and subtle vanilla flavour running through it. The fig was fresh and worked beautifully with the contrasting textures of soft pannacotta and crunchy tuille.
The Sussex Produce Company feels a bit pricey but I expect that’s a lot to do with the area. The fantastic local produce, coupled with a cafe producing some great food make The Sussex Produce Company a place Steyning is lucky to have.
I dined as a guest of The Sussex Produce Company but as always, the words and thoughts are my own.