Silo has a very apparent ‘zero waste’ policy, whereby it has eliminated the production of waste at its restaurant, which is based in the North Laine of Brighton. It does so by trading directly with farmers and turning all scrap food into compost.
According to the website, Silo chooses “food sources that respect the natural order, allowing ingredients to be themselves without unnecessary processing”. Silo creates everything on site from its wholest form; it makes its own bread, churns its own butter, mills flour and brews and ferments drinks on the premises.
Open since 2014, Silo features three set menus (not unlike Brighton restaurant ‘The Set’) and diners can opt for an entire three-course set menu or to mix and match dishes.
Visited: May 2016
The ethos of the restaurant and “upcycled” interior
The drinks served in jam jars (to prevent energy wasted recycling them)
The experience in itself is worth a visit
The limited menu – only one vegetarian, one meat and one fish option
The cost of the food considering the portion sizes, and whilst I’m sure this is somehow justified in the efforts gone to reduce food miles and wastage, we would have appreciated more information available to us in the restaurant on the work gone into the dish and the benefits of this method of food preparation.
We have only visited Silo for lunch and, being the middle of the day, haven’t wanted to opt for a three-course menu but the staff were accommodating at letting us mix and match the dishes that we would like. As with so many Brighton restaurants, the menu was minimally descriptive and so it’s difficult to know exactly what you’re getting until it arrives. On one occasion, I opted for the ‘Lodge Farm Duck’ with Broccoli and I was surprised to find a crispy fried coating on the duck when it arrived but it tasted delicious, nonetheless. The portions were fairly meagre for the £16 price tag but, having said that, I didn’t leave feeling hungry.
On both occasions that we’ve visited we’ve found that the food arrived a little slow, however the service was friendly and attentive. The drinks in jam jars were a novelty and I respect what the restaurant is doing in terms of its ethos, whilst still producing delicious food (if slightly salty for my taste).
If you’re a fussy eater it could be worth checking ahead of dining as to what’s available on the menu that day, and you may like to view a sample menu online here.
Personally, I’d like to see more information at the restaurant on the measurable benefits of Silo’s food preparation techniques and their zero waste policy, in addition to the lengths they have gone to to achieve this policy. It was only after dining that, with research, we discovered that the plates on which the bread was served were made from plastic bags. There are interesting facts such as this that aren’t obviously apparent when you visit Silo but they would make the overall dining experience just that little bit more fun.
Overall rating: 7/10
Cost of food: Three courses cost approximately £24-£28 a head plus drinks and service, or a single main dish could be purchased for £12-£16.
39 Upper Gardner Street,
Brighton, BN1 4AN