Gars Brighton A Lockdown Takeaway Review

At time of writing we are now several weeks into restrictions that have been placed on all our lives due to COVID 19. Although these restrictions are slowly beginning to be lifted, Brighton’s famous and thriving restaurant scene is still in serious need of support from us residents, as many of our much-loved eateries have been forced to close their doors to the public until this awful pandemic gets under control. Some are offering takeaway and delivery services so you can still enjoy food from your favourites. Absolute Magazine will be keeping you all up to date on what is on offer, and I will often be posting reviews of the takeaway options available here on our website so please visit regularly to keep up to date on what is going on in our wonderful city.

Providing high-end Chinese dining at its finest in the same spot in the heart of Brighton’s historic quarter since 1983, Gars is a Brighton institution which has stood the test of time like none other. Gars is one of the city’s oldest and most successful independent eateries which every Brightonian would have heard of or visited at least once in their lifetime and is the place to go for anyone who demands more from their Chinese experience than greasy plastic containers in a paper bag. Ever since the very beginning Gars has always been a dine-in only restaurant. A place to go where not only can you get to eat some of the very best Chinese food in existence, but also experience a luxuriously decorated restaurant and some of the loveliest and most attentive waiting staff in town. Now with the restaurant being closed for the foreseeable future, even Gars are now providing a takeaway and delivery service. I checked them out at the weekend to see if the takeaway food still lives up to Gars fine longstanding reputation.


Ordering is easy, either by email or phone (details below) or via Deliveroo.  As there is currently a promotion 20% off orders over £40.00, I decided to get my order in and cycle into town to collect.

Danny Gar was outside to greet me when I arrive, and we have a chat about how things have been for them. He is upbeat and enthusiastic and assures me that although they can only offer takeaway for the time being, he fully believes in the Gars brand. They remain committed to only using the very best ingredients and the quality of the food they offer has remained at the top of their game because of this. The restaurant itself is currently out of bounds to customers, with a skeleton team of staff busy putting together orders inside. It was comforting to find all the recommended precautions are being adhered to, and as I receive my bag and smell the wonderful aromas emanating from it, I cannot wait to get home to get stuck in.

I unpack the starters as soon as I arrive home. Where possible the food is packed in bio-degradable packaging, with only the saucier dishes in plastic containers, which I tend to save and reuse anyway. We begin by sharing pork dumplings, prawn toast and salt and chilli squid. I remember being wowed by the dumplings when I last visited Gars and these surpassed the already high expectations I had of them. Wobbling opaque jewels jam-packed with delicately spiced sausage meat with a lovely piquant chilli dip that accentuated the subtle flavours of the dumplings. The prawn toast was equally as impressive. Crisp triangle slices with the fattest layer of sesame topped prawn I have ever seen that was just bursting with flavour. It was the salt and chilli squid however that completely blew me away; perfectly cooked tender morsels with a crisp tangy batter that had a flavour that really packs a punch. Incredible.

For mains we plumped for crispy chilli beef and prawns in black bean sauce with egg fried rice and Gars special fried noodles. In each of these dishes the high quality of the ingredients and the superior skills of chefs at Gars really stood out. These were some of the most tender plumpest prawns and crunchiest fresh vegetables I have ever encountered swimming in a thick black bean sauce that had such a depth of flavour that I was truly wowed. Chunky crisp sticks of beef intertwined with sweet tasting carrots gave this dish a rare extra dimension that I could not get enough of. The fluffy rice had a lovely taste all to itself and was perfect for soaking up all the incredible sauces, and the special noodles were generously topped with more plump prawns, tender chicken and pork and a whole host of vegetables which altogether tasted fantastic.

My Gars takeaway dinner was truly excellent, and although I loved dining at Gars and getting the whole restaurant experience that they do so wonderfully well, it really is exciting that they are offering a delivery and takeaway service so I can continue to get my fix. All the dishes travelled exceptionally well and tasted just as good at home. If you are after treating yourselves to a takeaway, Gars will surpass all expectations. Give them a call today for collection or get on Deliveroo to have their delicious home-cooked authentic Chinese cuisine delivered straight to your door.

Tony Shattell

Gars: email (booking@gars.co.uk) or phone (01273 321 321).

19 Prince Albert Street, BN1 9HF. www.gars.co.uk