The Breakfast Menu Breakfast reviews from the South Coast and beyond

2Feb/112

Nia, Brighton (sadly as of 13-Aug-2012, Nia have ceased trading)

Nia [map]
87-88 Trafalgar Street
Brighton, BN1 4ER
Tel: 01273 671 371
www.nia-brighton.co.uk

Opening Times*: Breakfast is available everyday from 9am until 17:00pm

Last Visited: January 2011

*Sadly as of 13-Aug-2012 Nia have ceased trading. A sad loss.  Good luck to everyone there for the future from all at TBM)

Located on Trafalgar Street at the end of Brighton's North Laines, Nia offers contemporary breakfast from an "eclectic" menu, which in their own words reflects "Brighton’s diversities with a great British twist".  But with local favourite cafes Bills and Farm nearby, does the cafe match up, or more importantly live-up to their own bold statement?

TeaMilkOneSugar:

Due to the rather miserable weather outside (cold, damp) I opted for a hot chocolate whilst I perused the menu. Hot and really chocolate-y, no complaints there. Nia has a relaxed feel, with a mix of wooden furniture in different styles, big windows through which to watch the world, and friendly, helpful staff.

As I’ve been to Nia a few times, and like the food, I decided for something particular to them, rather than the fry up option (you can have a fry up anywhere) and went for the Smoked Haddock Fishcakes. These usually come with hollandaise sauce, a poached egg and watercress salad.  However due to No Eggs’ aversion to the humble egg I ended up with 3 poached eggs!

The fishcakes themselves were great. A crispy shell containing a steaming mix of fish, potato, and dill. They really were rather good. Poached egg(s) were also very good, but I maybe didn’t need three of them. Two would have been the perfect number, one more than you get as standard. The watercress and cucumber salad makes for a good refresher at the end of the meal.

Whilst prices in Nia aren’t as low as elsewhere I personally prefer to spend a little more for good ingredients cooked well, rather than a big pile of average food. Nia gets the thumbs up from me, and I will be going again.

[As an aside, Nia is well worth a visit for lunch or cake if you don’t fancy breakfast]

Mr NoEggs:

The North Laines in Brighton has been our most popular area for reviews and Nia was another good reason for us to leave the rest of the city for another day and head back there. Like its neighbouring restaurants, they offer a contemporary breakfast menu and is spaciously decorated using rustic wooden furniture which provides a relaxed, sophisticated atmosphere to begin your day with. So when we turned up, I was immediately looking for the unique selling point which sets it apart from the others and gives it its own character.

Despite all their efforts during my visit, I did not find it.... but believe me that's not a bad thing. Visiting Nia at breakfast time was almost an identical to what you can find in other local eateries such as Bills and Farm, but why should there just be one good place to eat, when you could have the luxury of three to choose from!  Nia is another example of the growing number of high quality places to eat and shows that there has been in a shift in what modern society expects from breakfast in quality and choice.

Spurning the advances of egg based breakfasts such as Eggs Benedict/Florentine/Royale and my usual favourite American Pancakes, I plumped for the cooked breakfast and was delighted by what was served. Meticulously arranged, the breakfast was what you would expect for a hefty £8.25 (the most expensive so far). The Brighton Sausage Co. sausage was exactly how a sausage should be, meaty and jam-packed with flavour. The bacon was of high butcher quality and the potato rosti/hash brown was also second to the Real Eating Company hash brown in the city's potato rankings. The only downside that was for the money the portion size was a undersized and with only one sausage and tomato provided and no black pudding, Bills and Farm provide more for a little less money. The quality of the bread for the toast was not also up to that of its rivals and I found myself using the ample butter portion to fill the gaps the breakfast left.

These small glitches do not destroy my belief that Nia and the rest of the local restaurants in the North Laines should be proud of their emerging breakfast scene. The high quality of the ingredients, the restaurant interior and service we received shows that now a personal touch is available and the customers thoughts are being put first. Though quality does come at a cost, as the price of their breakfasts were high. The honey roasted muesli with fruit & natural yoghurt comes in at £6.10 and all other breakfasts, apart from beans on toast at £3.25, are over £7.

In an city saturated with good eating establishments it can be very difficult to make a name for yourself. With such fierce competition Nia is in danger of always being the place that I regularly hear people saying, “we looked in and it looked great, but decided to go to...” and on a number of occasions I too have been swayed instead by the offerings at Bills, the Farm fry-up or even the Billies farmhouse hash, but finally we made it in through the doors and I was very glad we did. I'll be back to try the pancakes soon!

Portion Size: ★★★½☆
Value For Money: ★★★½☆
Service: ★★★★☆
Ingredient Quality: ★★★★½
Overall: ★★★★☆

  • A little Aussie in Brighton

    I was shattered to see my fav brunch place turned into some soup place. Over the last 4 years I’ve spent in Brighton I have come here on average once a month but sometimes even twice in one weekend. We bring all our visiting family and friends for good coffee and a good food before giving them the tour of Brighton. Im just devistated and im really going to miss it. I’ve just found your website in the process of searching for my new brunch hang out. Any ideas? I know I’m asking for a lot but I’m searching for good atmosphere, good coffee and good food. Fingers crossed.

    • Mr NoEggs

      We share your loss A.L.A.I.B. It was a great place and perfect for a large group to relax in. Nearby Mange Tout is in the same price range that Nia offered and could be a replacement. Hove’s Billies and The Hove Kitchen are a 20 minute walk away and are equals in quality, service and atmosphere. North Laine’s Temptation would be my suggestion though. An all-round great package in the same area. Let us know where you end up. Happy Hunting!