If you’ve ever walked along Hove seafront on a sunny (or even not so sunny) day, you’ve probably seen the long lines of people queuing for Marrocco’s ice cream.
This place is a bit of a Brighton and Hove institution – it’s been open since 1969 and has seen generations of happy customers. First opened by Renato and Maria Marrocco, and now with their son Peter and business partner Altin at the helm, this is an iconic Hove location for food and drink.
First famous for their ice-cream (which we will get to, don’t you worry), Morocco’s also enjoys a splendid reputation for their spectacular seafood platters, available by pre-order. But this is all on top of their standard menu of authentic Italian food, cooked fresh on the premises. We eagerly went along to sample some.
The menu is a who’s who of classic Italian cuisine – pizza, pasta, risotto, as well as steak on the grill. Considering the reputation of seafood at Marrocco’s, we decided that we had to try some seafood starters – the Calamari Fritti and the king prawns, Gamberoni in Padella.
The calamari came in a generous portion, delicious little bits of beautiful squid deep-fried in a light, crispy batter. Dipped in lovely garlic aioli, they were a real delight. The king prawns were huge beauties of crustaceans, that came on a bed of salad leaves dressed in a flavoursome tomato sauce.
Any self-respecting customer in an Italian establishment has to try the bread – so we went for the bruschetta starter, too. The bread was crusty yet light and soft, topped with good olive oil, chunks of garlic and chopped cherry tomatoes. Simple Italian flavours at their best and absolutely delicious.
For the mains, we decided to try some of the specials section of the menu. First, the sea bass – a beautiful whole grilled fish garnished with lemon, served with buttered seasonal vegetables and a choice of potatoes. We went for the homemade chips, which were golden and thick-cut.
We had to try some pasta Paccheri Con Frutti Di Mare – sheets of wonderful homemade pasta, piled with generous servings of mussels, king prawns and clams, all finished with a tomato cream sauce so good that we mopped the plate with bread at the end.
To finish, we simply had to try the Marrocco’s ice cream. We enjoyed a selection – pistachio, chocolate, blueberry cheesecake, strawberry, vanilla, cookies and cream, salted caramel and mango sorbet. What can we say? Those queues are well-deserved. Our particular favourites were the pistachio, blueberry cheesecake, salted caramel and cookies and cream. Although we could just list all of them as they were so good.
If you’re after delicious food in a welcoming atmosphere – go to Marrocco’s. It’s as simple as that.