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Table talk: The sushi restaurant that's great for vegans

Eating & Drinking
Table talk

Kathleen Steeden

26 March 2018

Moshimo in Brighton isn't your ordinary sushi joint. Yes there's a conveyor belt but there's also a huge commitment to sustainable seafood and a real focus on including vegan and vegetarian diners. Kathleen Steeden readies her chopsticks...

Moshimo has been lauded as one of the UK’s best sushi restaurants and as a Brighton institution, a reputation that is perhaps partly down to its impressive ability to tick many boxes for many different people. It’s a casual conveyor-belt sushi diner that doubles as an elegant venue for an intimate dinner; an expert in traditional Japanese cuisine that isn’t scared to experiment with fusion flavours; and a sustainable seafood specialist that also champions plant-based eating.

The food

Moshimo serves kaiten-zushi (conveyor belt sushi), which winds its way around the restaurant so that diners can select plates at their leisure. There’s also a full à la carte menu, offering a choice of hot and prepared-to-order dishes.

Moshimo specialises in sushi and sashimi, which can be served as a selection platter (on a bamboo boat if you’re seated in one of the restaurant’s booths) or as individual dishes. These range from traditionally prepared and beautifully simple sashimi of the freshest raw tuna steak or delicate seabass, to experimental fusion flavours, such as vegetarian maki with cream cheese, mizuna and sundried tomato.

Moshimo Brighton Review1
“Moshimo also holds a PETA award for the promotion of plant-based eating – not bad for one of Brighton’s top sushi restaurants”

It’s not just sushi on offer, however. Moshimo’s range of kozara – Japanese tapas-style dishes – includes some of the restaurant’s finest and most creative food. 

Standouts include the ika squid kar-age, which is deep-fried in cornflour until crispy and smothered in a sweet and spicy chilli sauce, or cod cheek tempura, supremely delicate fish wrapped in a batter so light it threatens to float away. 

Unusually for a sushi restaurant, Moshimo also offers an outstanding selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes that are just as appealing as its fish- and meat-based options. 

On Wednesdays there’s 50% off all vegan dishes, and the restaurant serves an additional menu of plant-based specials, such as spicy mushroom gunkan and California maki with vegan ‘prawn’.

The drinks

There’s a decent wine selection alongside the usual Japanese beers and Sencha teas. For something a little different, though, try Moshimo’s good-value sake flights, which give the uninitiated a chance to sample three distinct sakes, or select one of the cocktails, classics which are given a Japanese twist with sake, plum wine or yuzu syrup – the sake margherita works surprisingly well.

Moshimo Brighton Review2

Mark it in your diaries - vegans get 50% off on Wednesdays

The vibe

Good design is central to the Moshimo ethos. The restaurant is housed in a modern single-storey building, with external walls that can slide back like traditional Japanese shoji screens, opening the dining room to the outside world. Inside, a striking red ceiling and simple black furnishings give a nod to Japanese design but avoids feeling like knock off Orientalism.

Seats at the bar offer views of the kitchen and a perfect perch for a casual after-work dinner. For a more intimate meal, choose to sit in one of the black ‘bento booths’.

The sustainability bit

Moshimo has made headlines with its Fishlove campaign, which over the last eight years has seen around 100 celebrities pose naked with different species of fish to highlight the need to end overfishing.

The restaurant is committed to using only non-endangered fish, sustainably farmed salmon, organic prawns and meat sourced from Sussex producers.

Moshimo also holds a PETA award for the promotion of plant-based eating – not bad for one of Brighton’s top sushi restaurants.

When to go

Moshimo is open Monday to Sunday 12pm to 11pm, and Moshimo members get 50% off the bill on Mondays and Tuesdays. Every Wednesday is vegan night, when members get 50% off plant-based dishes (25% for non-members).

Where is Moshimo?

Moshimo is located in Bartholomew Square in the heart of Brighton’s Lanes. Big changes are on the horizon, however, as last year Moshimo was given the go-ahead for its showstopping Skylight project. This will see the development of a new lantern-like restaurant, which will soar over the Lanes seven storeys up, giving diners views over Brighton’s historic old town. 

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