Is it the wasabi? The pickled ginger? The salty soy sauce? Sticky rice? The combination of it all with delicate raw fish? Nammie Matthews discovers why we can’t get enough sushi in Brighton 

Brighton’s original conveyor belt sushi restaurant offers a unique dining experience for guests eating in. Choose from bento, sushi, and kozara (or Japanese tapas) straight from the belt, or order freshly prepared sashimi from the kitchen, and be transported on a taste journey to the bustling sushi bars of downtown Tokyo. With its sliding screens and contemporary Japanese setting, you’ll easily forget you’re in Bartholomew Square as your devour course after course of Japanese yumminess. 

 In a hurry? Moshimo (a telephone greeting in Japan) offer a great deal of their delicious menu to takeaway. Famous for its Fishlove campaign – which aims to make fishing more sustainable – Moshimo also takes pride in its vegetarian and vegan dishes and offers a full gluten-free menu, ensuring nobody misses out. 

Set in the foodie paradise of Preston Street, Sushi Garden serves up an excellent range of Japanese cuisine – including sushi, sashimi and grill dishes – in its traditional wood-panelled space that could have been taken right out of Osaka itself. 

Treat yourself to pleasantly light maki and fresher-than-fresh sashimi during the summer, washed down with a refreshing glass of their special ‘sake-tinis’, or head down and try their delightful donburi dishes or ramen broth – an absolute joy in the pending cooler months. 

Authentic Japanese food is served from an open kitchen in this low-key canteen, situated above oriental supermarket Yum Yums on Sydney Street. But don’t be misled by the restaurant’s simplicity; what E-Kagen may lack in ambiance it more than makes up for in the flavour of its dishes – of which the numerous Asian customers that flock to this exclusive eatery (it’s only open Friday to Sunday) each week will surely attest. 

 While sushi isn’t the only thing you can find at E-Kagen, you’d be a fool to miss out on their variety of sushi and sashimi, which boasts specialties from the land of the rising sun itself. 

Part-owned by DJ Norman Cook (Brighton & Hove’s very own Fatboy Slim), classy restaurant-bar Oki-Nami serves Japanese dishes – not least including sushi – in a modern minimalist setting. Open in 1994, the restaurant claims to be Brighton’s original Japanese restaurant, however moved to New Road in 2008, adding a pre-theatre menu and a bar (which nine years on still gets incredibly busy at the weekends). 

 Though Japanese restaurants in Brighton are aplenty, Oki-Nami is one of the best around, offering delicious Japanese classics alongside new dishes with a twist made using only the finest and freshest of ingredients. Look out for their sushi workshops too, which make for a great foodie date or celebration. 

It’s sushi, but not quite as you know it. Inspired by those trusty Californian rolls we all know and love, Happy Maki puts its own spin on the sushi classic – combining two Brighton cuisine faves by presenting us with an entire menu full of what can only be described as sushi burritos. 

 100% vegan friendly, each wrap contains familiar Asian themes re-imagined by Happy Maki – think Hoisin ‘Duck’, made with sesame, avocado, cucumber and spring onion – lovingly encased in sushi rice and seaweed. Plus, each wrap bought also plants a tree and feeds a child, while Happy Maki itself runs completely off of green energy. Charitable, sustainable and delectable? That’s something we can all get behind. 

While it may translate to ‘purple’ in Japanese – the colour of love and constancy – you’ll find little of the regal colour in Murasaki, but plenty of the love. Featuring clean lines, a wooden floor and both restaurant and bar-side seating, the bamboo filled restaurant serves a generously adventurous choice of sushi, including almost anything from eel and raw prawn to octopus and scallops. 

Aside from the usual sake and plum wine, there are also Japanese inspired cocktails to wash down with your sushi. Don’t fancy sitting down? Murasaki’s sister site Bento, just around the corner on Montpelier Place, offers everything to take away, so you can enjoy your sushi in the sun at the nearby St Ann’s Well Gardens.

Following successful residencies at Oseta Café and cult Brighton fave Marwoods, Tropical Sushi has landed its own permanent location right in the middle of town on Western Road. Mixing traditional sushi with Venezuelan influences, it’s no wonder the Latin-Japanese fusion cuisine has taken Brighton by storm – and the staff are among the friendliest you’ll ever meet.

Expect nigiri with a tropical twist, and impeccable pairings of flavours you’ll be shocked nobody thought of – until now. 

Published -9th October 2018