By Ruth Hazard
Who would have thought that a restaurant review would rave about a place where the food is served cold and uncooked? Well Brighton Lite is about to do exactly that.
Photo used courtesy of creative commons by adactio
As we face the New Year and a barrage of healthy eating resolutions many of us resign ourselves to a fridge full of lettuce, but if this doesn’t whet your appetite then fear not- Moshi Moshi is here to save you!
Japanese cuisine is renowned for its health credentials; sushi is low in fat, full of vitamin rich vegetables and fish and a good source of energy and protein. But this alone isn’t enough, however good the food may be on the conscience, it counts for nothing if it tastes more virtuous than it does delicious.
Cue Moshi Moshi. Whether you’re a raw food connoisseur or a nervous newbie, the exciting and innovative menu will see you keep to your 2012 promises without even noticing.
Founded in 1994 the restaurant in Bartholomew Square in the South Lanes has worked to establish itself as one of Brighton’s most popular restaurants racking up an array of prestigious national and international awards.
If you sign up for the £10 membership scheme then you benefit from 50 per cent discount every week on Moshi Mondays, giving you all the usual menu and conveyor belt options for half the price. You’re likely to make back your membership fee in just one visit and it really is a fantastic way to try more while spending less after the excesses of Christmas.
The handmade sushi is freshly prepared before you by Japanese chefs who twist tablets of rice, fish and vegetables in to fine, authentic delicacies. These are offered conveyor belt style so you have the chance to eye up your choices as they make their way round to your seat.
Don’t see anything you fancy? Not a problem, a large and extensive menu lists English titles and ingredients so you don’t accidentally end up with a plate of monkfish liver.
Sushi is the main attraction with an extensive selection that changes with your visit as the menu is based on seasonal ingredients.
There’s all the usual crowd pleasers such as salmon, tuna and prawn in all their various Japanese incarnations but also a selection for the more experimental in your midst. Eel, squid, fish roe and sea urchin all make an appearance served among avocado, egg and pickled vegetables with plenty of fiery ginger and Japanese horseradish on the side.
If you really don’t know where to start choose a sushi platter that gives you a little bit of everything and the chance to suss out what you like.
For those looking to splash out the Moshi Moshi sushi boat is a beautiful assortment of maki, nigiri and handrolls presented to you on a wooden ship. The boat brings some added theatre to your table as you feast your eyes, as well as your taste buds, on what promises to be a real treat.
The menu offers an array of both hot and cold tapas-style bites that wouldn’t be out of place in an izakaya in Japan. There’s crispy filled dumplings (gyoza), skewers of chicken in a deliciously sticky sauce (chicken yakitori), seared scallops with lime mayonnaise and spicy peas and asparagus served al dente wrapped in wafer thin layers of beef.
It’s not a problem if you can’t choose between these tempting little treats and the stream of weird and wonderful sushi passing by; you’re free to have both mixing and matching the hot with the cold, the menu with the belt.
If sushi’s not your bag then fear not. For those in search of a good hearty meal there’s non sushi alternatives in the form of rib eye teriyaki beef, breaded fried chicken with curry sauce (katsu), Korean lamb cutlets, Cornish grilled fish in a ponzu dressing and whole buttered lobster- all served with rice and pickles (and all cooked)! There’s thick noodle soups (udon) too, a healthy warming dish full of flavour and perfect on a cold winter’s night.
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Vegetarians will not go hungry with a choice including aubergine cooked in sweet yellow miso (dengaku), tofu skin filled with brown rice and squash (inari), light and crispy vegetable tempura, hot and spicy chilli noodles and sweet-sour Japanese omelette (tamago). There’s even a vegan selection on the menu ensuring there’s a seat for everyone at the sushi bar.
Deserts have been given a Japanese twist, with green tea crème brulee and traditional rice balls filled with sweet nutty fillings (mochi). The drinks selection is standard with a few additions such as sencha green tea and matcha milkshake to keep things authentic
The food is not just delicious it’s fresh too. The stock used in their soup is homemade as well as many of the sauces, including the wonderful teriyaki sauce, which is made by simmering fresh vegetables in soy for five hours.
The fish is sustainably caught and many of their vegetables are sourced from a farm in Sussex. The tofu is handmade and organic and is also made nearby in Lewes.
An interesting and innovative menu offers dishes to tempt even the most squeamish of eaters disillusioned by the idea of an uncooked meal. For more information, to see the menu and to sign up as a Moshi Moshi member visit the website http://www.moshibrighton.co.uk/index.html.