When it comes to cuisine in the UK's most popular seaside haven, Brighton tends to conjure up images of crispy fish and chips in the minds of the uninitiated. However, this increasingly trendy and cosmopolitan hotspot has went through something of a culinary renaissance in recent years, and these days you're just as likely to come across award-winning traditional Japanese food as well as some creative fusion twists.
The best way to experience Brighton's Japanese food scene is through sharing, and luckily the city is bursting with venues offering inventive small plates to try with your friends. Here's a round-up of some of the best Japanese tapas Brighton has to offer, just make sure you brush up on your etiquette beforehand!
1. Red Hot Chicken Kaarage from Sunoso
Bright, airy and hip Sunoso is widely beloved by locals and critics alike, and stands out for its inventive use of traditional Japanese haiku poetry in its branding. However, this place goes far beyond literary gimmicks, serving up some seriously tasty Japanese and Thai dishes which complement the punchy, youthful vibe that the place strives to give off. The winner here is their Red-Hot Chicken Kaarage, consisting of Japanese-style fried chicken, served with rice and vegetables, topped off with generous dollops of their signature Sunoso Sauce, which has to be tried to be believed.
2. Salmon Katsu Burger from Moshimo
Katsu, the comforting deep-fried Japanese staple, usually made with chicken or pork, has been well-received by the British public and is probably the most popular Japanese dish in the country. Achingly hip Moshimo offers up an unexpected and flavoursome variation with their Salmon Katsu Burger, which consists of Japanese-style fish burgers that have been fried in breadcrumbs and drizzled with rich katsu sauce. Definitely a delicious upgrade to your post-night-out fast food burger!
3. Furikake Fries from YO!
YO! might not immediately spring to mind for those on the hunt for some tasty tapas, but their vast and ever-growing menu includes so much more than sushi, with quirky fusion dishes that are as memorable as they are delicious. A must-try is without a doubt their sizzling hot Furikake Fries, consisting of a hefty pile of fries topped-off with their addictive sriracha mayo, and sprinkled with aonori, sesame, yuzu furikake (a popular Japanese seasoning made of dried fish and seaweed), and some smoky bonito flakes. Out of everything on this list, these would make the ultimate bar snack.
4. Horenso No Goma-ae from Shogun Ramen
Goma-ae is a popular side dish you can find at pretty much any Japanese restaurant on the planet and is a relatively simple concoction of spinach mixed with peanut sauce or miso paste, topped with sesame seeds. Nonetheless, this dish is a vital addition to any Japanese feast, and some of the best can be found at Shogun Ramen, where the Goma-ae can be savoured at its most refreshing. This is a mind-blowingly moreish tapas dish which complements pretty much anything, so definitely worth a try.
Luckily, you and your friends can enjoy all of these dishes at home, throwing the perfect Japanese feast in the comfort of your living room by ordering from Deliveroo!