Moshimo, Brighton

🍣 That’s how we roll now 🍣

I haven’t been to a sushi restaurant like Moshimo since 2010. Our love of restaurants with sushi belts and saki faded into the noughties with Erol Alkan, all-day hangovers and trips to the loo without an audience.

So when the Big One asked to try out a sushi restaurant because she’s never been before, I *literally* jumped for joy.

We chose Moshimo in Brighton. It turned out to be the best spontaneous meal out we’ve had as a family. Bravo, Big One. Bravo.

Fast, delicious, healthy, sustainable and fun! Unintentional family-friendly perfection.

The restaurant

Moshimo’s in the middle of Bartholomew Square. It’s housed inside a stunning out-of-place Japanese style building. It’s very beautiful. The doors look like Japanese paper walls: they slide all the way open in summer; and give off a cosy Studio Ghibli-esque glow on a dark winter’s night. It’s a very magical building indeed.

Inside, it’s all chrome and plants, booths and high benches, sparkly red fish hanging from the ceiling and endless plates of sushi pootling around the conveyor belts. Space age in a Y2K kinda way.

The vibe

We rocked up just after 5pm, half expecting it to be closed until 6pm. But it was open and not completely empty, pleasantly surprising for mid-Jan. It’s cosy inside despite being space age. I’m not sure why, but it’s a really enjoyable space to dine in. I suppose that’s the thing with great architecture.

The food & drink

Little girl looking at sushi belt in Moshimo
Watching the sushi go by

The Escalator

The Girls patiently browsed and picked what they fancied off the sushi “escalator”. And then ate most of what they chose. It was a revelation in just how grown-up (and well-trained) they are now. If only meal times could always be this easy.

I wish we’d tried this sooner. It was a real eye-opener.

Sussex Born & Fed Moshimo restaurant review - sushi belt
Watching the sushi go by

This is where sushi on a belt is great with kids. You sit down, grab whatever plates get your attention and dig in. Immediately. It’s amazing. No waiting, no whining, no playing up. Just getting on with the task of eating dinner.

This is fast food perfection, in my opinion.

We ate maki, nigiri, and lots and lots of edamame beans. We tried a bowl of seaweed but I wasn’t sure about the texture; neither were The Girls. The Husband on the other hand lapped it up with lashings of soy.

Moshimo, salmon nigiri
Salmon nigiri – super popular with The Girls

Hilarious edamame beans were a big feature of our evening. The girls’ sides split when they realised they could fire peas from their shells. We ate 2 bowls and I had to fight The Little One from grabbing a third. There’s something indescribably moorish about salty little edamames.

Bowl of edamame in Moshimo
Hilarious & delicious edamame

From the menu

We ordered Ika squid kara-age (crispy squid served in a spicy sauce) and tempura king prawns. The squid was much too spicy for the girls but crispy and delicious; the tempura prawns disappeared in a puff. They were gloriously soft and sweet with a lovely light crispy batter and yummy dipping sauce on the side.

Moshimo, sustainable squid dish
Ika squid kara-age

For pudding

The Husband grabbed a Boho Gelato vegan peanut brittle ice cream and we ordered another chocolate pancake for The Big One. The waitress kindly popped it on the belt by our table so she could “find” it herself.

Moshimo dorayaki pancakes
Chocolate Dorayaki Pancakes

I grabbed a custard pancake, which I fancied with coffee and a leftover sweet rice dumpling. They didn’t have coffee so we ordered a pot of “puffed rice” genmaicha green tea, which was absolutely stunning. I’ve never had a tea quite like it. A grown-up super hot, savoury sugar puff drink served in a divine tea pot with Japanese tea cups.

Moshimo puffed rice genmaicha green tea
“Puffed Rice” Genmaicha Green Tea

The staff

Super friendly, helpful and completely won over by the girls. Really efficient service.

For kids

There’s no colouring or kids menu (at least we weren’t offered) but this didn’t matter. The novelty of having food sailing by, new dishes to try, child-friendly chopsticks, edamames to pop, chocolate pancake in amongst mains, no waiting, massive glasses of juice and grown-up chairs was enough to keep them busy until our pot of tea arrived. There was a little bit of playing up at this point, so we handed over our phones and drank our tea in peace.

I’m not sure I’d take a restless toddler here, this would not have been a fun family meal out for us a couple of years ago. But as The Little One is almost 5, it’s much more doable for us. Likewise, this would be great spot with a babe in arms for lunch with a friend or early dinner.

The ethics

Impressively, Moshimo is the home of the Fishlove campaign. The campaign has been running since 2009 and features series of nude celebrities artily covering their bits with fish to raise awareness of environmental damage caused by overfishing. Have a look, it’s impressive on many fronts.

They’re nailing it on the vegan front too. Moshimo’s commitment to plant based dishes is nothing short of amazing. They’re hosting the Great Moshimo Vegan Challenge again this year: heats start tomorrow (Thursday 23rd Jan) and finals are later this year in November.

The verdict

We left giggling about the peas and with bellies full of delicious food. The girls cried when we got to the car, because, what if we never go back?

I think it’s safe to say that they really, truly loved it. Which is fabulous for us, as we’d forgotten just how much we love it too.

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