Everything you want in a brunch and more!
Moksha is located in central Brighton, just opposite St Peter’s Church, near London Road. They first opened in 2007 as a coffee shop, pure and simple, but have since evolved into a food led café. Now they are proud to serve top-notch breakfasts, brunches and lunches, expertly cooked using fresh, local and ethical produce and this year they celebrate their 10th birthday!
It is very much a family affair. The café is run by Oliver de Trafford, a trained chef with many years’ experience in hospitality. Mum and stepdad, Kate and Karl, helped to get it off the ground, partner Lotta does her bit to keep things running smoothly and young son Leo makes sure the babyccino is up to snuff.
Handcrafted and sourced with care
They serve everything from homemade house salads and fresh soups, through to traditional breakfasts and quality hand-crafted burgers.
Animal welfare is more than a buzz word here, it’s a moral drive, and they only use free-range eggs and free-range meat supplied by a local butcher.
Their artisan coffee is roasted in nearby Littlehampton. They are so passionate about coffee that they have created their very own Moksha blend with a distinctive deep, rich taste, and if you like it white, they only use organic milk.
A Scandinavian-style oasis
We arrived, one chilly November morning, to warm our bones with a hearty brunch.
We were immediately struck by how calm and peaceful it was inside, given that, just outside, the traffic was heaving and the residents of Brighton were bustling about with great purpose. Yet, walk through the door and you step into a soothing, Scandinavian oasis of simple, elegant quietude.
The décor is all about clean lines, open space and natural light with lots of virgin wood and a restful grey-green colour scheme, which is currently jazzed up with very festive Christmas bling.
It was also immediately clear just how popular the café is, with nary an empty seat to be seen for the whole duration of our visit, which was quite a while as there was much to discuss! As it happens, it is a brilliant place for a natter, as there is no loud music to compete with, just the pleasant, chilled hum of relaxed conversation from other like-minded diners.
Perfect for leisurely brunch
We settled in over a steaming cup of tea and a luxurious mug of hot chocolate sprinkled with cocoa.
To eat, my friend went for the Moksha breakfast, a full English with a free-range, award-winning Cumberland sausage, free-range bacon, free-range eggs, grilled flat mushroom, grilled beef tomato, homemade baked beans and toasted sourdough.
The sausage was delicious and good and meaty – no sawdust here. The bacon was crispy in all the right places and the scrambled eggs were soft, light and fluffy. The mushroom was beefy and succulent and along with everything else, very well-seasoned. The juicy tomato was refreshing and cleansed the palate and the beans were a minor revelation, soft and saucy with an intense, tangy tomato flavour, scrumptious! The toast was also very good and the little pats of butter were soft and spreadable.
After an exceptionally carnivorous few days, I decided to go for the vegetarian breakfast: grilled flat mushrooms, cherry vine tomatoes, wilted spinach, homemade baked beans, free-range eggs and toasted sourdoughh. I also added avocado and smoked salmon. I had the same fabulous beans and mushrooms but my little cherry tomatoes cooked on the vine packed a slightly sharper burst of flavour.
I opted for my eggs poached and they were just right, oozing glorious golden yolks over the divine, just wilted, salty, iron-rich spinach, yum!
With hindsight, I should have stopped there, as it was ample food, but avocado and smoked salmon are two of my weaknesses. So, I got half an avocado, sliced and fanned, and beautifully ripe so that it was soft and creamy. My smoked salmon arrived in a separate dish and appeared to be two very generous slices, folded like pancakes, and presented with a good wedge of lemon and a sprinkling of micro herbs and chives. It brought a little Christmas luxury to my breakfast but I did have to sacrifice a few beans and some toast in order to finish it.
We laughed when the waiter suggested a slice of cake to follow.
The staff were perfect, friendly and helpful, attentive without being intrusive.
I already plan to return to try their huevos rancheros, their intriguing sounding middle-eastern inspired Shakshuka and their yummy sounding, American-style, banana pancakes with toffee sauce. Mm mmm…
Oh, and if you were wondering what Moksha means it is a Hindu term for liberation. 😉