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Japanese Delights at Wabi Sabi

Welcome to Wabi Sabi, one of Hove’s most authentic and inviting Japanese restaurants, where you can dine on succulent sashimi, robust ramen, and divine donburi, all topped off with an expertly crafted cocktail! 

exterior shot of Wabi Sabi

As a die-hard sushi fan myself, I have been eyeing up Wabi Sabi for ages and was absolutely thrilled when I was invited to come for lunchtime treat with my bestie Lucy…Between us we have five little ones and the idea of having a quiet lunch, just the two of us, without a juice box in sight, was almost too good to be true! 

Eclectic and Inviting

On arrival, we were greeted by the friendly waitstaff who escorted us to our spacious window table. While we flicked through their extensive menu we had time to admire the eclectic decor.

Japanese delights blog - a flower wall at Wabi Sabi with quote

In the centre of the restaurant is a traditional-style Japanese sushi prep area that looks like it was plucked straight from the traditional food alleys of Tokyo. Opposite this is an Instagram-able floral wall with a decorative cherry blossom tree and a cheeky neon sign that reads ‘You were my cup of tea, but I drink sake now’, brilliant! I loved the juxtaposition of the decor, a clever nod to classic and contemporary Japanese influence.

interior shot of the Wabi Sabi

Delightful starters and Sushi Sensation

We began with the Umeshu Caipirinha cocktail, made with Umeshu plum wine, Cachaca, plenty of zesty lime, a sprinkle of demerara sugar, and a fresh sprig of mint. Light, bright, and refreshing it was the perfect start to our decadent lunch

cocktail at Wabi Sabi

For our starters, we ordered a plate of edamame, (which to me is a mandatory part of any Japanese dining experience) which was served hot with a sprinkle of sea salt. We couldn’t resist the Prawn Gyoza, served deep-fried and crunchy with a traditional dumpling dipping sauce. 

edamame with cocktail

These flavourful little pockets of deliciousness were packed full of fresh prawns. The filling was beautifully balanced with ginger and sesame, and the vinegar in the soy dipping sauce cut through the richness of the fried wrapper. A hearty two-bite gyoza that was cooked to a gorgeous golden brown, – 11/10 – I would recommend these to absolutely everyone who visits Wabi Sabi.

rawn Gyoza, served deep-fried and crunchy, with a traditional dumpling dipping sauce

My lovely mate Lucy is a sushi novice, so when I invited her along I was excited to see what she would think. Sushi can be daunting if you aren’t sure what to order and I love being able to share my undying love for Japanese food with anyone willing to go on a culinary adventure. I am by no means an expert so we were thankful that our wonderful waitress was able to offer up some exceptional recommendations.

One of my favourite things about Japanese cuisine is the presentation. Every single plate is presented like a work of art – because it is! Chefs train for years and years to perfect their craft, and slapping down anything just will not do. Sushi in particular is a fine-art and the quality of the presentation absolutely adds to the experience. The Wabi Roll enters the chat….

 8 piece Wabi Sabi sushi roll. Japanese delights

Will you look at the colour! So much fun! The signature Wabi Roll is one of Wabi Sabi’s best sellers and for good reason, this 8 piece roll was generous and ample, a perfect sharing size and filled to the brim with only the freshest seafood. Delicious as it is fun, the flavours are accessible and welcoming even to the most cautious and conservative palate.

The Wabi Roll is an inside out roll filled with finely sliced cucumber and seared salmon, topped with sashimi grade salmon, tuna, and sea bass, then sprinkled with crispy tempura flakes and topped with green and orange flying fish roe. Drizzled over top is a mix of sweet teriyaki, spicy sriracha, and kewpie mayo.The Wabi Roll’s flavours and textures worked harmoniously together to create a beautiful balanced bite in every heavenly mouthful.

Sushi isn’t filling? You clearly haven’t been to Wabi Sabi! 

Next up was the stunning salmon selection plate. If you are a salmon lover like myself, this is the dish for you! The chef serves you salmon in seven ways, and each one is more delicious than the last, a true celebration of salmon in every bite. The first thing I dove into was the salmon sashimi, succulent slices of only the highest quality salmon. The texture is like butter, rich, delicate, and simply melts in your mouth. 

salmon selection plate including: salmon sashimi, cooked salmon we were served a teriyaki salmon maki roll, made with cooked salmon, cucumber and topped with sweet teriyaki sauce

For our cooked salmon we were served a teriyaki salmon maki roll, made with cooked salmon, cucumber and topped with sweet teriyaki sauce. Maki rolls have the seaweed on the outside of the roll which adds an extra level of texture and a deeper umami profile, absolutely delicious. 

Salmon seven ways, yes please! 

Chef included two types of salmon nigiri, Sake (lean salmon) and Toro (fatty belly salmon), both presented on a small ball of sushi rice and a tiny dot of wasabi. He also added two Ikura nigiri (Salmon Roe) served atop rice and wrapped in thin seaweed. Although not for everyone, these tiny pops of unctuous salty roe are a unique texture that I absolutely adore. 

Japanese delights at Wabi Sabi

Next up was the spicy salmon inside-out rolls, cucumber and fresh salmon wrapped in rice and seaweed, sprinkled with sesame seeds, and topped with a dollop of spicy mayo. 

And the finale was Lucy’s favourite; a sesame salmon poke, served in an abalone shell. Small pieces of sashimi mixed with sesame oil, fresh green onion and topped with salmon roe. A sensational celebration of all things salmon, and so substantial we had to bring some home. 

In fact, we were so full from our feast that I had to come back the following week to sample the rest…the things I do for Restaurants Brighton I tell you. 

Wabi Sabi round two! 

One week later I snuck out with another girlfriend for a cheeky evening at Wabi Sabi, because I just had to try their ramen, and it was absolutely worth the wait. 

Tonkotsu Ramen

No such thing as too much salmon. We ordered the Salmon Teriyaki plate, and the Tonkotsu Ramen to share and they were both exceptional.

The Salmon Teriyaki was soft and flaky, cooked until tender, and topped with a drizzle of teriyaki glaze. The salmon was served with a portion of white rice sprinkled with sesame seeds, and a fresh side salad drizzled with yuzu sesame dressing. The salmon was delicate and more-ish, and the traditional teriyaki sauce was a delicious balance of sweet and salty. 

Revolutionary ramen

My tantalizing Tonkotsu Ramen was made with love and filled with joy. A rich and creamy pork broth, served with hearty slices of smoked pork chashu (pork shoulder), a seasoned medium boiled egg, springy ramen noodles, a traditional technicolour fish cake and topped with bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, and a flourish of spring onions. The deeply-flavoured, nourishing broth is exactly what you would expect from an exceptional traditional Japanese ramen. Full of rich aromatics, and reduced over time, giving the broth its immense depth in flavour. If you have a cold, or even feel one coming on, this is the kind of hearty dish that will heal your mind, body and soul.


Wabi Sabi outdid themselves not once, but twice.

Once again I am blown away by the incredible hospitality scene in Brighton. Wabi Sabi has absolutely outdone themselves with generous portions of top tier quality seafood, outstanding presentation and attention to detail, and sincere authentic service. Every dish was both delicious and beautiful, and whether you are a seasoned sushi lover, or someone looking to expand their culinary horizons, Wabi Sabi will no doubt exceed your expectations in every way. Thank you so much for having me and I’ll be back again for my third helping very soon!

Want to know more about Wabi Sabi, Hove?
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Getting there
Map for Wabi Sabi, Hove
121 Church Rd, Hove, Brighton and Hove, Hove BN3 2AF, United Kingdom
Opening Hours

Monday 12:00pm10:00pm

Tuesday 12:00pm10:00pm

Wednesday 12:00pm10:00pm

Thursday 12:00pm10:00pm

Friday 12:00pm10:00pm

Saturday 12:00pm10:00pm

Sunday 12:00pm10:00pm