Ethical sushi? Sounds fishy

Sustainability is an important issue, one that we all need to play our part in if environmental disaster is to be averted. So can a fish restaurant really champion sustainability in our oceans, or is it just lip service?

Moshimo co-owners Karl Jones and Nicolas Röhl argue that, on the contrary, a fish restaurant is the very thing that can create that change; and they’ve done rather a lot more than just talk about it.

Moshimo launched its “Fishlove” campaign in 2009 to address the lack of action by politicians to respond decisively to the impending collapse of the world’s fish stocks. The striking photographs of naked celebrities embracing fish has become one of the most successful global campaigns ever to tackle overfishing.

Making tough decisions guided by ethics isn’t the easiest of things for a restaurant to do, as it means pulling popular choices off the menu. This, however, is exactly what Moshimo has been doing over the years: it has led the way in taking endangered bluefin tuna and European eel off the menu and refuses to serve any fish that is listed as “fish to avoid” by the Marine Conservation Society.

With its continued commitment to sustainability, Moshimo has been increasing its plant-based menu and promotes plant-based eating with 25% off its vegan selection every Wednesday (or to keep it alliterating VVednesday). The extensive vegan and vegetarian menu includes nigiri, maki, hosomaki sushi, udon and katsu dishes and even a mock duck teriyaki.

Becoming a member of Moshimo is probably one of the most rewarding altruistic things you can do. The Membership fee helps fund the Fishlove campaign as well as entitling you to 50% off on Vegan VVednesday, 50% off on Mondays and Tuesdays too, and 50% off all of January and February (excluding weekends), complimentary prosecco on your birthday, and £5 off ticketed events. And what extortionate sum must you cough up to get all this? £24

The Great Moshimo Vegan Challenge has become a major part of the foodie calendar and has gone some way to legitimising plant-based fare amongst chefs, who traditionally have been known to be disparaging of the cuisine. Originally introduced to highlight what the menu would look like if fish stocks continued to deplete, the Challenge brings together top chefs from the city and beyond to compete in producing the best Japanese influenced vegan dish.

Moshimo’s future plans include an epic transformation of the already iconic restaurant into an architectural spectacular. The bold vision will see an extension rising seven stories out of the existing building, providing views of the sea and old town to diners whilst resembling a Japanese paper lantern to viewers from the surrounding streets. The project further regenerates the area of Bartholomew Square, which Moshimo began when it first opened at the turn of the millennium.

Of course it is all very good, looking impressive and being a global campaign trailblazer but that won’t keep your sliding paper doors open if your main product isn’t up to scratch. Moshimo remains for many, the number one sushi and Japanese food restaurant in Brighton, because what they offer is a high quality, consistent and authentic product.

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