25 Jan 2020
13th January 2019
E-kagen Sushi & Noodle Café, Brighton: review
The pitch: Japanese comfort food in an authentic no-frills café setting.
Review: E-Kagen is a great-value, no-frills café set above an Asian supermarket in the centre of Brighton. Don’t expect high-end, delicately flavoured works of art here: E-Kagen gives you a big, robust punch of flavour and you even have to collect your own chopsticks. Those who come for the food alone and enjoy the ease of a low key setting will love this place. Others may find the environment a little shabby and the self-assembled menus a trifle scruffy but one glance at the chef working his magic and all is forgiven. Working in an open kitchen on the one-level dining area the chef creates all the classics – ramen, udon, sushi, donburi, curry and a selection of ‘tapas’ starters. As a frequent customer the real standouts from the menu are the Age Tofu (fried tofu in tempura sauce) which is flavourful in all the right ways, and the Kimchi Ramen which is hot and tasty with enough oomph to clear the sinuses. For a less spicy meal the Tonkatsu Curry comes perfectly fried and doused in sauce. The sushi portions can come up quite small, so I’d recommend going when you want a big bowl of warm noodles or a fix of gyoza and Calpis. For a true Japanese experience and a little taste of ‘home away from home’ E-Kagen is the place to go.
Point of note: Finding out when the café is open can feel like a treasure hunt. This lovable café has seemingly ever-changing opening days/hours that can be found on a handwritten note on the shop door. To keep updated and avoid disappointment, check out their Facebook and Instagram pages for more info (if you’re lucky).
Cost: Main dishes are £6-9 each, starters under £5, and a set menu including a main, rice, miso soup and salad for around £8.
Location: 22-23 Sydney Street, Brighton, BN1 4EN
Photo credit: The Brighton Source