Although I am usually none-too-excited when big chains from London start making their way down to Brighton, I have to admit that I was happy to hear that an Itsu would be opening up on Brighton’s North Street. I became addicted to Itsu when working in Farringdon, London. It became my go-to lunch destination when I was fancying something lighter and healthier than a sandwich come 1pm. I was especially happy to be invited to the champagne opening launch party (what could be better than an evening of food and bubbly?!) and getting to have a first-peek at the new restaurant, sample some of the dishes and meet the staff who will be running the Brighton branch.
Itsu pride themselves on providing “lower fat, lower calorie, delicious food” and their slogan proclaims that here you can “eat beautiful”. Despite having so far failed to wake up looking like the bikini-clad. volleyball-playing models which smile from the walls and menu as a result of eating Itsu, I still on the whole agree with this message. All the food looks very appetising and is extremely well presented, colourful and most importantly tasty. Made fresh every hour, on the hour, there is something comforting in knowing that the sushi you pick up hasn’t been languishing in the fridge since early in the morning, or even the day before.
Created by the founder of Pret A Manger, there is definitely something similar about the feel of Itsu to it’s lunchtime sister -chain giant. In addition to sushi and salad boxes there is also a good range of vegetarian hot food available in the form of ‘Potsus’ (mostly consisting of different kinds of rice or noodle-soup dishes with vegetables) and Itsu branded sides and snacks including chocolate covered edamame beans, rice cakes and wasabi peas. All the food I tried was high quality and, although moderately expensive, did seem fairly priced. I particularly love the avocado sushi, my only gripe being that they don’t offer a larger vegetarian sushi box as I would love to have more! Particularly special is the Frozen fat free Yoghurt which at less than 100 calories a portion is a delicious and guilt-free post meal treat.
The launch party, organised by the lovely ladies from Aneela Rose PR, was a great bash (me being amongst the last to leave thanks to the fun atmosphere and freely flowing champagne) and it was a great way to get Brighton workers, bloggers and influencers together to create a buzz around the opening. For me certainly it reminded me how much I enjoy the food and I will certainly be returning very soon for luncheons. On a final note It is worth mentioning that Itsu also have a great initiative to prevent wastage which sees them slash their prices by 50% everyday for half an hour before closing which is perfect for grabbing something to go after a hard night of late night shopping!