Happy sushi days: review of Happy Maki, Brighton

I’m sure every vegan will be able to relate to the fact that when you decide to go on a trip, finding out where you can find vegan options can be a bit of a minefield when you’re not familiar with the country. Searching Google and asking in local groups for advice are typical ways for us to find what we need to know, but wouldn’t it be helpful if all this information was in one place, like Vegan Edinburgh for those who are visiting Edinburgh?

I’ve decided that I’m going to share where I’ve been and also share reviews of places I’ve visited in my travels (I’ll also have posts on Hong Kong and London still to come) and share them with you. Hopefully this will give you a bit of a starting point on finding places that might be of interest! I’d previously written about The Recruiting Sergeant in Grantham (see here) and today I want to share with you my one of new favourite haunts in Brighton: Happy Maki.

Recently, my OH and in-laws were making a trip to Southampton and I decided since it was so close to Hove and Brighton, I would tag along and try to fit in some vegan adventures while we were that far south of the country. I was looking at getting a pair of boots from Beyond Skin but I wasn’t quite sure which size to get, so I arranged an appointment to visit their offices to try on a couple of sizes. Since we left early in the morning from Edinburgh and arrived late at night, I knew I had to have a plan of where I would get sustenance. We’d hired a car from Southampton Airport and in the tight schedule we had (traffic was terrible), we managed to stop over at Happy Maki for some sushi burritos for on the go dinner.

The shop isn’t very big, but with the minimal, clean décor and downstairs seating area, the space appears much bigger and is bright and open even when we arrived at night. The menu is clearly displayed and staff are on hand, ready to start rolling your sushi burrito whenever you’re ready to order.

There are also plenty of teas and Whole Earth soft drinks to choose from as well as a banana mylkshake and berry smoothie.

Bluebird teas

Whole Earth soft drinks

Looking at their menu (here), there are 7 sushi burritos to choose from and plenty of sides and drinks as well. When you read the ingredients for each, you can’t deny they’re all tempting to vegans and I was really tempted to get one of each…for myself. As the designated driver for the evening, I knew I wasn’t going to be eating my dinner till we arrived at the airport, so sadly I decided against ordering sides in case it went soggy. I would like to go back and try the popcorn cauliflower though and inari (tofu pockets) are a firm favourite of mine!

Once you’ve placed your order, the staff quickly and efficiently start filling your sushi burrito. I was very impressed with the fact we ordered 4 different sushi burritos and not once did she ask to clarify what was ordered and started making all 4 burritos at the same time!

Efficient service at its finest: one member of staff making 4 sushi burritos at the same time!

Even the packaging makes me smile. The burrito is wrapped in white paper, but the outside is wrapped with bamboo-printed thin brown paper that is reminiscent of Asian influences. I also love the big Happy Maki sticker which, maybe it’s the word ‘happy’ in the name, but I really started smiling like a child given their first present when I brought it out of my bag to dig in.

With every sushi burrito you buy, you’re also supporting the business to plant a tree and feed a child. What better way to feed yourself and give back at the same time?

Are you smiling yet?

As you can see, the burrito is a substantial size for the price (£6 to £6.50) that you’re paying which isn’t much at all. Considering burritos cost a lot more than that in Edinburgh and this is a massive giant maki roll! I ordered the Fully Loaded (with crispy ‘chicken’, sweet potato wedges, roasted sesame seeds, avocado, cucumber, red pepper and teriyaki sauce. We also ordered the Thai Sweet Potato, Rainbow Roll and Sweet Chilli ‘Chicken’ but everyone else was so hungry, they dug in the minute we brought the rolls back to the car and I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of them before they were devoured.

My Fully Loaded sushi burrito

Once we got on the plane back to Edinburgh from Southampton, I couldn’t wait to dig in to mine and I understood then why the OH and in-laws’ rolls disappeared so quickly. The rolls are proper jam-packed with ingredients, so much so that the roll of seaweed and rice don’t overlap! There was a bit of technique involved with not dropping a single bite, but it was very tasty and I really would have (if I could have eaten more) ordered more than one to try different rolls.

Without a doubt, Happy Maki hits all the right spots with their sushi burritos. The OH and I had talked about making a trip to Brighton and I’m already really looking forward to making a trip to sightsee and try more vegan options while we’re there.

Happy Maki are open from 12:00pm to 9:00pm Tuesdays to Saturdays (8:00pm on Sundays and closed on Monday) can be found at 8 Pool Valley, Brighton, BN1 1NJ. For any enquiries, call 01273 737 369.

Have you been to Happy Maki? What are your thoughts?

Are you local to Brighton? Do you have any vegan haunts that you think I should visit when we go for a trip? Any dishes I should try?

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