Pompoko: 110 Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1UD, www.pompoko.co.uk, Mains priced between £4.50-5.90
Pompoko is a cheap and cheerful Japanese restaurant and takeaway situated in the North Laines, five minutes away from the Seafront in Brighton. It’s popular with students and locals alike, to the point that if you want a table after six-thirty, you’ll have to join a small queue of people outside. If it’s cold, the windows steam up like a chip shop in December from the number of people happily eating inside.
It’s easy to see why the place is so busy. The food is filling and comforting, and is exactly what hits the spot when the evenings are drawing in. My Ebi Chili Don was nicely warming, with a decent ratio of prawn to sauce, not always found in cheaper establishments.
Main courses come with either rice or noodles, and the menu has pictures to help those unfamiliar with traditional Japanese cooking. Dishes are served in generously sized bowls, perhaps designed to reflect the fact that the dessert menu – consisting of precisely one dish – is anything but extensive, although the Cadburys Chocolate Eclairs provided after you’ve finished eating go some way to placating those with a sweet tooth.
Credit cards are a no-no, as is booze, unless you bring your own. If you’re in Brighton and want a quick, satisfying and authentic meal on a budget, you could do much worse than to eat at Pompoko.