Japan & South Korea
87-88 Trafalgar Street, Brighton BN1 4ER
01273 694 814 | Website
Originally from Seoul in South Korea, O’Shio’s proprietor and head chef, Min, discovered his love for cooking whilst at university, and took his passion further by travelling to Tokyo to hone his talent for creating traditional Japanese and Korean cuisine. Watching Min prepare the fish is a wonder, as he swiftly cuts the achingly-fresh salmon, tuna and other premium fillets to the perfect size with pinpoint focus and expert precision.
O’Shio’s menu is impressively comprehensive, and the Japanese and Korean dishes make perfect partners. Beautifully plated sashimi carpaccio is the ideal opener to comforting, deeply flavoured Kimchi Jjigae; over 70 varieties of sushi and sashimi sit beside comforting bibimbap bowls; and niche dishes, such as sticky, fermented natto beans and samgyupsal pork belly and lettuce wraps, are brought forward. There is, naturally, plenty of kimchi too. Min’s young daughter prefers the just-made kimchi, when it’s crunchy and fresh, but for Min himself it’s all about the fermentation, when it has a “sour deep taste, matured for a long time”. The best stuff, he says, is aged for a year!
Alongside his awe-inspiring expertise, Min’s love for the art of creating incredible food is palpable. Those hard-trained-for, no-nonsense knives are the very highest quality you can get, and the blade of his most treasured one is engraved with his son’s name. Min puts his heart and soul into every dish he serves, and we’re incredibly lucky he fell for Brighton’s charms.
When travelling in Japan, my absolute favourite aspect of dining out is being able to observe the chefs at work. Take a seat at the counter in any sushi restaurant, and I guarantee that watching the chef create the dishes will be almost as enjoyable as the food itself.
One of the highlights of meeting Min was asking the master himself which destinations he’d recommend for a foodie-focused holiday, and he assertively answered Tokyo...and Kyoto...and Osaka! We discussed the vast differences in cuisine between each region. In Tokyo, you can stumble down side alleys for wonderfully tender grilled chicken yakitori. In Kyoto, the birthplace of traditional kaiseki dining, Min recalled with delight the remarkable yellowfin tuna he’d enjoyed at Tankuma Kitamise. When walking through Osaka’s Dotonburi district, I challenge anyone not to dive into the crisp-yet-doughy balls of octopus takoyaki. Min’s eyes lit up when we spoke of Hokkaido’s premium-quality seafood too, and happily Hokkaido has recently become accessible on a JR Railpass.
Fancy a pickle? Combining Japan with South Korea couldn’t be easier thanks to a great range of flight options. Alternatively, the more intrepid can take a ferry from Fukuoka to Busan for unmissable fried chicken specialities, and a fish market that rivals Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Market. Once in Seoul, enjoy Gwangjang Market’s incredible streetfood - if you like a pickled vegetable, the chances are you’ll find it there!
Truly a city like no other...be amazed by Tokyo's contrasts from ultra-modern and sensory overload to the exquisite peacefulness of its parks, shrines and temples.
The former capital is a city of ancient Shinto shrines and immaculate Zen temples, professional geisha and Noh theatre, and the evocative wooden architecture of ‘old’ Japan.
Find out more about Japan