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“Could be a good place, has potential, lacking management.”

Oki-Nami Japanese Restaurant & Cocktail Bar
Ranked #257 of 1,313 Restaurants in Brighton
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Description: This classically kooky, Tokyo-esque Japanese restaurant and delicatessen on the New Road in Brighton is the brainchild of acclaimed chef Mike Dodd and DJ Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim. With a minimialist, contemporary interior featuring handmade oak furniture, caliigraphy clad lanterns and an exclusive soundtrack tailor made by Cook, Oki-Nami has become a hit with local sushi connoisseurs, hipsters and Japanophiles. Located near the Theatre Royal opposite the Pavillion Gardens, Oki-Nami restaurant is renowned for its award-winning sushi; Japanese tapas; main courses such as the Suzuki Saffron sea bass served with a citrus sauce; desserts including the restaurant's famous green tea ice cream; and east-meets-west cocktails such as the Japanese Cherry Blossom Margarita.
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Hi. I came here with my 2 friends Upon a suggestion from another friend.

First of all the service was amazing. Very polite and looked after us. As a manager of a large restaurant myself, I did notice a few things that could help your business become amazing.

You had 3 waiting staff on upstairs but they seemed very stretched for the amount of customers you had at the time. We asked for some more drinks but it took a while to get them because food was taking a while to come out, so they were always running up and downstairs to check on it. If you had 1 person managing the bar and 2 servers taking half the restaurant each, then I'm sure the lovely staff would be able to cope better.

Our food was really nice. I had Gyoza and Chicken Teriyaki. Unfortunately the menu online is completely different to the one in restaurant. I was advised by my waitress that the menu has changed and is in the process of being changed online. Again some advice, maybe wait for the menu to be ready online as well as in the restaurant and launch/promote it as a New Menu outside the business to attract more customers, as advertising 2 different menus is False Advertising!

I overheard someone say that the Manager is actually the Head chef! I'm not sure how someone could manage to cook all the food as well as manage a business on a Saturday night!
Surely employing a Head chef, someone to plate up the food and a third kitchen member to prep food and do odd jobs (even food run or assist the other 2 chefs.) Would be a more beneficial way of doing things.

My 2 rating is for the genuine and lovely staff at this restaurant and their patience for a busy restaurant that really needs a hands on manager floating about managing the restaurant, not cooking all the food.

Yours sincerely,
C. Aaro

1  Thank Creag S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (263)
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12 - 16 of 263 reviews

Reviewed 3 April 2018 via mobile

We love this cosy and stylish cocktail bar in a heart of Brighton. The Regency building is next door to the famous Theatre Royal Brighton and the gorgeous bay window with balcony you can sit on your overlooks the Pavilion Gardens. It is excellent for a pre-theatre drink or for a "night cup" as they are open quite late. The cocktails are very interesting and the atmosphere is great!

Thank Ariela C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

We visited here again, this time with some friends, for a well over-due catch-up. We were warmly greeted and quickly seated and given just two menus between four of us. When we asked for two more menus, they said that they had run out (which we thought was a little odd.) We ordered a lovely bottle of Malbec which was spot-on in terms of depth of flavour. We all decided to share a platter of sushi - which was lovely, light and fresh. Our friends ordered some tempura prawns and vegetables, which looked gorgeous and my partner and I ordered the gyoza dumplings and Salmon Croquettes - of which both couples ordered . The salmon croquettes came as a portion of two, but quite honestly were very disappointing, as from the crispy outside, promised great things, but once cut in to, were sloppy, too much potato with little or no salmon and terribly under-seasoned. For our main course, both my partner and I ordered the Teriyaki Chicken which we've ordered many times before (albeit a while ago) were it used to be a sliced chicken breast on lovely sticky rice and thick Teriyaki sauce over the top with some sea vegetables - this time, tiny portion of pieces of chicken (not breast - but leg!) of varying sizes on a griddle with burnt/tar-like teriyaki sauce, no sea vegetables... and where is the rice?? - ....'sorry,' said the waitress, 'but it doesn't come with rice anymore - they've changed it!'... At £14.95, this is unacceptable and when I checked the online menu when back at home - it says on there, that it does come with rice!! (check my screenshot of the online menu.) When asked if we enjoyed our meal, I pointed out about the Salmon croquettes and main course, (i.e.Teriyaki Chicken portions) - the waitress just smiled and said - ok I'll give them the feed-back. We also had to ask three times for a second bottle of wine during the evening. We spent nearly £170 on this meal and we were not impressed I'm afraid, with the slow service and scant, bizarre and inconsistant portion control. Used to be one of our favourite places to dine. :(

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    • Service
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Thank Lavendergal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
okinami, Owner at Oki-Nami Japanese Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2018

Hello, Thank you for taking the trouble to write your impressions, the feedback is genuinely useful. I am truly sorry you had some disappointing dishes. I agree the salmon cakes aren't as intense in flavour as previously. We had made them milder as they are now being offered also on the Mini Nami menu for children.
We have never used chicken breast for any dishes as mostly we prefer leg meat in Japan. Nevertheless I am sad that the sauce went out too thick which would cause it to overcook on the platter. The griddle or sizzling platter is part of the new menu change and allows a choice of noodles or rice as an option. I have recently retrained the chefs on this very issue as a result of your feedback. Unfortunately the feedback could have come to me sooner if the waitress had relayed your concerns, again I would like to apologise for my team and we will strive to improve these lines of communication.
Thank you, Mike.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

I’ve always loved a trip to this cocktail bar with a balcony overlooking the pedestrianised New Road but this visit was it the best. Lovely staff and cocktails but it’s tired looking and needs an injection of life! It’s cold to start with so had to keep my coat on and not an atmosphere to keep me there for long.
Hope they get the interior sorted soon as it’s a gem of a place but has fierce competition!!

Thank Rachel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2018 via mobile

Relaxed atmosphere, attentive staff, quick delivery of food and Mike made the whole visit warm and personlized.
Do not forget to order a coctail with your food - even more recommended is to let them surprise you. We had a dream mixture of ginger and coconut! Anytime in Brighton we will return :)

Thank malin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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