REVIEW: Eat Naked, Brighton

by - July 21, 2015

2015 seems to be THE year for "clean eating". My twitter feed is full of juice cleanses, 5:2 dishes and general healthy eating gloating. (Me and my 1kg jar of Nutella are keeping quiet.) So it's probably ideal timing for Eat Naked, Brighton's first clean eating super food cafe, which serves nourishing, natural food, free from chemicals and processing, gluten, wheat, refined sugars and pretty much free from dairy too. 

They are open for grab and go breakfasts (granola and acai pots), coffee and treats, health targeted smoothies and cleansing juices. You can also get pretty substantial lunch boxes as well. The format is pretty simple where you pick a main (free range chicken, organic beef, salmon or vegetarian special), base (brown rice or leaves), two salads and a dip/sauce. All in all this costs from £7-8.50 or £5 for just the salads.

I had the de rigueur courgetti as one of my salads. These were really good, super fine and still crisp, served with a lesser known Sicilian trapanese pesto made with almonds. Nut based sauces are actually incredibly popular in certain Italian regions and this was a good reminder why. The other salad was packed with spicy super greens (kale, green beans and broccoli stem) stir fried with chilli, ginger, black sesame and tamari. Two things I love are beetroot and hummus so the dip choice was perfect to me and the hot smoked salmon was delicious too. Overall I couldn't have asked for a more balanced, filling lunch. It kept me satisfied until dinner which rarely happens! 

The sweet options are very smart concept. Snickers, Bounty...all our naughty brand favourites reinvented. To be honest, I'm just getting my head around gluten and dairy free treats. They tend to have nuts and dried fruit pastes as their base, giving them a squishy texture which wheat eaters may not be used to. But with my nutrition head on, these are useful energy boosters with good fats to keep you going. I really quite liked them here and the "Snickers" felt particularly indulgent too with a rich gooey centre, crunchy nut base and raw cacao top.

Ingredients are carefully sourced and of a good quality although I expect the price point is will limit most people to a weekly or biweekly lunch treat here.

The location of Eat Naked is a tricky one. Hidden away in the East Street Arcade amongst niche designer boutiques and overpriced sportswear, it will struggle with casual passing trade. But to my mind, there isn't another place offering wholly "free" foods. I imagine if you are on a restricted diet, for whatever reason, it must be rather liberating to be able to choose anything you see. So hopefully they will prove themselves to be a destination eatery, which we have seen work quite well in Brighton before (think Coal Shed and Curry Leaf Cafe). If you do visit, you'll find a really nicely put together place with a small bar for you to sit at if you wanted the option to dine in.

Behind the counter you will probably find the raven haired beaut that is Stacie Stewart who you may recognise from Masterchef, although she looks a little different now, clearly practising what she preaches and inspired enough to open this place.

I think people in Brighton are generally quite conscious of what they are eating and maybe that's why Eat Naked feels right at home here.

16 East Street Arcade, Brighton

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