Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness, Wellness and Lifestyle Blog | Emtalks

Monday, 9 October 2017

Issho Japanese Restaurant Review Leeds

issho Leeds sushi

No matter where I am in the world, Yorkshire will always be home. I grew up in Yorkshire and studied at the University of Leeds so it’s definitely gives me those cosy homely vibes. For me, home is where the heart is and after growing up in Yorkshire, then studying in Leeds and living in Canada, it's safe to say I have a few places around the world that truly feel like home. I seem to spend 50% of my time in London and 50% in Leeds at the moment but it's always a pleasure to be back up North. If you’re Northern, you’ll know just how incredible Leeds has become over the last few years and is still, becoming on a monthly basis. I can barely keep up with all the new openings. I’ve always had high hopes for Leeds and definitely spent most of my time at University telling people how brilliant it is, or, had the potential to be. It seems, month after month, more epic restaurants are opening in Leeds and you will have hopefully seen that I recently visted a number of restaurants as part of Leeds Restaurant week. At the time I visited Issho Rooftop Restaurant and Bar and loved it so much, I promised myself I would be back soon. Fast forward and I’ve now been three times (hopefully a fourth for my brothers birthday later this month as it's now also his favourite restaurant). It only makes sense then that I give you a full review of Issho, the new addition to the Leeds restaurant scene and in my opinion, one of the best restaurants to hit Leeds in the last few years.

issho restaurant Leeds
dinner at issho leeds

issho in leeds
issho leeds menu

A month or so ago I finally went back to Issho and combined it with one of my very favourite things of all, a family night out. I'm sure you all know by now just how much my family mean to me, they're my everything and we are all exceptionally busy so I really appreciate sitting down and spending quality time with them. I'm determined to get them all together again later this month for another celebration at Issho as they all haven't stopped talking about how truly special this place is.

Issho Rooftop Restaurant and Bar is new to Leeds and is tucked away in the Victoria Gate shopping centre. If you blink, you might miss it. I had to ask the security where it was the first time I visited. Issho is the brainchild of D&D London, I’m sure most of you know just how much I love Angelica Bar and Restaurant and Crafthouse Leeds, well yep, Issho is their new baby. If you're looking for an extra special night this is a great place to go, whether it’s with friends (watch my vlog here to see when I surprised my best friend with a special birthday meal there), with family or with your partner. Not only is it great for food, but you can go just for cocktails too. Issho does both. It's ideal whether you're in a group or a couple, it really has something for everyone.

pea guacamole

Definitely go for all the appetisers, the pea guacamole is to die for and the sweet potato to dip in is even better.

drinks at issho Leeds
sushi at issho leeds

sushi leeds issho

The restaurant itself combines sophistication with its beautiful fresh decor and subtle lighting. It has an amazing relaxed and casual feeling about it. On walking in to the restaurant you are guided to a beautiful (and much needed in Leeds) rooftop garden called the Kori garden, here you can enjoy cocktails on a lovely terrace and garden area with great views over Leeds city centre, the design of this area is beautiful and whether you start with a drink there or mid-week, have your whole meal there, it's really special. They’ve now also launched new live music evenings on Fridays in the rooftop and the bar area, it’s beautiful, uplifting acoustic music rather than too loud. It makes such a romantic and relaxed setting.

food at issho

You're then guided in to the eating area itself (you wouldn’t know it existed as it’s quite far back). It’s large with plenty of tables but has a really warm and friendly feel to it. The clever lighting and stylish d├ęcor give this restaurant a real feel of being special and yet the atmosphere is so relaxed. Families and friends can eat here and it can equally be enjoyed by couples or friends. The cooking area is open on full view and there is counter seating so you can sit and eat while watching the chefs cooking for you. There are also private booths and all of this is brought together so well. I’ve sat on the rooftop, the tables and the counter and all are brilliant. For two people, the counter is lovely and intimate and it’s very cool to see the chefs cook in front of you. I was worried it would feel like we were too close to the people alongside us but it’s so well spaced out we didn’t even notice! I'd definitely recommend this for an intimate evening.

charcoal water

Once seated we were greeted by a waitress who took care of us for the rest of the evening. The service was absolutely faultless and has been every single time I’ve visited Issho, the staff are perfectly attentive, professional and really know the menu inside out. Our waitress was friendly and helped us with our menu choices having a great balance between looking after us without being intrusive. Other waiters and waitresses served us too and the service from every one of them was consistently fantastic.

The best time, the food time. There is an array of contemporary Japanese dishes mixed with a few other Asian specialities. There are so many choices and we each chose around 4 dishes, from prawn tempura to beef fillet, edamame, sesame seed cucumber, sushi, padron peppers, duck and so much more. It was literally food heaven and everyone agreed, there were many smiling faces around the table. It’s like a Japanese tapas, my family were concerned they wouldn’t like anything on the menu but they loved every single thing and got to try some new dishes too. We ordered a lot to share and it's the best way to try a bit of everything.

It’s probably the freshest sushi I’ve ever eaten and Leeds definitely had a gap in the market for fresh, high quality sushi.

duck bao buns issho

The duck bao buns are a must have, with pretty much a full duck, cut up in front of you. An underrated dish is definitely the tomato salad, I've never tasted such delicious tomatoes.

food at issho Japanese leeds

The dishes are displayed so beautifully and you can tell that so much work goes into every one. The quality of the food is insanely good.

desserts at issho

 I couldn't not talk about the desserts... I usually find in some restaurants that the deserts are nice but limited. I also find at most restaurants their food is great, but deserts not so. Issho has some of the best deserts I’ve ever eaten. Make sure you leave some space for your dessert because they are delicious. My brother had strawberries and cream which looked beautiful, I say looked because we didn't actually get to try any as they were consumed so quickly! On the other hand my warm rice pudding and caramelised banana was probably the best, creamiest rice pudding I've ever had (you see me force feed it to a very full friend on my vlog and she agreed) and Matt's doughnuts with dips were shared around and thoroughly enjoyed by all too.

The restaurant has so much going on too, DJs and live acts on Friday and Saturday nights and even masterclasses to teach you how to craft your own Japanese cocktails. Issho Leeds is a stunning restaurant with amazing food and first class service. I hope anyone who tries it has the great experience I had. I know you will, it's next level and is such a welcome addition to Leeds. I know I'll definitely be spending my time there when back home. D&D do it again, dominating the Leeds restaurant scene with innovative, high quality and luxurious food. Thank you D&D for being so brilliant and innovative! Fresh, delicious and innovative food with epic service and style.

Have you heard of Issho? Do you eat in Leeds? Do you like the sound of this? Do you like Japanese food?

You might also like:

Angelica Bar and Restaurant review
Crafthouse Leeds review
The best Leeds Restaurants
Where to eat in Leeds, a full list of the best of Leeds

Lots of love, Em x

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