If you’re looking for a stylish restaurant in Leeds, you’ll not find better than Issho.
The Japanese rooftop restaurant, in Victoria Gate, oozes style, sophistication and unforgettable food.
Although the outside may look like a building block, and the stairs to the top-floor venue will help you work up an appetite, once you’re inside, you’ll be mesmerised by the open kitchen, sushi bar and seriously cool terrace area overlooking the city’s skyline. It’s the perfect place to sip pre or post cocktails and get Instagram happy.
The restaurant opened in June last year with a menu dedicated to sharing dishes and incorporating the very best of
Yorkshire produce into Japanese cuisine. Issho – means ‘together’ in Japanese – and is exactly what the ladies and I were, having not seen one another in a while. When we congregate, we like tasty food and cleverlycrafted cocktails – Issho did not disappoint.
The extensive menu is split into sections: raw, hot, bao buns, maki (sushi rolls), sashimi, and a robata grill section offering small plates of meat slow-grilled over charcoal in full view of surrounding diners. With a plethora of palates around the table, we decide on three dishes each to put in the middle and share.
Bao buns for those who haven’t tried them are a steamed Chinese bread roll typically filled with meat. The buns, made with Mantou bread, look like little fluffy clouds and have a sweet taste. Ours come with spicy pork and they’re so delicious we ordered another batch, this time with confit duck leg, cucumber and spicy sauce.
Sashimi options include: salmon, yellow fin tuna, and eel diver scallops. We pip for the salmon and order the dragon r0ll tiger prawn tempura and avocado sushi, too.
From the robata, we try the scallops, Jerusalem artichoke, hazelnuts and truffle and a beef salad with sesame ponzu and pork crackling also arrive at the table.
It’s a feast of all five flavours with sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness and umami.
The stand-out dish is the scallops; perfectly presented and the soft, silky sweetness of the shellfish working wonderfully with the crunchy texture of the hazelnuts and earthy notes from the truffle.
We skip dessert and instead order G&Ts to take out on the terrace. A live acoustic duo play in the bar area, the music filtering through the speakers outside. Here, we listen to the buzz from the city’s streets below, and celebrate over a few more cocktails our ‘togetherness’.
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