Issho, Leeds restaurant – NOW OPEN

Issho (meaning ‘together’ in Japanese) offers authentic Japanese cuisine in a sophisticated and refined setting, which comprises of a rooftop bar, restaurant space and outdoor terrace. Located in the high-end shopping destination of Victoria Gate, the restaurant serves a menu dedicated to sharing dishes and incorporating the very best of Yorkshire produce. Having previously worked at Zuma and launching London’s Sexy Fish in 2015, Executive Chef Ben Orpwood uses his extensive travel experience throughout Japan to inspire the dishes on his menu, such as Wagyu pastrami; Smoked Dorset char with wasabi leaf dressing Steamed prawn and salmon gyoza, white soy and mustard; Seared diver scallop, jalapeno and apple and Duck breast with pickled nashi pear and a spring onion sauce.

The open kitchen and sushi bar are the main focal areas of the restaurant, creating a theatrical experience for diners. An impressive variety of sushi features prominently on the menu including seaweed-wrapped maki of crab, tiger prawn tempura and salmon, as well as ‘Dynamite Ebi Tempura’ and a dedicated Robata grill will sit within the main dining room serving traditional ‘robatayaki’, slow-grilled over charcoal in full view of surrounding diners. Sample dishes include Maple glazed pork belly, fresh apple and wasabi; Barley miso lamb cutlets with smoked aubergine and cucumber; and Grilled iberico pluma, yuzu and daikon pickles alongside a selection of Yakitori.

Ben said of the launch: “I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Japan several times and have worked in Asian restaurants across the globe, from Turkey and Dubai to London and Australia. My experience has certainly helped shape the menu at Issho and create eye-catching dishes that are full of flavour.”

The dining space utilises a range of Japanese materials including charred timber which is known as ‘Shou Sugi Ban’. As well as oak, marble style tiles, natural-edged porphyry stone and suspended timber rafts to give the design an authentic and contemporary feel. A large slatted feature gantry with a bespoke illustrated ceiling graphic gives the bar a prominent presence in the space.

The restaurant’s very own bar, Kori, serves a range of sake and Japanese-inspired cocktails. These include the Matcha Sour (Matcha tea, Beefeater 24 gin, elderflower cocktail, lemon juice and egg white); Suntory Fashioned (Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve, homemade cherry liqueur, aged barrel bitters, stirred and served in a goblet glass, topped with homemade orange and cinnamon foam); and Monburan Martini (Chestnut liqueur, vanilla vodka, chocolate liqueur stirred and topped with a chestnut flavoured whipped cream). Kori is set to become a destination bar in its own right, with an intimate 40-cover rooftop terrace with comfortable lounge sofas injecting the space with a calm, relaxing ambience and offering stunning views over the city.