More and more rooftop bars are opening up in Leeds. It’s such a clever business idea making use of space and letting people enjoying something they can’t get everywhere. The latest rooftop bar to open up is Issho, located on the third floor in Victoria Gate. Issho is a Japanese bar and restaurant bringing big time competition to the likes of Little Tokyo and Yo Sushi! I love Yo Sushi! but the classyness and food options Issho has to offer quickly exceeds this funky sushi place.
I was lucky to be invited to try out Issho’s menu a couple of days before the grand opening and I was thrilled trying something from every section. First, we enjoyed a glass of bubbly sake on the rooftop terrace. It’s the Japanese version of prosecco but with no need to top up with Chambord, Lychee liqueur or similar as it’s already sweet. I can see this bar filling up fast on sunny days after a bit of shopping.
The bar itself is very impressive but going through a narrow corridor decorated with wine bottles, an even more impressive restaurant unfolds. It’s stylishly decorated with high and low tables and a mix of wooden and cushioned chairs. There’s availability for big and small parties and if you’re dining for one, a seat overlooking the chefs cook is the perfect spot. A couple of tables overlooks the Kirkgate Market which is a picturesque grandiose building so most likely the best seats in the house…
The menu covers everything from snacks to desserts, cold and raw to hot dishes, steak to calamari and much more. My favourites of the dishes we tried is the pea guac, tuna nigiri, rib-eyed steak, duck bao buns and green Granny Smith apple & sake sorbet.
I love a good dip but never seen myself as a massive pea fan. Afternoon trying a Pea Bellini at Banyan once, I realised it’s a fun and fresh ingredient to play with. Proven so again here. Tuna is my favourite meat in sushi and nigiri my favourite type of sushi so no brainier this would be amongst my favourites. Salmon is nice too but I feel tuna has more taste to it.
Steak! Oh my goodness when a steak is cooked to perfection, like here it’s thee best kind of meat ever. I really liked the grated wasabi on top as well to give it an extra kick. I’ve never had Bao Bun before so this was fun to try. The bread is typically artificially Japanese and filled with shredded duck, cucumber and spicy sauce it’s heavenly. If you like Chinese pancakes, this is for you.
I enjoy trying new desserts and when they leave me with a fresh and palette cleansing taste, the better. This green Granny Smith apple & sake sorbet does just that. The best sorbet I’ve ever had and mostly likely ever will.
I feel the Issho menu serve very authentic Japanese food, despite ever having been there (one day) and sitting next to someone who has confirms my thoughts and gives you a reason to try it next time you’re in Leeds. If you don’t like raw fish, no worries. There’s plenty on the menu that isn’t that you’ll like and walk home full on.
Have you been to Issho yet? What did you think of it?