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New to Leeds: Issho

· Ali Turner · Food and Drink

It's a contemporary Japanese restaurant & an exclusive rooftop bar, all in one.


It’s been a long time coming, but D&D’s latest venture, Issho, will finally open on Wednesday 21st June 2017.

First came the shopping centre – the long awaited, £165 million Victoria Gate development officially opened its doors on Thursday 20th October 2016. Then came the casino – Leeds is now home to the third largest casino in the UK and the only one of its kind in the North. Now it’s time for the third piece of the puzzle to click into place as D&D open their 7,807 square foot restaurant at the pinnacle of the new shopping centre.


Issho, which means together in Japanese, is a cool, contemporary restaurant that takes its inspiration from Asia. Heading up the team is Executive Head Chef Ben Orpwood, a man who’s worked all over the world, spending a significant amount of time in Japan, before returning to London to work in critically acclaimed restaurants like Zuma and Sexy Fish. He’s used that experience to create something really special at Issho, giving us authentic Japanese dishes with a twist.

“You really can’t experience quality Japanese-inspired food like this anywhere else in Leeds. Issho is one-of-a-kind and the food will speak for itself,” he told us. “I can highly recommend the sushi – it’s unlike any you’ll have experienced in Leeds before. We source the freshest ingredients and we’re all skilled in the art of sushi making.”


But don’t worry if that’s not your thing. The menu is designed for sharing, so alongside the sushi, they’ve brought together a series of interesting and unusual dishes – think maple glazed belly pork with fresh apple and wasabi, tofu and feta stuffed courgette flower with truffle honey, and duck breast with pickled nashi pear and spring onion sauce. It’s got all the flavours you associate with Japanese cuisine, but served up in a way that feels quite different.

The open kitchen is set to be one of the highlights of the restaurant, because you’ll be able to see the chefs at work. Whether they’re expertly preparing sushi or cooking up traditional ‘robatayaki’ dishes, slow-grilling Iberica pluma, sea bream and king salmon over charcoal, it’s a sight to be seen. Come lunchtime, they’ll be serving up a menu of light bites, including bento boxes, ramen and Japanese sandwiches, perfect for livening up your lunch break on payday, or you can save your pennies for their take on a bottomless brunch – you’ll be enjoying baos (steamed buns) and unlimited bubbles if you decide to take them up on this one.


The restaurant isn’t the only attraction though – Issho has its own Kori bar, where you can indulge in one of 10 Japanese inspired cocktails, which are set to change with the seasons. Want something more traditional? They have a whole range of Japanese whiskies for you to try, with ice chipped straight off the block, and no less than 25 types of sake. But even that’s not the best bit.

You see, Issho has a 700 square foot roof terrace, with views over the city. It has space for up to 34 people, so get there early and bag one of their cosy sofas. This is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of sake as you watch the world go by – and if you want to make it extra special, Orpwood has a recommendation. “The sparkling sake is definitely worth a try and is an eye-opener if you’ve never had it before. I won’t ruin the surprise – just try it for yourself and you’ll see what I mean,’ he told us.

Issho is one of the most anticipated openings of the year, and if first impressions are anything to go by, it’s going to be one of the most popular too. Check it out for yourself when it opens on Wednesday 21st June 2017 and let us know what you think.

Issho, Victoria Gate, George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.