This bottomless brunch couples an incredible sushi buffet with Japanese small plates made to order and as much prosecco as you can drink…
The battle for the best bottomless brunch in Leeds is well and truly on. Why? Because Issho has launched a delicious new take on your favourite lazy Sunday meal. Not only will you get free-flow prosecco and Bloody Marys, but you can feast on unlimited sushi, bao buns, chicken wings and more. It’s an almighty feast with a Japanese twist and we can’t get enough of it.
The first thing you need to know about Issho’s bottomless brunch is that they have a huge sushi buffet served on ice. Over the last 12 months, they’ve earned a reputation for the quality of their fish – it comes in fresh each day and they’re meticulous about its preparation.
“Japanese food is very delicate,” Head Chef Weike Zhao explained. “From the way you cut and store the fish to the way it’s served – even sashimi, which is just fish on its own, has to be prepared correctly, you have to rest it right away, so the fish will become more tender.”
And it’s not just the fish itself – just as much effort goes into the rice. In Japan, some chefs spend 20 years mastering the art of washing sushi rice and they’re just as obsessed with it here. The trick is to remove all the starch, so the rice sticks together, but without making it mushy – you’ll obviously need to put it to the test, so go on, grab another maki roll, you know you want to.
There’s plenty of variety here, so you won’t get bored. They do salmon, yellowfin tuna, smoked eel, sea bass and prawn as both nigiri or sashimi. Want to try something different? Work your way through their collection of maki. You can go veggie with their zen roll, which brings together a rainbow of vegetables in a rice-filled package, or try their chirashi roll – it uses offcuts of fish (believe it or not, they’re the tastiest bits) to create a downright scrumptious mixed-fish roll.
The sushi is a definite highlight here, but it’s not the only thing on offer. You can also choose from a range of their signature small plates – they’re made to order and served to your table giving you loads of variation. They have three baos for you to choose from, each of which promises a tasty filling stuffed inside a doughy steamed bun. The lamb is slow cooked overnight with miso to give it real punch, while the pork belly is marinated in soy, mirin and sake. You can even get a veggie bao, made with tofu.
That’s just the beginning though. They have everything from yakitori, cooked on their robata grill, to gyozas stuffed with sautéed miso pumpkin. It’s also the perfect opportunity to try their famous sesame tofu and cherry tomato salad, which is a hit with vegans and meat-eaters alike. “We use silken tofu, which blends very smoothly, and we mix it with goma sauce, which is a sesame seed paste. It makes a very smooth, creamy base, and then we top it with blanched cherry tomatoes,” Zhao told us.
You can get all that for £35 – but it’s another £15 if you want unlimited drinks. They’ll be serving prosecco and Bloody Marys, with glasses topped up with the promptness you’d expect from a restaurant like Issho. You’ll never be without a drink, and with such high-end fare on the table, you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth – in fact, Zhao reckons your food will be worth three times as much as you’ve paid by the time you leave.
One more thing. You can eat in the restaurant, or you can head outside to the ‘Sakura Secret Garden’ – they’ve transformed their terrace into an oriental garden, complete with cherry blossoms and lush greenery. It’s south facing, so it gets the sun all through the day, and it’s the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely brunch.
Issho’s bottomless brunch is available from 12pm to 3pm every Sunday, but you’d better book your table quick, before everyone else snaps ‘em up.