After climbing up 4 flights of stairs, and thoroughly wishing we had hopped in the lift at the Victoria Gate shopping centre, when we reached the top it was safe to say I was in awe of the intricate, wooden ceiling that hung above us that it gave me a moment to catch my breath back. On a blustery Saturday, we had been invited to Issho Restaurant to experience a modern Japanese twist on Brunch I was more than ready for a glass of bubbles to quench my thirst after fearing my asthma had reared it’s ugly head again.
It’s always a delight to be invited to try out a new menu when new eateries open up in Leeds and I can categorically say it never gets old reviewing food. I mean food. Come on. It’s just the best. Right?
I have to admit we really didn’t know what to expect with the brand new, Issho. I’d heard good things from other bloggers but was this style of brunch going to fill me up like a usual fry up or plate of stodgy pancakes could?
But, I needn’t have worried.
The comfy, pink chairs and the plush cream sofa’s sat neatly with marble tables, that were every blogger or interior enthusiasts dream. It had a really minimalistic vibe yet, understatedly sophisticated. Every bit of attention to detail made this one of the most insta-worthy places we’ve eaten. With dark paintings and designs on the ceiling it still never felt claustrophobic. In fact, quite the opposite with it’s high rise ceilings. Quite frankly, I was in my element.
A lovely lady came along and helped us with the menu after we had been shown to our table. After explaining it to me
once, twice, three times I eventually got it. (Make sure you listen carefully because if you are a total numpty like me you won’t understand it.) Mr C & I decided to go with the sharing platter, purely to try out slightly different appetisers and without having to have the same “bun fillings” as one another (which you do have to share if you go for the more “a la carte” option.) If you have varying tastes then I would wholeheartedly recommend you do the same.
Issho also advertise the fact that there is a DJ set throughout brunch but to be honest, I hadn’t noticed until about half an hour after being there. The music was really chilled and didn’t feel to obtrusive which is perfect for a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning brunch (and perfect if you are recovering from a hangover!)
It didn’t take too long for our cucumber and sesame seed oil and steamed edamame beans to arrive as a little pre-starter. As much as they were tasty I was super ready to try the main course! I completely forgot that there was some fried chicken karagee with wasabi sauce to arrive. And boy, did it taste good with a drizzle of lemon on it too.
And finally, our buns arrived. You are limited to three buns on the sharing menu (rather than unlimited) but it’s enough to fill you up. I chose two of the crab & avocado buns, which were so fresh and tasty! And had one of the pork buns which, oh my days, were deeeelicious. I wish I could have had a fourth it was that tasty though. The doughy style buns were perfect if you needed to soak up any alcohol from the night before (in fact, that would be perfect right now as I write this.) I could have eaten them on their own if I had had the chance.
After speaking with a few friends, I realised that they’d sadly missed the zucchini with our meal, but luckily we made the most of the bubbles that we needed a strong coffee to compensate the fuzzy heads we were beginning to get. And silly us decided to leave our shopping until after brunch. So it was a good job we ordered flat white’s!
I kindly got a short tour around the restaurant, and was shown the private dining area that seats up to eight and also the fresh cooking stations that were in full flow. I’d have loved to have eaten outside but sadly we were told they’d prefer us not to as rain was forecast and it could mean bringing all the food back in. Fingers crossed we can go on a much sunnier day and enjoy a cocktail (or more!) on the roof terrace that had the perfect view over Leeds.
Overall, it was somewhere I wouldn’t have necessarily thought twice about going to but having now been I’d highly recommend a visit if you can make it. The value for money is superb too as the unlimited bubbles last for two hours. And they really aren’t shy with topping you up either! Definitely make this a trip if you are looking for a different and unique experience that will look good on your insta-feed!
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*Thank you for inviting me Issho Leeds to review the restaurant. The meal was complimentary and all thoughts my own and are true to our experience.
I'm Bee. 27 year old who is finally starting to understand herself. A Scorpio that's too nice to use that sting in her tail, regularly found searching for holidays or online shopping. Happiest when being fed, travelling & spending time with Mr C.