Issho Vegan Menu review


Vegan food over the last year has seen a surge in popularity, creating a demand for more plant-based cuisine in restaurants all over the UK, not just in dedicated vegan eateries. Eating out as a vegan was something that always daunted me and initially put me off my transition to a plant-based diet, but now more than ever it is becoming easier to grab food on the go and even dine in some of the best a la carte restaurants.  The Leeds foodie scene has adapted incredibly well to the veganisms newfound followers and we're seeing more and more vegan menus popping up all over the city. One of the newest restaurants to announce their vegan offering is the ultra trendy, Japanese tapas bar Issho, situated in Victoria Gate and a few days ago, I was invited to try it.


The word Issho is Japanese for 'together', which is a pretty apt name for a restaurant that is incredibly open to dietary requirements. Whether you're with co-workers or looking to head somewhere for a date night, Isshos low lighting, relaxed, but sophisticated surroundings make it the perfect place to come together and enjoy the array of Japanese sharing dishes, sakes and Asian inspired cocktails.

Issho's vegan menu boasts nine sharing dishes and six snacks ranging from sushi to tempura to hot pots and bao buns. It is recommended that you order 4-5 dishes each to give you a full range of dishes to share. I opted for the Maki, the pumpkin tempura and a bao bun with spicy tofu. The Maki rolled with cucumber, peppers, cabbage and lettuce was incredibly fresh and flavoursome and beautifully presented - it was great to see a vegan dish that had so much thought put into it. The pumpkin tempura had a lovely crisp outer layer and soft, melt in the mouth pumpkin inside, it wasn't too greasy and there was plenty to share between us.  The Bao bun had the crispiest tofu inside and the bun itself was light and bouncy, everything you could want to satisfy your bao bun cravings. 



Between us, we also ordered some pumpkin miso gyozas and the robata grilled sweet potato with smoked lime coconut butter. The grilled sweet potato was a simple, yet incredible dish and possibly the star of the show. The robata grill gave it such a smokey barbeque flavouring and the lime added an extra zing to the dish. The pumpkin gyoza was exactly as a gyoza should be - flavoursome, moreish and cooked to perfection.


I'm not usually a dessert fan, but after seeing the superb quality of our main dishes, our curiosity got the better of us and we felt that we couldn't leave without sampling the remainder of the vegan. The only vegan dessert available is sorbet - which is usually the case as vegan desserts can be quite complex, but it did not disappoint. Our sorbet selection consisted of mango, green apple and sake, black cherry and lychee flavours and each of them were the perfect palate cleanser for the meal. Incredibly fresh, very juicy and not too overly sweet, it was a great way to end the night.

If you love Japanese food and you're looking for somewhere with a classy atmosphere, Issho is a great choice. I left with the restaurant feeling incredibly satisfied, wowed at their vegan menu and with an appetite to visit again.

Have you been to Issho before?


*This meal was complimentary in exchange for this review. All views are my own.





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