A discreetly situated lift in a corner of the Victoria Gate shopping mall whooshes diners up to glamorous Issho, the Japanese restaurant and rooftop bar that opened in the summer of 2017.
It’s a D & D restaurant, one of 30+ in the group that includes Crafthouse and Angelica in Trinity and the US style East 59th in Victoria Gate. They are all very different. And pricey.
It will cost you upwards from a tenner to sip a cocktail amid the greenery of the rooftop terrace – make it last and you can relax on one of the sofas with a rooftop view of the city before moving into the restaurant of 200 covers and noisy acoustics but still an elegant room predominantly of light oak. It’s an open kitchen and you can eat at the bar and watch Joe Grant and his brigade prepare modern Japanese and pan-Asian small plates priced between £3 and £38.
We sampled and enjoyed bao buns stuffed with sticky spiced pork, sashimi, maki rolls, soft shell crab, tomato salad and grilled courgettes. If you want to splash out further, we can recommend grilled sea bream with ponzu and miso marinated black cod.
Save room for the lovely dessert of mini-sugary doughnuts and dipping sauces of yuzu curd and chocolate ganache. There is a whole sake menu to choose from and staff to guide whether it’s the easy drinking Dassai 39 or premium Tosatsuru Azure, delivered in a ceramic flask resting on crushed ice.