Issho Leeds is the perfect venue for a sushi making masterclass.
Super modern vibes and chilled a out atmosphere with decorated blossom trees and fine dining make the perfect back crop for making delicious tasting and fresh sushi.
Led by talented head chef Joe Grant, the setting for this afternoons intermate lesson in maki, nigiri, nori and Omakasse platters couldn’t be more perfect.
We arrived to champagne before taking our seats in a private dining area set back from the main restaurant. We each had a table with our own freshly prepared sushi rice and paper thin nori. Nori is the seaweed which makes the roll and consists of a rough and smooth side. This is important as the sushi rice sticks to the rougher side before rolling into what becomes the maki sushi.
Joe talked us through the making of the rice before we each oiled our hands and carefully crafted our own maki sushi. Sushi rice is washed at least 6 times before the consistency is just right and sticky enough to make the roll. Once the rice had been prepared on the nori, we could fill these with a whole host of delicious treats ranging from BBQd eel to avocado and from tempura prawn to crab.
With some careful demonstration and practice with our very own traditional bamboo makisu rolling mat, we each delivered on serving perfectly rolled maki sushi. Joe was on hand throughout to help everyone and we presented these on each of our plates which would later serve as our Omakasse platter.
Nigiri sushi is sushi rice rolled into a ball, topped with raw fish and neatly wrapped in nori. Again, creativity is the essence here and we were soon making these topped with cucumber, salmon, tuna and eel. Some of us used a new York style sauce to top our creations whilst others choose wasabi or a super smooth paste of Kewpie. We learnt a lot and like everything else today Kewpie was no different. Its common to decorate sushi and this condiment of Japanese mayonnaise is almost a household staple when it comes to eating Japanese food. A delicate pea sized amount placed on a sushi roll with a scattering of edible flowers had each of our platters looking something quite spectacular indeed.
Joe finished the session by bringing out hot food whilst we tucked into our fantastic creations of sushi. It was an excellent event and something which Issho Leeds can definitely be proud to host. The setting here is excellent.
We were within the restaurant but set back slightly whilst the numbers of those involved was small enough to label this event as truly intimate. The skills we learnt were something which we all took away and to be used again as well as knowledge learnt about the names and types, origins and tastes of what goes into making maki and nigiri sushi. It is a fantastic experience in learning all about this type of food.
This is also something new to Leeds and something which must be tried for any foodie at any level. It was fun, informative and very tasty. Try Issho online for an upcoming event or alternatively contact RebeccaH@dandlondon.com to enquire about their next sushi masterclass which Joe Grant and his team are hosting.
Words by Paul Conboy
Victoria Gate 3rd Floor Rooftop, George St, Leeds LS2 7AU