Restaurant name - Izzi
Food - Japanese and Chinese
Location - Lothian Road, sort of near Haymarket (this was the closest location on offer!), Edinburgh
My boyfriend and I recently spent the weekend in Edinburgh, and stumbled upon this utter gem of a restaurant by accident - and boy am I glad we did!
Located on Lothian Road, Izzi is the kind of place you could walk right by without noticing. The under-stated decor means it doesn't stand out like other flashy places in Edinburgh, the only reason we noticed it was the small neon sign at the top of the door!
We were able to book a table for the time we requested on a Saturday evening, something I always appreciate, as I am aware how busy some places can get at the weekend. I was initially a bit perturbed, maybe the restuarant wasn't all that good, and the reason we booked so easily was because it would be otherwise empty! Luckily, this wasn't the case. When we arrived Izzi was busy enough to show its popularity, but not so busy that we felt stifled.
The service was absolutely top class. The head waiter made a point of welcoming every customer to the door and he was very friendly. Due to the fact we'd never been to a Japanese restaurant before, we took a while over the menu, unsure of what certain things were. Unlike others restaurants where the waiters would become impatient, the waiting staff let us take our time, and were heplful when we asked any questions.
Despite the busy atmosphere, we were served very quickly. I had opted for what the menu called the 'Izzi Set', which is a four course meal at the fantastic value of only £19 per head. This set included a great range of different Japanese foods. This meal was absolutely delicious, and here's a brief description of what was included:
Miso soup: a lovely fishy flavoured soup containing seaweed strips and squid
Assorted sashimi: basically this is sushi. There was a nice variety with a good tasting sauce, although if you don't like to be adventurous with your food, I'd avoid this, because it's a risky dish. You either love or hate sushi. In this case, it was truly wonderful and beautifully presented!
Tappanyaki (scuse my spelling if it's incorrect!): The most delicious beef I've ever had the pleasure to taste. Prepared with cashew nuts and salad, it's filling, succulent and an absolute taste of heaven!
Ice cream: well...self-explanatory, really!
For £19 I thought this was superb value, especially as when calculated as separate dishes, it should have cost around £40!
My boyfriend's meal was also lovely. He opted for the assorted seafood platter, which was big in size and very tasty.
At the end of the meal we were presented with a very cheap bill, which is always pleasant! In terms of service and quality of food, Izzi could only be descirbed as A-class. The only issue I have is that everyone was expected to eat with chopsticks. Although I (sort of) mastered them by the end of the evening, people who don't like them will not appreciate this. You CAN ask for a knife and fork, but a lot of people seemed a bit embarrassed to do this, as it was expected you would eat the traditional way!
All in all this was a lovely meal in a very good restaurant. Izzi alone has made me mad for Japanese food, and I'd recommend anyone in the near vicinity to make Izzi a visit, it's som worthwile!