Far east fusion at Izzi

I had a very enjoyable dinner at Izzi, on Edinburgh’s Lothian Road, a couple of Fridays ago. This restaurant is fairly narrow, but is surprisingly deep. Its main difference being the Japanese/Chinese hybrid of its menu choice. We hadn’t booked, but a table for two was available at around 7pm - although by the time we left it was fairly busy, so at weekends I would recommend (as with most places in Edinburgh) booking a table before hand.

Th menu was fairly large and split between the Japanese and Chinese sections. For starter I had tuna hosomaki (¬£5) and my dining partner, not being an eater of raw fish, had the avocado hosomaki (¬£3.70). This was all brought on one plate and was very nice indeed - I’d rate it slightly above Sushiya on Dalry Road for the hosomaki, but I find both excellent.

Sweet and sour chicken at Izzi, Edinburgh Izzi in Edinburgh

For mains the Chinese section tempted me into sweet and sour chicken that proved a quality dish which tasted just right - not too ‘gooey’ and using whole, good quality pieces of chicken. Definitely a standard above most Chinese takeaways. Although at ¬£8 it wasn’t the cheapest dish when you take into account the boiled rice I ordered to accompany it that cost ¬£2.30. So ¬£10.30 for my main course in total. My dining partners Chicken Teriyaki was impressive too, especially the delicious onions and the little shredded cabbage and dressing it was served with.

Avocado and Tuna hosomaki at Izzi, Edinburgh Teriyaki Chicken at Izzi, Edinburgh

The sticky(ish) rice was traditionally served in a large bowl that you spoon into your own smaller bowls along with helpings of your main course. I was struggling to finish - so it’s a hefty sized portion Izzi deliver. House white wine was ¬£3 per glass, while Coca-Cola was ¬£1.30 for only a very small glass; I wish that restaurants like Izzi would stop serving soft drinks in such ridiculously small glasses like this.

The service at Izzi was very friendly and accommodating, although there was a slight corridor feel to our table as waitresses and patrons kept walking by the side of our table - this can’t be helped though, it’s just the shape of the property. The kitchen is located toward the front of the restaurant so you can peak at your dishes being prepared, and definitely hear (and often smell) the wok in action!

I like Izzi and will definitely be back. Normally, I’m a person who either goes out for a Japanese meal or out for a Chinese meal and dismiss many of these so called fusion restaurants as ‘jack of all trades’ and ‘master of none’. But Izzi executed both well, with the two cuisines dishes exhibiting high standards of quality and taste. On the downside, and I guess what might prevent persons from becoming regulars at Izzi, was the relative high price for some of the dishes. It ain’t the cheapest, but is definitely one of the better restaurants in Edinburgh for its category. Recommended.

Note: Izzy have a website , but it looks broken at the time of writing.

4 Responses to “Far east fusion at Izzi”

  1. OK, I’m tempted now. I’d love to sample more ‘upmarket’ Chinese/Japanese food than my usual takeout experience.

    But I admit to having been kind of put off Izzi by the scary little varnished (preserved somehow? Aspic?) food items in the window, although those are a lot more low key now than they used to be . . .

  2. Just had one of the best meals I have had in Edinburgh for ages, started with tuna hosomaki made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up then followed by the rolled beef with spring onions which i had the pleasure of seeing my dish being created(well worth the open kitchen) which looked on the small side for a main but I left very satified and will return with glee in the future.

  3. I used to go to Izzi in the past years, but, recently, its quality has gone down dramatically. I used to enjoy the bowl of chirashi, also sushi and sashimi. However, having gone there 3 time in the last 2 months, I think I will never show up again.

    Imagine a bowl of sashimi served with stale tamago (egg omelette) and fake crabsticks! If I want to eat immitation crab I can do that at home. I do not need to go to a restaurant that pretends that this is sashimi! If crab is expensive, they should omit it entirely and substitute it with fresher fish. Also, a stinky piece of omelette that has been cooked alongside with other dishes and has attained a certain smell is not the thing to do in a sashimi dish! This happened to me once, I thought it was a certain overlook, so I made the mistake to go again. But, alas, it was exactly the same, exactly the same low quality!

    But I was adventurous. I did go for a third time. This time I order tempura. Tempura is not supposed to be dripping in oil, but that’s what it was. Also, some of the vegetables used were not fresh but taken from a tin. I tried to eat some, because I was hungry, but disgust overtook my hunger. I called the waiter who asked if I enjoyed the food. Saying nothing, I paid the bill, left, and vowed never to show up again.

    I always knew there was some kind of weirdness/stinginess in this restaurant, but, being one of the few japanese restaurants in Edinburgh, also being (in the past) of reasonable quality, I used to frequent it from time to time. I knew that getting hold of some extra soy sauce is frowned upon. The waiters pour a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce on a little plate and immediately withdraw the bottle so you don’t have access to it. When you ask for extra, after being inquired why, you are reluctantly given some more. Well, these people run, it seems, on a shoestring budget. That I knew.

    But now I also now, having experienced three times recently, that I will go past it.

    You should only go there if you do not know what Japanese food is about. Then, perhaps, you may “enjoy” it, thinking that you are eating the real thing. But be assured that you are not!

  4. Jon Berbie, you have basically copy and pasted this comment onto every single page of Izzi’s, I find their food fresh and wonderfully tasty so I dont see what your fuss is about! And fake crabstick? where have you eaten that has properly fresh crabstick? only Japan can serve you that, you can’t buy it here. Also their tempura is by far the best I have had in town so if i were you i would stop being so negative about this restaurant… very unfair. i love this reataurant and I highly recommend it!

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