This new Japanese-Korean Fusion Restaurant is a hidden treasure outside Leeds Merrion Centre

Oba Leeds offers an authentic fusion of Korean and Japanese cuisine, with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options available.

Tucked away on the corner of Merrion Street, Oba Leeds is serving some of the best Korean and Japanese fusion dishes, with a range of vegan-friendly meals available.

Foodies looking for a unique dining experience will be delighted to see this new restaurant popping up in the Merrion Centre. Oba has only been open a few short weeks, but the restaurant’s bright presence and attentive staff give the restaurant an unrivalled homely feeling.

This hidden gem offers a warm welcome from the the moment you walk through the glass doors. The bright hues of sunflower yellow and bright blue mirror off the panelling and glass windows and match the service, always delivered with a smile, to a tee.

Their menu is vast and delicious. 70% of the items on the menu are vegan and there are even seperate menus for those meat-eater and vegetarian and vegan options.

Nothing is too much trouble for the team at Oba and their quality service shines through to the meticulous food presentation. Upon delivery, it’s obvious that any palette is in for a treat.

For starters, carnivores and pescatarians alike should not miss an the opportunity to sample the Ebi Gyoza. The fried prawn dumplings come with a sweet dipping sauce and find that perfect equilibrium between crunchy and soft. Each bite brings out a new flavour and is guaranteed to exceed any expectations.

Ebi Gyoza (prawn dumplings) on a banana leaf and sweet dipping sauce.
The Ebi Gyoza is served on a banana leaf, but it is the inside of these prawn dumplings that ooze fresh flavour.

The Agassi Gyoza are just as delicious. The fried vegetable dumplings are fresh and full of flavour. Complemented by a sweet dipping sauce, the vegetarian food here is given the same attention and careful presentation as any other dishes.

Staff waste no time in preparing the mains and present these dishes with the same intrinsic detail. The Japanese and Korean fusion of flavours are more prominent here, with a selection of sushi rolls, infused curries and authentic fish dishes available.

However, it is their special of the day upon The Hoot’s visit, a cheese and fish corn dog, that demonstrated to us the artistic flair and creative flavours that Oba Leeds offer their guests.

The two standout main course options for a lunchtime have to be the Assorted Veggie Rolls and the classic Chicken Katsu Curry. Crispy breadcrumbs and thick katsu sauce, sticky rice and light, crisp salad: can you really name a better combination for a wet wintry afternoon meal?

Several dishes from Oba on a table: they include vegetarian sushi, chicken katsu curry and rice, amongst other small dishes
All dishes also come with homemade wasabi, even the smallest amount rapidly amplify the fused flavours in each dish.

Oba Leeds is the hidden gem that the Merrion Centre has been missing and is well worth the short walk up from the shops to visit.

Regardless of your itinerary in Leeds, the food and service alike make Oba a true standout restaurant that should become a firm favourite for lovers of South-East Asian dishes.

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