A top-class Japanese restaurant has opened in York.

Izakaya Restaurant and Lounge Bar began its 'soft' opening on Wednesday night, with a host of tasty tapas-style small plates.

The business has been created by Danny Victory and Adam Johnson in the former Wilde’s Bar and Bistro on Grape Lane.

Danny, who is chef patron, said: “We offer small, contemporary Japanese dishes, French and Japanese inspired, a bit of fusion, something a bit different, a more modern meal.”

The venue has room for 50 guests, including 35-40 diners. After serving 24 covers on the first night, the 28-year-old told the Press: “I was so happy with everything. Obviously, we were nervous, but we were happy with our first night.”

Danny has worked in hospitality since he was 15 and has ran businesses in York for the past four years.

He is perhaps best known for ShoriYork, where he was chef patron, and he was director chef of Forage Ltd in York.

Danny continued: “This is a fusion of my experience from the past few years. I have worked in the majority of fine dining restaurants in Yorkshire.”

“These include the Box Tree at Ilkley, the Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds and the Star Inn at Harome, working under Andrew Pern.”

Danny has also worked at the Devonshire Arms in Hawes, plus Gidleigh Park in Kent.

Proud of the new venture, Danny says this is what he has been trying to achieve.

He aims to follow Luke French of Sheffield, who offered street food and now has the Michelin-starred restaurant Joro.

“Luke’s an inspiration, an Asian-influenced chef, who came out of a shipping container. My end goal is for Izakaya to be like Joro,” Danny added.

General manager Sam Ibbotson said: “The opening night went brilliantly. It very much came about by the hard work we have been putting in and it paid off. It allows us to refine anything we need to refine.”

Sam, 25, was once the opening manager at Forage and Danny was its first chef, which is how they met.

Sam says the business is very confident about the future, and already Danny is working on refining the menus, which Sam added “will slowly change, so there will always be something new.”

The soft opening, featuring Danny’s tasting menu, culminates with a media night on Tuesday, with a full menu launched at the start of December.

To book a table for the soft launch week go to https://www.exploretock.com/izakaya-ltd-york