Add spice to your life


Address: 10 Park Street, Lincoln LN1 1UF

Telephone: 01522 575840


Price guide:
Dishes from: £7
Cocktails from: £8.75


Words by:
Tiggy Manners
Featured in:
October 2022

Enjoy a real taste of sushi and asian cuisine. Tiggy Manners visited Cognito, the Japanese restaurant and cocktail bar in the heart of Lincoln.

You can find the stylish lunchtime and evening venue at the centre of a cluster of independent hospitality businesses located in the quarter between Silver Street and Corporation Street. Opened in 2021 by hospitality graduates and sisters Ellie and Zara Pickles, Cognito is their first business venture together. “We both attended an internationally renowned university in Switzerland which specialises in management and design courses for the hospitality industry,” said Zara. “After graduation we worked in high end hotels and dining clubs in London. The pandemic brought us back to Lincoln looking for an opportunity to establish our own business.”

The handsome corner building on Park Street required a complete refit which the girls oversaw and even worked on themselves. From concept to interior design and more recently the launch of the Incognito rooftop lounge, Ellie and Zara are nurturing their business, ploughing money back into new features.

and variety of the menus on offer. Chef Raif Mason changes the dishes on a seasonal rotation, taking the best and freshest ingredients from trusted local suppliers to serve an authentic taste of the best of Japanese and Asian food.

The menu is designed for sharing – three dishes per person are recommended – which leaves plenty of scope for trying a variety of flavours. I was visiting with a friend so we began with Crispy Duck Bao Buns, Crispy Belly Pork, Dragon Rolls and vegetarian Yaki Udon Noodles. All the dishes were beautifully prepared and presented. My guest especially enjoyed the Dragon Sushi Rolls which were filled with crispy tempura prawns, avocado, teriyaki sauce and wasabi mayonnaise. I loved the belly pork which was sticky and sweet with the right ratio of meat to caramelisation – truly melt in the mouth.

With our dishes we chose a drink each from the Signature Cocktail Menu. I went for the Sister Secret, which contained pineapple infused Goslings Passoa, lime, vanilla, apple and raspberry puree. My friend enjoyed an On Wednesdays… containing coconut fat-washed Haku, Hibiscus cordial, Kwai Feh, coconut and pineapple juice, lychee and lemon. Cocktails are certainly a speciality with a separate choice of menu from head bartender Lucas Edelsten and assistant manager Adelle Szkoda, depending on whether you are in the restaurant or relaxing in the rooftop lounge. A retractable roof over Incognito makes it a year round, all-weather venue, with wonderful views across the skyline of the city. You can snuggle down with throws and blankets and stargaze too, if the weather permits.

For dessert we had Mochi in three flavours and Cog Kat; a dark chocolate wafer and caramalised white chocolate which were the perfect sweet note on which to finish our meal. During our visit, which was early in the week, Cognito had the relaxed atmosphere of a dining club and at weekends the tempo increases with a live DJ on Friday and Saturday from 8pm until late.

Cognito is available to hire for private parties on a minimum spend basis and they also offer their monthly Bottomless Brunch which includes bottomless drinks for 90 minutes and a two-course meal with a DJ and saxophonist at a cost of £40 per person.

Ellie and Zara have created a venue which transitions quite effortlessly from a lunchtime rendezvous spot, to the perfect evening catch-up and entertainment venue when it’s time to let your hair down at weekends. Whether you are looking for a romantic first date, a larger celebration with friends or you need to savour some exceptional Japanese food – Cognito is the place for you.

Never miss a copy!

Big savings when you take out a subscription.

LIKE, SHARE AND SPREAD THE WORD - VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITES TODAY!We need your nominations – Celebrating Lincolnshire’s food, drink and hospitality businesses in our Taste of Excellence Food and Drink Awards 2024. Click here to vote date for nominations 31st August 2024. ... See MoreSee Less