Shobosho - When you want to order the whole menu!

Shobosho - 17 Leigh Street, Adelaide SA 5000

Looking for somewhere new to have lunch with the girls one Winter's day, I (Amanda) decide on giving Shobosho on Leigh Street a try.  Lovers of Japanese food, we were excited to try the various cooking styles Shobosho use, including Japanese yakitori, smoking, steaming, fire, raw, cured, pickled and fermented.

The interior is funky but simple with booths along one side, tables in the middle of the narrow room and a bar with high stool type seating along the other side so you are able to watch the chefs at work.  Our group of 4 were seated in a booth and provided with a one page menu to peruse.  We were excited when we fired off dish after dish on the menu that we all wanted to try, realising, not before long, that we were naming almost every dish!  Everything sounded delicious.  With the help of our server, we eliminated a couple of dishes, as he advised we would be ordering too much, no matter how hungry we were and decided on a good variety of dishes across the menu to satisfy us all.

Salt & Vinegar Korean Seaweed Crisps $8

First up a little starter of  'Salt and Vinegar Korean Seaweed Crisps' perfectly crisp with the addition of some golden brown sesame seeds, they were additively salty with a slight tang on the tongue.  I think the $8 price tag for 2 small crisps is on the higher side of the scale and I would have liked to have seen at least 3 crisps for this price. 

Raw Yellow Fin Tuna $24

Next we tried something raw - 'Raw Yellow Fin Tuna' with charred edamame, black rice and bonito cream.  Mixing the dish together with the bonito cream, coated the plump cubes of tuna well and when eaten with the charred edamame and puffed black rice produced a nice kick of smokey flavour and a balance of soft and crunchy textures.

Kombu Cured Kingfish $24

'Kombu Cured Kingfish', with umeboshi, salt baked celeriac and sake - we honestly can't say with confidence what we were eating and where on this dish apart from the cured kingfish as we are not too familiar with the use of the ingredients of kombu (edible kelp) and umeboshi (pickled ume fruit).  But what we do know is that we thoroughly enjoyed the flavours and textures of this dish and we would recommend ordering it for something a little different.

Chilli Beef Pot Sticker Dumplings $15 (4pc)

Next we returned to something a lot more familiar with the 'Chilli Beef Pot Sticker Dumplings' in a spicy sauce.  A crispy fried base and swimming in a spicy sauce we all dived in quickly for these as the smell was deliciously intense.  Unfortunately the filling was disappointing, as there was a very small amount of filling inside and the filling that was there was a little dry.  Dipping it further into the spicy sauce helped with the dryness but it felt like we were eating dumpling wrappers and sauce due to the lack of filling.  This was our least favourite dish of the day.

Vegetable & Bean Curd Wontons $16 (6pc)

Luckily the 'Vegetable and Bean Curd Wontons' with Chinese black vinegar raised our dampened dumplings mood as these were divine!  If you love vinegar, you will be especially pleased with the strong acidic flavours of the dipping sauce, the steamed wontons were swimming in.  The delicate wonton wrappers soft but strong enough to hold an abundance of vegetable and bean curd filling.  This is one tasty dish!

Green Snake Beans $16 (top left) & Spit Roast Char Siu Pork $34

Onto the larger style dishes, we selected the 'Spit Roast Char Siu Pork' with baked milk buns, and Cantonese condiments.  With 4 milk buns and 4 pieces of the pork, this was the perfect sharing dish for our group of 4... if you only wanted one bun each... but thinking back now I'm not sure how we stopped at one bun each!  This was a fun dish, creating your own little pork bun with varying condiments of pickles and sauces.  The pork roasted so well with a wonderful glossy chewy char on the outer and the milk buns warm and soft with a lovely sweetness. A delicious dish that I wouldn't return to Shobosho without ordering.

As a side to our buns we had the 'Grilled Snake Beans' with fermented chilli and scorched nuts. A good chilli hit on these super long beans, we enjoyed the nuttiness and texture of the crushed nuts, which stuck to the beans well thanks to the sticky fermented chilli sauce.

Teriyaki Free Range Chicken 1/4 bird $23 & Shallot Bread (back)
To finish we had the 'Teriyaki Free Range Chicken' with smoked miso and eggplant cream and served with a side of wood baked shallot bread.  What a delicious end to the meal!  The quarter chicken cut into pieces, great for sharing purposes, also included the wing, which made this wing lover happy, was tastily coated in the teriyaki sauce and had a good caramelised char on the skin.  The meat within was lovely, tender and juicy and paired elegantly with the velvety smooth smoked miso and eggplant cream.  The wood baked shallot bread was a great accompaniment and reminded us of a pizza bread with a great thick crisp base and crust.  It was well seasoned and had us reaching for seconds.

Overall we enjoyed our visit to Shobosho.  We loved the creativity and use of different cooking techniques and ingredients, combined with some old favourites to produce interesting and tasty dishes.  It's not a cheap outing and the serves aren't overly large but for 4 girls at lunch time, 8 dishes filled us to the point we couldn't fit in dessert.  The good thing about the menu is that it all works together so harmoniously that you can always go back and order another dish should you not order enough initially. With a bottle of wine to share, it did set us back approximately $70 each, so not an every day lunch option for us but it was a good special treat outing.

Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly: On the current menu there are approximately 4 vegetarian dishes, so not a lot to fill a hungry stomach but you could easily devour a couple of bowls of the delicious vegetable and bean curd wontons!
Child Friendly: No

Ambiance: 3/5 - It was a quiet weekday lunch time when we visited - a few business workers but only a few tables occupied.
Service: 4/5 - Our server was helpful and ensured we didn't wait too long between dishes.
Food: 8/10 - Interesting and enjoyable dishes.
In total OTCB gives Shobosho 15/20 chops On The Chopping Board.

Shobosho Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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