Simon Kardachi has done it again. In conjunction with Adelaide-born chef Adam Liston, he’s transformed the old Leigh Street Bollywood site into an Asian barbecue restaurant and bar, Shobosho. And, in line with his other 8 ventures including Osteria Oggi, Press Food & Wine and the Pot Food & Wine, Kardachi has once again been successful in creating a quality venue based around the concept of large and small share plates and a solid beverage list. In terms of fit out, it’s cool and minimalist. On one side there’s the kitchen/bar, on the opposite wall, booth seating and in the middle, table seating.
Shobosho is about smoke, steam and fire. It’s about raw, cured and fermented and Japanese yakitori, and to this end, the kitchen’s decked out with a wood oven, a rotisserie and yakitori pit. Liston and Kardachi met quite a few years ago when Liston was working at The Melting Pot. Since then he’s run Northern Light in Melbourne and worked overseas, including Asia.
Shobosho’s menu is structured around Snacks/Raw, Yakitori, Dumplings/Bao, Spit Roast, Grill/Wood Oven, Sides and Sweet – so, there’s something for everyone including some good vego options – and the menu keeps changing. You can drop in for a drink and a snack, or settle in and go a full tasting menu and I like the fact that the kitchen stays open until late. It’s simple food using premium ingredients. They’ve more recently started a dim sum menu for weekend lunches which is most enjoyable.
The first time I went was the second day of opening and our group of three opted for the tasting menu at $75 as the stress of making our own food decisions was simply too much to cope with. We were pleased with what came out – a good selection of raw, dumplings, yakitori, kushiyaki, an excellent crumbed pork meatball sandwich, and a leg of pork (the meat was so succulent and tasty) followed by sweets. The second time I went was straight after a lunch at Press (the Kardachi double) for a cocktail and some snacks and we tried some of the vegetarian options – my favourite being the Grilled snake beans with fermented chilli and scorched nuts.
Any negatives? Well, we did find the booth seating a little uncomfortable in that the seat back was digging in at the wrong place – but easily fixed by not leaning back. The two-hour sittings aren’t really long enough to fully relax and enjoy the tasting menu (we were lucky in that our booth hadn’t been booked again). And lastly, you do go home smelling a little like an Asian BBQ – but some of us kinda find that attractive.
That aside, I love Shobosho. It really is something new in terms of the offerings in Adelaide. I like the food and it’s a great atmosphere – and above all, it’s a fun place to eat and drink. I’ve been back many times since.