17 Leigh St
Adelaide, SA 5000

Just a couple doors down from the excellent Leigh St Wine Room is Shobosho, a super hip and modern take on the izakaya. I wasn’t quick enough to book one of the nice booths, so instead of one of the squeezy communal tables, I ended up at the bar, which if you ask me, is the hottest seats in the house, both metaphorically and literally. There is a front row view to see the chefs char, grill, fry, and roast, but in addition to the amazing smells, you’ll also have to contend with the extreme heat coming out of the fire-driven kitchen. The food here is not groundbreaking, but there’s a good variety of Japanese and Korean-inspired eats, and most of is pretty tasty. Dinner here is a pretty safe bet for a good night out, no matter who you’re with.

Rating: 13/20 – crowd-pleaser with attitude.
Remember: if you’re sitting at the bar, be prepared for some serious heat.

White Kimchi and Bean Curd Dumplings ($19, 6pcs)

I decided to start with the White Kimchi and Bean Curd Dumplings ($19, 6pcs) for something a little different, but these turned out to pretty much just a kimchi dumpling, with no real presence of tofu. The translucent, delicate skin however was a highlight, and it was still a yummy way to start the meal.

Raw Tuna, Edamame, Black Rice, Bonito Cream, Nori ($21)

The Raw Tuna, Edamame, Black Rice, Bonito Cream, Nori ($21) however was a highlight. Though not much of a looker, the combination of flavours and textures was an absolute delight, with the crunch of the rice and nori contrasting with the buttery tuna, all wrapped up in a creamy, umami-heavy sauce. Now if only they served some crackers to go with this…

Spit-Roast Teriyaki Chicken ($32, quarter)

Having started my day with a porchetta roll, I wasn’t in the mood for any of the heavier mains, so I ended up getting the signature Spit-Roast Teriyaki Chicken ($32, quarter). Chicken mains tend to be relatively uninspiring, but although this wasn’t about to win any points for innovation, it is a very delicious bit of chicken, especially when you use the fragrant shallot bread to mop up the sweet-savoury combination of miso creamed corn and teriyaki sauce. I will admit however that I got some serious food envy from the steaks being pumped out by the kitchen.

Snake Beans, Fermented Chilli, Scorched Nuts ($21)

If you’re a fan of big, bold sides, then the Snake Beans, Fermented Chilli, Scorched Nuts ($21) is a must order. The beans are thrown directly over the flames, and aren’t taken off again until they’re well and truly charred. It’s then tossed with about half a cup’s worth of fermented chilli crisp, and scattered with nuts for extra crunch. An extra serve of shallot bread to mop up wouldn’t go astray here.

Wood Baked Whipped Cheesecake, Cherry, Shiso, Meringue ($17)

To finish, there’s a Wood Baked Whipped Cheesecake, Cherry, Shiso, Meringue ($17), which is more of a deconstructed pavlova situation, featuring cream cheese. I would’ve liked to taste a bit more of the promised smokiness in the cheesecake, but otherwise this is a light, tasty way to round out the meal.

Yuzu Lemonade ($12)

There are, of course, many sakes and umeshus on offer for drinks, but on such a warm day, the tangy, lightly bitter sparkle of Yuzu Lemonade ($12) goes down a treat.

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