Sometimes you just want something different to eat. Something spicy, something a little exotic, something away from the meat and two veg plates. We also wanted a place that could seat a group of people, that had a decent drinks menu and was central. Bar Soba was the choice.
I’ve been here a few times and for some reason it’s my go to place at New Year after the bells and the street party. It’s always got a good vibe, super tunes, fast service and fabulous decent priced cocktails.
Bar Soba Edinburgh recently underwent a make over in June last year. Gone is the dark Pan-Asian drinking and dining den; now it’s a more sophisticated with urban luxury details, including vibrant graffiti couches, industrial metalwork features, neon lighting and graffiti artwork featuring stunning Geisha pieces by UK artists. There are now two purpose-built Cocktail bars, a DJ booth, a balcony and mezzanine seating with views over the main bar area, and long sharing tables.
We were seated in the main bar area at one of the long tables with high chairs. Normally I’m not a fan of this seating as it really isn’t very lady like trying to clamber onto one of these chairs and they are normally rather uncomfortable. Fortunately, they weren’t too bad (not sure if it was just the alcohol saying that after a while).
Their drinks menu is vast and I was so tempted to order the Jangshi Zombie; it had been a very long week! month! year! This is their version of the famous Zombie cocktail. It’s a concoction of Bacardi Carta Oro, Don Papa and Myers Dark Rum, shaken with pineapple, lime and guava juices and homemade lime leaf syrup. It’s all topped with a passionfruit and flaming Goslings 151 Float. Instead I went down the play it safe path and opted for several pints of Asahi.
There were a few cocktails ordered around table and this lovely vibrant green one was super nice; it’s the Kiwi Chi. Kiwi fruit muddled and churned through crushed ice with Stoli Razberi Vodka and lemon juice then topped with Japanese Midori Melon liqueur and fresh apple juice.
For starters of course I ordered the gyoza. These were vegetable and fried. Stuffed full with vegetables and lovely wee gnarly bits on the side where it was extra crispy.
Piping hot and dipped in the teriyaki sauce = yum!
One of the other starters was this Balinese Chicken Sate with crushed peanuts, pickled cucumber and a satay dip. The chicken on the skewers were well cooked, soft and succulent and the wonderful generous of peanuts sprinkled over the top would make any peanut satay fan happy.
A few other tempting sides included Salt and Pepper Squid with chilli and lime mayo and a Cheeseburger Spring Roll, which sounds odd, but I tasted it back in June and it was surprising lovely. A good marriage of East and West flavours.
For mains I went with the Thai Chicken Supreme in a red coconut curry sauce, with basil and jasmine rice and mixed vegetables.
This was a hot curry and I only wish that Bar Soba had put a few wee chillies next to it on the menu to inform guests about the heat factor. Other than it being super hot, it was tasty. The coconut sauce was thick and the chicken soft and tender and the rice was fluffy. Did I mention it was hot???
A popular dish around the table was the Miso Baked Salmon with a sesame crust, Edamame lemon zest rice, teriyaki sauce and mixed vegetables. You could taste the miso – it defo had the umami factor. Fish was cooked well. A nice dish all round.
We could also have tucked into other dishes like the Butternut Squash and Chickpea Daal Curry with yoghurt and flatbreads or the Pad Thai Noodles.
Desserts were a little disappointing, actually alot disappointing. This Chocolate Fondant with vanilla ice-cream was fine. The ganache in the middle oozed slightly and it was baked well. Just no outstanding flavours.
And the Coconut Panna Cotta with lychee granita that sounded so promising, so Asian and just what you want after a heavy meal was really bad. The only redeeming factor was the lychee granita that tasted nothing of lychee but more mint. The panna cotta was just a sad excuse of solid gelatin set cream. It was tasteless and came with no wobble what so ever.
The staff were very helpful and friendly, and very attentive around a large table, never letting our glasses get too empty.
The food was good, it was during the festive season after all! Bar Soba serves up really great Pan-Asian Street Food and the cocktails to go with it.
Throughout January, Bar Soba have a massive 50% OFF their Street Food and you’ll find some delights in here.
Bar Soba, Frederick Street, Edinburgh. Tel : 0131 2252660 www.barsoba.co.uk
My Spoon Award : Bronze 7/10