After 12 successful years at Mitchell Lane in the Glasgow city centre, it’s time for pan-Asian restaurant Bar Soba to take on the West End. GUM headed down to the launch party to check out this new addition to the already restaurant dense Byres Road. Situated just below University Avenue, at the site of what used to be cocktail bar The Blind Pig, Bar Soba is just around the corner from the university. With a trendy interior, drink promos and discounts, it is clear that Bar Soba seeks to appeal to the student crowd. Deals worth checking out is their 2 for 1 mains for students, Monday to Thursday before 5pm and the all day Sunday to Wednesday drinks promos which include Stoli, Beefeater, Havana and Jim Bean + mix at £2, a pint of Carling at £2 and Apple and Ginger Mojito at £3.
However, although their cocktail menu looks amazing, if you fail to secure the Mojito deal you will have to pay around £5.95 a cocktail – perhaps a little steep for the average student. Having said that, Bar Soba on Byres Road definitely has a more student-y vibe to it compared to the branch located on Mitchell Lane, which was reflected in the canapé style food served at the launch. Whilst the sushi was a little dull, the spicy fried fishcakes left no one disappointed – very tasty and crispy. In terms of Asian food, Bar Soba is a definite welcome to the West End. Up until now, there hasn’t been much to choose from apart from the Chinese take-away or an Indian curry. The menu at Bar Soba definitely feels more appropriate for a quick lunch between lectures. The service was quick both at the bar and in the restaurant and all the staff very friendly and approachable. In addition to being a new hotspot for student lunch, Bar Soba is also promoting itself as a bar and pre-club venue. The launch featured some great tunes supplied by Miss 7 (The Shimmy) and Hari (Sub Club) and regular events at the venue will include Thursdays with Djamba (Mixed Bizness), Fridays with rotating residents from Sunday Circus, Supermax and The Shimmy, Sundays with Bar Soba residents and Saturday will host a Subculture pre-club. It is clear that this new Bar Soba is not just about the food, but also about the social experience that comes with the music, drinks and décor. It will be interesting to see whether Bar Soba can win the hearts of the students or if it will be taken over by people with a little more money in their pockets. Having said that, one does not exclude the other and I know that I will definitely be heading back for more.
Bar Soba is located on 116 – 122 Byres Road, check out their website at www.barsoba.co.uk
Photography: Cole Cohen