I’m no Asian food expert. In fact, my ventures into that culinary territory are limited to an occasional Chinese take-out and the one-off trip to Yo-Sushi! – inevitably reflected in my handling of chop-sticks, which comes close to resembling a circus performance. But things might very well be on the cusp of change, after being invited to attend Bar Soba’s Christmas Menu launch. Right now, it is true, my mind could not be further away from thinking of festivities amidst a whirlwind of uni work and essay deadlines, but seeing as we’re talking Asian fusion cooking, it was inevitably going to be Christmas food with a twist – something, I feel, I’d quite happily tackle at any time of the year.
Admittedly not your “241 burger” or “lunch for £3.95” deal, Bar Soba – tucked away at the foot of The Lighthouse – is nevertheless within the student price-range with a 2-course lunch for £9.95 or sushi plates starting at £2.75. Following a prosecco welcome, Wednesday evening’s event saw us tasting a range of Asian canapes: from duck gyozas dipped in plum sauce to the more adventurous small toasts of Korean chicken with pear on a bed of rocket, or sticky tempura prawn balancing on sweet chilli & coriander mayo. All this was rounded off nicely by a mini Um-Bongo cocktail and a Thai massage that sent everyone reeling home to bed, full, content and sleepy. In any case it was proof that Bar Soba can do food tantalising to the taste-buds, and that their Christmas menu boasting the likes of Cinnamon and Plum Duck Confit should be a good’un. Disappearing down Mitchell Lane for the space of an hour or two is therefore well worth a shot.
Review by: Ginger Clark