I have found myself in Bar Soba twice within a few months; now that must mean I like it! With already three establishments in Glasgow they then ventured to Edinburgh where Bar Soba opened on Hannover Street in December 2012. Not just a bar but also an eatery selling Pan Asian food. They describe pan Asian food as tantalizing tastes of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, China and Japan, all in one.
Bar Soba is on two levels. Coming in from Hanover Street you enter the level where the music is beating and DJ’s play at night. You are able to eat here but I think it would be far too loud to enjoy your meal. However downstairs is more of a restaurant area where it has a sense of calm and a laid back feel. The bar staff are your waiters/waitresses and again very casual in their service making you feel very comfortable. The menu does have various types of food. At first glance I was worried that there were too many different types of food such as sushi, Thai noodle dishes, curries and then even burgers/wraps. On both occasions however I have really enjoyed all the food here.
To start with I had the coconut and Szechwan pepper crusted prawn skewer. This was delightful. Juicy succulent prawns, coated in a very crispy coating. The coconut gave the dish a slightly sweeter taste whereas the pepper added a spicier note. This was served with a chilli and garlic aioli. My only slight complaint would be that the aioli was more garlic than chilli, but overall a great starter.
My husband had Asian dumplings which where a selection of steamed Hong Kong Style dumplings. Three dumplings, served with fresh chilli and spring onion and a side dipping sauce. The dumplings were cooked to perfection and the dipping sauce gave a heat to the dish.
For my main course I opted for Tiger Prawn and cashew nut chilli noodles. The bowl of noodles arrived with vibrant colours showing off this dish. Again the prawns were very juicy coated in garlic and ginger to give even more taste. The noodles were coated in a chilli ramen sauce. The sauce had a taste of sweet tomatoes, limes and chilli. The dish was topped with toasted cashew nuts and fresh chilli and spring onions. On recommendation from the waitress, my husband ordered the Vietnamese Duck Pho. A Cinnamon, clove and anise scented broth with shredded duck, broccoli, pack choi and rice noodles. This was served with a selection of traditional condiments such as crispy onions, dipping sauce, fresh lime and chillies. The broth had an earthy, clean taste. The vegetables gave the dish crunchy textures to contrast the duck which was soft and delicious. As a side we ordered a portion of chilli fries and satay sauce. The chips were thin and coated in chilli powder and seasoned well. The satay sauce was delightful. It was one of those sides that even when you are full you are tempted back for more.
We did not leave any room for desert however we had a cocktail instead. Bar Soba have an extensive cocktail list, with over 6 different types of daiquiri and 9 flavours of mojito so is sure to please everyone. Overall if you are looking for a laid back, relaxed meal, Bar Soba is the place to go. They don’t try and sell themselves as a restaurant so be warned it might be busy and noisy but a table downstairs and cocktails while you relax can’t be a bad thing.
Bill for two: £49 (including two glasses of wine and two cocktails)
Food: Pan Asian food