When chef Adam Liston and restaurateurs Emma and Simon Kardachi opened Asian-inspired “fire-house” Shobosho in 2017, the trio introduced Leigh Street to the pleasures and diversity of Korean, Chinese and Japanese barbeque cooking. For their newest opening, Liston and the Kardachis will focus their attention on another facet of Japanese cooking: tempura.
Meet Shosho, the new identity of the former Joybird site and a neighbourhood izakaya that its owners hope will cater to both locals and those outside the 5061 postcode.
“We know Shobosho serves food that people want to eat and the environment is loud and izakaya-esque,” Simon tells Broadsheet. “We want to take that to the suburbs with a little bit more decorum. We want locals to love Shosho and eat there once a week, but we also want it to be a destination that people will travel from around Adelaide for because they can get something that’s different and good.”
In the same way that Shobosho’s eight-seater yakitoriya Sho homes in on grilled-chicken skewers, Shosho is going all-in on tempura. Liston has spent much of lockdown fine-tuning recipes for the batter (the trick, he says, is to sift and then freeze the flour) and the cooking oil, a blend of sesame, vegetable and grapeseed oils.
While Liston and head chef Yumi Nagaya are taking an exacting, traditional approach to cooking, the dishes being produced in the kitchen will be far from textbook. The potato scallop is being reimagined as a round of deep-fried tater gussied up with black truffle and parmesan. Chinese-style shallot pancake (chong yu bing) is enriched with Laughing Cow cheese to create a bold new-school French-Chinese toastie. West Australian seafood supplier Fins Seafood will supply Shosho with coral prawns, sweet ama-ebi prawns, Abrolhos Island scallops and other sustainably caught seafood seldom seen on South Australian menus. The former Joybird rotisserie, meanwhile, will be repurposed to roast meats such as char siu pork, which will be deployed with Korean pickles and dressings. In short, Shosho will be a Japanese-influenced restaurant that doesn’t only serve Japanese food. Just like Shobosho.
“We’re not trying to be a Japanese restaurant,” says Liston. “We’re trying to be respectful to Japanese restaurants but bringing a little bit of flair. We’re trying to break the normality of that strictness of Japanese food. I’ve never been as excited cooking as I am right now with the food we’ll be doing at Shosho.”
The mothership’s influence is obvious elsewhere at Shosho. Gone are Joybird’s chook shop-inspired fixings: in their place there's textured wood, hanging canvases and other gentle Japanese accents by designers Studio-Gram. The drinks list will follow the same Australian-Japanese bent as Shobosho, celebrating South Australian wines alongside Japanese beer (Asahi!), whisky (Suntory!) and sake.
Shosho opens at 1/164 King William Road, Hyde Park on Wednesday July 15. It will open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday and lunch Friday to Sunday.