Kosho! Where do we start? All I knew was this place was at the top of my list to try in North Adelaide. Or in Adelaide for that matter, full stop. So when we finally got the chance to go and try their food we made sure we went with an empty stomach.
We studied the menu and were not surprised to find that it featured all our favourite kinds of dishes. I love how they have serving sizes that are great for sharing or individual – your choice. Whether it be a group of people or just one or two dining in, Kosho will happily accommodate. We came early to avoid the rush, we know people are still enjoying the celebration vibe of the new year and since there aren’t too many seats, we want to make sure we get the best table. When we first got inside, the ambience of the place was dark and edgy yet very cosy. A long bar on your right and tables on the left. We sat by the window close to the bar and what better way to take advantage of the bar but by ordering cocktails!
We decided that we couldn’t pick one favourite so chose 3 favourite cocktails. Equally delicious and refreshing we were impressed on how generous the glasses were. Definitely the right way to start the evening.
With the amount of food that we got, we thought we were in for a long wait. Not in their kitchen. Everything came out almost at the same time. Very impressive considering they were fully booked out and yet still managed to bring food out in a timely manner.
We couldn’t wait to dig in although we didn’t know where to start! Where would you start when you were presented with dishes like Chargrilled Squid or Kingfish Sashimi?
Let’s just start with the Pork Jaw. Lightly pan fried, cut out into bite size. This dish came with tapenade (a puree consisting of olives, capers and anchovies) what a great combination. For an extra crunch, they put some pork crackling on top. The pork jaw was tender. Texture wise, was like squid when you cook it right. I cannot recommend it enough with the tapenade.
The Bluefin Tuna Tartare came with good quality crackers that compliment the ingredients. Crunchy and somehow immune to the softening effect of the tartare, wasabi mix and yuzu gel.
Kingfish Sashimi with miso cure, yuzu soy and wasabi. Whenever I see kingfish “anything” on a menu, I absolutely must try. So of course I had to try this one too. With the presentation resembling a flower, this dish is prepared with a delicious Miso sauce, yuzu soy and some subtle wasabi as not to overpower the taste of the delicate kingfish. Did I already mention that all of the food so far was so wonderfully presented?
Moving on to our next small plate, we had the Chicken Yakitori. These come in pairs. The chicken was well marinated with the Japanese teriyaki sauce. Such a simple dish yet a popular favourite.
Charred Squid with Lime and Chilli. Not only did it come with mild chilli sambal, it also came with actual green chilli. Now don’t be deceived, even though they are green they can be potent. But I absolutely loved it with my squid. Needing that spicy taste and when the menu says it comes with chilli, you do expect something hot. Tender squid with a hint of lime flavour to bring out the summery and tropical flavour of seafood.
Beef Fillet Tataki with chopped green chilli, puff rice and soy dashi. Now this one took me by surprise. Unlike most beef tataki I’ve tasted which is more to the savoury side, this had sweeter hints to it with a little surprising yet satisfying appearance of the green chilli. They’re chopped very finely and often blend together with the thinly sliced beef.
Moving on to the larger plates now.
Chargrilled Chicken Thigh. I love that they don’t use breast here as I could imagine it to be a dry dish especially paired with the chickpeas. We could easily cut the chicken with a knife and the first bite was heaven. Great flavouring, a little charred, a little tangy and oh the hint of the seaweed was mesmerising. I regretted not finishing the chickpeas and edamame mixture as they were absolutely flavoursome and now writing this made me long for them again.
Our second Large Plate was the brilliant take on the Teriyaki Salmon. With wakame mashed potato, this is a different type of mashed potato. It is a beautiful light green because it is a mixture of potato mash and seaweed! And the red cabbage was marinated with sichimi and pickled, creating this tangy and crunchy texture, my favourite kind. To top it off, they added salmon crispy skin on top of the dish. It all worked so well together on the palate.
Chargrilled Prawns with Garlic and Pink Peppercorn with Nori. Lots and lots of nori because to be honest I personally couldn’t get enough of it. Such a “treat” topping for almost any dish. The portion of this dish was also mind blowing. We absolutely admire the willingness of Kosho to go out of their way to satisfy their customers’ bellies. Prawns came out with their shells. They were tender and soaked in garlic and pink peppercorn sauce that resemble resembles a curry texture. This dish is great to eat on its own or you can always add a side dish of sushi rice or just a salad.
You would expect us to finish but we refused. We were there with already 9 dishes down, why stop there?
Especially when the desserts looked so irresistible. Of course we had to try the Creme Brulee. The only thing we cared about was if the top layer gave us the highly anticipated cracking sound when we tap it. Of course it did, the perfect tap, taste and size of dessert.
Lemon and Yuzu Souffle with Vanilla Ice Cream. This is definitely a contender of the Creme Brulee. However, it is clever to always offer some ‘less sweet’ type of dessert on a menu to offer to those who’re not a sweet tooth type of people (like me). So if you are like me and love your dessert to be refreshing yet still have that hint of sweet. This is made for you.
We would have loved to try more of their desserts but at this stage we were ready to roll out the door. So we promised ourselves that we will be back sooner rather than later to try the other dishes we haven’t yet tasted (or perhaps we will stick to the ones we just had again, because they did not disappoint at all)
If you haven’t been and need assurance on whether to go or not. This is a sign for you to give Kosho a go. We were grateful for the dining experience and all the staff made our visit feel welcomed and enjoyable. Thank you Kosho!
Words by Dee Pene from Adelaide Food Authority
WHERE: 26 O’Connell St, North Adelaide