Those of you who had the pleasure of dining at former Currie Street establishment BA:M know that these guys are adept in the Korean food game. Former owner Rose Heo has ventured into the popular Korean BBQ domain with her stylish new restaurant SO Urban BBQ. ‘So’, translating to ‘beef’ in Korean, is a house specialty here, with pork also featuring alongside many delicious seafood options. Adelaide Food Central were invited to the launch of their latest menu, which showcased a variety of new dishes that is sure to have something for everyone.
Fried Mac & Cheese, Prawn Flower Sando, Crumbed Aji Fish
Is there anything better than a plate of fried food? This golden trio of tapas proved the perfect start to this night’s feast. The Mac & Cheese was as creamy and cheesy as expected; the Prawn Sando a perfect vehicle to deliver the sweetly succulent prawn meat; and the Crumbed Aji Fish an unexpected delight of the night. All three offerings encompassed lusciously moist interiors within a delicately crunchy casing, which provided an interesting and delicious contrast in texture.
Coffin Bay Oysters with Chef’s Special Thai Dressing
Part of the menu’s SO Special, the “Chef’s Choice” changes daily, but will often feature oysters in some capacity. Tonight, meaty, silky Coffin Bay oysters were presented with a tangy vinaigrette – chef Seth Park’s secret recipe and “secret weapon”. Simply served on a bed of ice, this provided a light and fresh reprieve from the slightly heavier dishes prior.
King Prawn Crown
Theatrical in its medieval presentation, these buttery crustaceans were delectably infused with charcoal flavour, which served to highlight the sweetness of the soft prawn flesh, and was elevated with a generous squeeze of the accompanying lemon.
Jorim Fish of the Day (Barramundi)
Essentially a Korean Bouillabaisse, this little-seen item on other restaurant menus consisted of a complex, smoky broth that exuded all things seafood. This bowl tasted of the sea, with the prawn, mussel and fish seeping into the richly infused soup. This distinctive dish is well worth a try!
Pork Rolled in Kimchi
One for the kimchi lovers, this unique offering was a highlight of the night. A juicy chunk of pork was wrapped in sweet, chilli-red dyed cabbage leaves – an essential of Korean cuisine. This glorious parcel, with its intricate balance of salinity, spice, sweetness and savouriness, proved the perfect mouthful.
SO CHARCOAL BBQ Party
The main event. With an entirely separate Charcoal Menu that ranges from pork belly and shoulder, to prime beef rib fillet, these guys are serious about their bbq.
What sets SO apart from the numerous other Korean BBQs in Adelaide is their exquisite incorporation of charcoal –as well as their presentation of said, Korean BBQ. Where other similar eateries require customers to cook their own raw meat from start to finish, here, the chefs commence the cooking process before it reaches the table, with staff then completing the undertaking more traditionally, on the hot plate in front of you.
By charcoaling their cuts of meat, the proteins are permeated with a chariness that is further intensified by the use of their deeply savoury marinades. Serving this alongside traditional Korean sauces (including a Ssamjang recipe courtesy of Rose’s mum) highlighted the natural sweetness of the meats, with each bite more flavoursome than the last.
SO Urban BBQ is open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday to Friday, 7am-2:30pm and for dinner Tuesday to Saturday, 5:30pm till late.
Words by Anh Ngo
WHERE: 397 King William St, Adelaide