It has been two years since Koshō succeeded French Restaurant, slash Gallery, slash Boulangerie Cliché, and despite a pandemic in between, has been enjoying notable culinary success. The launch of their Spring menu highlights a new direction for the establishment – transitioning from Japanese Fusion to a focus on high quality, unadulterated Japanese Cuisine.
Named for the arguably unknown condiment Yuzu Kosho, chef Jae Hyun-Park (of Nobu and Bai Long Store fame) features this unassuming flavour explosion alongside many of his dishes – to mouth-watering results.
Beef Tartare, Sweet Soy, Quail Egg, Rice Cracker
One of the menu items reminiscent of their previous fusion focus, this tartare is akin to a deconstructed burger, experimenting with interesting, underlying Asian notes.Beautifully plated with an accompanying sesame rice crackerand delicate quail egg, this is a must for tartare lovers.
Tuna Tataki, Soy Miso, Pickled Shiso, Umeboshi
Listed on the menu as Salmon Tataki, chef made an executive decision that the calibre of his Tuna that night was simply too good not to showcase. (To give an idea of the freshness of their ingredients, the fish delivery literally arrived as we sat down to order!)
Featuring another relatively secret ingredient in the form of Umeboshi (Japanese salted plums), each component – the meaty tuna, umami soy miso and sweet, saltily pickled shisoand umeboshi – combined to produce a medley of citrusy sour, freshly light bites.
Scallop, Yuzu Ponzo, Pickled Shiso
Silkily soft, obviously fresh scallop happily waded in a shallow pool of sauces, including the distinct Yuzu Ponzo, topped with slices of daikon and served alongside potent, green wasabi and yuzu kosho. The marriage of differing flavours and textures created a highly unique, explosively tasty mouthful.
Chicken Katsu Slider, Rocket Slaw, Spicy Mayo
Though impossible to eat without making a mess, oh, what a mess! Wedged between two buttery buns of brioche, the crunchily coated, succulent chicken was texturally supplemented with crisp beansprouts and crunchy slaw, and finished off with an almost sinful, coral spicy mayo. The perfect finger food.
Tempura Prawn, Spencer Gulf King Prawn, Dashi
These generously sized crustaceans were expertly divided, coated and deep-fried to provide maximum satisfying crunch. The prawns were very evidently fresh, conveying a pleasingly sweet flavour, and juxtaposed by the lightly golden batter. A solid tempura offering.
Aburi Kingfish Roll, Tamago, Cucumber, Avocado
Best enjoyed as a single mouthful, the luxurious kingfish interplays with the sweetly sour umeboshi, smooth avocado, crisp cucumber and pillowy tamago, to produce a complexity of flavours that mingle and envelope the tastebuds. Freshly prepared, even the rice had the perfect texture. Sushi fans, you will not be disappointed.
Yasai Roll, Soy Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado
Not your average sushi roll, this vegetarian option conveys a hint of spice, and highlights each vegetable in their varying forms – from fresh cucumber to pickled vegetables and umeboshi. Fused together in one bite, the resulting combination of flavours make this one definitely worth a try.
DIY Crab Sushi, Spicy Crab, Nori
If for nothing else but the novelty factor, this makes for a pleasing addition to your dinner menu. Fans of roll your own cold rolls will be delighted that here, you can roll your own mini sushi rolls (though they will probably look vastly different to the masterpieces chef prepares). The sweetness from the mango, the lightly seasoned crab meat, and the exquisitely thin slices of radish atop make this dish as delightful to eat as it is to look at.
Chirashi Don, Assorted Sashimi, Salmon Roe, Tamago
A sashimi “tasting platter” of sorts, the fish is intricatelysliced, beautifully presented, and is accompanied by fluffy rice and cubes of golden Tamago.
Chargrilled Beef Rib, Yuzu Kosho, Sichimi
From the Hibachi grill, this protein lusciously melts in themouth, striking a delectable balance between the marbling of the beef (because fat is flavour), and its gorgeous meatiness.Marinated in distinctly Asian flavours – miso sauce and chili oil – the sweetness obtained from its delicate caramelisation illustrates the respect with which this restaurant treats its produce. Moist, tender and a delight to eat.
Miso Crème Brulee
Spectacular. Whilst Kosho have clearly mastered the Crème Brulee in the past, with the new Spring Menu comes a new recipe. The addition of miso produces a contrasting saltiness that serves to highlight and complement the otherwise decadently creamy, delicately sweet flavour profile of the dish. Each spoonful coats the mouth in a gloriously luxurious manner – and is dangerously moreish. The perfect end to the night – and just so happens to be exactly the right size to share between two…
With an Omakase set to open next door toward the end of the year, Kosho shows no signs of slowing down. With ultra-warm and friendly staff, and food unlike much that you’ve had before, Kosho is a charming place to enjoy your dinner.
Kosho is open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday, 6-9.30pm.
Words by Anh Ngo
WHERE: 26 O’Connell St, North Adelaide