- Ebi Katsu Bao
- Kingfish Sushi Donut
- Roast Pork Belly Bento
The Ebi Katsu Bao fell short of expectations. While we bit into an exceptionally crispy panko crumbed outer, the inner was far from the “king prawn” that we were expecting. It was probably like minced prawn with a tonne of starch, think fake crabsticks. Unfortunately, the chilli mayo used within was an offense to the tastebuds. Overly strong, the sauce tasted very Chinese, with its sweet and savoury flavours. It was also distinctly lacking in chilli or the creamy textures of mayo, which was much needed to bring the pickles together with the prawn patty.
We also found the Kingfish Sushi Donut unspectacular. While it looked flawless, it was unfortunately all downhill from there. The kingfish wasn’t particularly fresh not tender and felt a tad dry. Served with a donut-shaped black rice that was exceedingly sticky The amount of smoked cream cheese was pitifully sparse, and coupled with the exceedingly sticky black rice that was shaped in a donut, it was near impossible to spread around. Without the wasabi or the cream cheese, we found the dish severely lacking in flavour and otherwise bland without soy sauce.
The Roast Pork Belly Bento was an utter disgrace to Japanese cuisine. Overcooked, burnt and dry, the pork itself was near inedible and not even close to what pork belly protein should resemble. Despite the menu clearly stating that we’d receive 8 pieces of pork belly, only 6 of these tragic pieces of protein arrived in our bento box. When we tried to query the wait staff about the dryness, we were told that “that’s why there’s sauce”. I’m sorry, but sauce is NOT the remedy for fucking up the cooking. We departed without finishing this dish.
We also repeatedly ask the staff for explanations on the menu and dish suggestions. Lacking in English skills, they failed to provide guidance on even the simplest of questions, for example how many entrees or mains we should order and whether the menu was designed for sharing.
Run by a non-Japanese crew who couldn’t give less of a fuck, Soko charges premium prices for markedly unimpressive dishes. While the dishes were far from authentic, the absurd modern twists were made worse by the fact that they haven’t even got the basics down pat. With so many modern Asian fusion restaurants popping up these days, I can only recommend visiting anywhere but here.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Poorly-executed, make-pretend Japanese food with a hefty price tag? Count me out.