Bar Soba is no newbie on the Leeds dining scene; the Scottish-born brand made the jump down south back in 2015, first setting up a home on Merrion Street. But a lot can change in four years; and with a new look and space on Greek Street, we went down to see how this happy little spot is settling in.
Friday nights are never quite on Greek Street, and by 8pm the party is in full swing. Bar Soba’s crowd is no exception, with couples finishing off dinner and groups starting a night of cocktail drinking. Set over two floors, the restaurant is an Instagrammable den of neon signs, beautiful graffiti-style art, and pink strip lighting.
Food and drink is inspired by street food stalls of Southeast Asia, with an affordable choice of noodles, rice dishes and quirky bites such as Cheeseburger Spring Rolls. We opted for the more traditional, sharing a plate of vegetable gyoza (£5), dunking the soft dumplings in a delicate jalapeno and lime sauce. But it was the Singapore noodles (£12) that really blew me away - out came a huge bowl filled with chicken, beef and prawns - make sure to have a cocktail on hand, as this plate packs a serious chilli punch.
As one of the few groups still eating, it made sense to join the rest of the crowd and work our way through Bar Soba’s cocktail offering. The bar has added its sense of fun to the drinks too, as classics are redesigned to bring the heat of Southeast Asia. From the Pan Asian Persuasion section, I went for the Yellow Dragon (£8.50); mixing Bacardi Carta Blanca, banana liqueur, apricot brandy, lime juice, passion fruit and pineapple, it was like a beach holiday in glass. Three Monkeys (£8) was a little more grown up - something you would sip once the sun’s gone down - with a short hit of Monkey Shoulder, Laphroaig, lemon and honey.
The DesingMyNight Digest
Bar Soba takes some very simple elements and adds a quirky twist to them; food is affordable, comes in whopping portions and perfect for soaking up some of the juicy cocktails. Stop by this spot for a catch-up or casual birthday, and stay late with DJs and disco drinks.