|Soho Japanese Bistro
7655 Voice of America Center Drive
West Chester OH
This is a first. Two nights and two five rice bowl restaurants in a row! I am in Cincinnati this week on business and last night I went to the Mt. Adams Fish House and it was wonderful. After awarding the Fish House five rice bowls, I was a bit nervous about having sushi tonight. I thought it might be unfair to review a restaurant after awarding five rice bowls to the last on.
Tonight I took the suggestion of a colleague and tried Soho Japanese Bistro in the north Concinnati suburb of West Chester. Soho is located in a large outdoor mall, the Voice of America Center, The mall is located on the former site of the Voice of America broadcasts from the cold war era. The mall itself is populated with middle tier stores like Linens and Things, Michaels and Office Depot. Soho is in one of the out buildings near the road.
When I parked in front of Soho, I was impressed. Soho is the largest Japanese restaurant I have ever seen. With a fountain in front, heavy wood doors with etched glass and paper shades behind huge glass windows — Soho gave a first class first impression.
The interior was even moor impressive. Soho is definitely a wel-designed trendy restaurant. The doors opened up to a host station in the center of a circular welcome area surrounded by huge wood columns sort of like a Japanese Gazebo. This area was set off from the dining room by a curtain of bamboo plants, I don’t know whether they are real but it is a nice effect.
Soho is Huge. To the left, in a separate room are the Teppanaki grills. The room dividers do a nice job of keeping the noise down. The interior is dark but my table had a lantern hanging over it and it was bright enough to read by. This restaurant has a very large beautiful sushi bar with dark woods and tiles behind the chefs. The other side of the restaurant has tatami rooms and near the front is a very modern looking bar.
Usually I don’t like trendy places. Part of the reason is they often have snooty waiters and loud music. At Soho my waitress was very personable and the service was excellent. Strangely the restaurant does not have nay canned music. I realized after a while that instead of music, they have a large indoor waterfall. So throughout dinner I enjoyed the soothing sounds of falling water.
Soho has a complete Japanese menu with much more than sushi. I chose to start with the beef gyoza and the chef’s choice sashimi combo. My combo came with a salad and when it arrived it was perfect. A combination of crisp lettuce, tomatoes, shredded carrots and cucumber slices with just the right amount of a tangy sweet ginger dressing. Some sushi places drown their salad in dressing. The salad was absolutely perfect.
Next came the gyoza. Soho serves beef gyoza and it was cood perfectly. Just a bit of crispiness in the edges of the wrapper and the rest tender. The sauce was thin and tasty. Excellent.
The combo includes Miso soup. Soho’s Miso is very good. Not too salty and good sized pieces of seaweed. I especially liked being able to taste and enjoy the seaweed.
Finally my sashimi arrived. Since it was chef’s choice I did not know what to expect. I was not disappointed. My combo consisted of:
- Red Snapper
- White Tuna
The sashimi was served with a garnish of banana leaf and finely sliced cucumber. On the side of the plate was a mixture of finely chopped carrot and daikon with a maraschino cherry — all things that I like.
Sashimi is about the fish and all of the fish was perfect. Mackerel is one of my favorites but all too often the marinade is too strong. At soho the Mackerel was lightly marinaded, tender and tasty. The octopus was thinly sliced and not a chewy as it often is. All of the other fish was firm and succulent every piece.
A combination of a beautiful modern setting and perfect fish, Soho is one of my new favorites.
|Soho Japanese Bistro: 5 rice bowls