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Soho St. Valentine's Day

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Soho St. Valentine's Day

Postby bob_rx2000 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:51 am

Not being terribly romantic (just ask Mrs-Bob_Rx), a group including the Sock-Theorists nipped off for our Valentine’s Day dinner on 13-February at Soho, the Japanese restaurant located in Heritage Square. I’m not clear if this is technically “Granger” or if Soho is actually in Mishawaka, but in the end, it matters not. There is plenty of parking available in the new Heritage Square mall, but reservations at Soho are a very good thing indeed, as the place was packed by the time our 6:30pm sitting rolled around. We had figured we could avoid the 14-February crowd this way, but that strategy backfired on us!

The bar area at Soho is fairly restricted, can seat, at best, perhaps a dozen people and you’ll be very crowded if it gets that full. Soho has a beer and wine license, so you cannot get a mixed drink there, but they do have a very good selection of wine and of the product of the brewer’s art. The bartender on Friday evening was pretty darn good and managed two “TV beer” pours of a fine Scottish ale into my pilsner glass. The Theorists and our other partners arrived just as our reservations were being called by the hostess at exactly 6:30pm. A word about the young ladies serving as hostesses: they would benefit from some coaching as their greeting of customers (“Hey!”) was perhaps just a tad informal…

As I mentioned, the place was crowded and there were 16 people seated at our two-grill teppanyaki station. Our waitress was a lovely young lady who efficiently took drink orders and was attentive to keeping glasses full and serving the appetizers, salads and soup, and in clearing off used glassware, plates and so forth. She was, in fact, a very good waitress and this is the second time that I’ve dined at Soho and the second time I’ve had an excellent server. Management there clearly understands that a server plays a vital role in the dining experience and is doing what is necessary to ensure that they have quality staff in that role. (Yes, we all tipped her very well…)

Theorist, our other male dining companion and I availed ourselves of the “Ocean’s 11” sushi boat for an appetizer. This is a 45-piece sushi combo served on a model ship and when it arrived one of the others at the grill wondered aloud if we planned to eat anything else. It isn’t cheap ($65) but it is well worth the price if you’re a sushi lover and you have one or two others with whom to share. Our ladies had a variety of appetizers including some ala carte sushi rolls and the grilled clams, and everyone was very satisfied with them.

One of the primary reasons for eating at a teppanyaki grill is, of course, the show put on by the chef as he (I’ve never seen a female, btw, as a teppanyaki chef) cooks your meal. It is worth noting that our group probably had a trainee chef, as he didn’t put on quite the cooking show that the chef working the other grill in our area put on. Our chef was, mind you, wholly competent and produced a fine meal quickly and effectively. However, he simply didn’t put on the show with the knife work, and with handling the food items, as for example, cracking the eggs while spinning them in the air or catching the shrimp-tails in his apron pocket, which the other chef was able to produce. We had a varied menu running from steak & shrimp through all seafood to chicken and a salmon filet. Everyone was very satisfied with the quality and quantity of food. My steak was produced as I like it (medium rare) and the shrimp were ready quickly so that the entire meal arrived in about 2 minutes and was piping hot. Soho has the full range of sauces for their meal, and even that horrible egg-yoke-sauce that seems to be in demand around here but nowhere else. How did I conclude our chef was still in training? On the toques of the chefs who produced a better show will be a band with Kanji characters. Not being able to read Kanji script (where is ‘tas when you really need him around???) I have no clue what they may say, but our chef was not sporting such a band and was the only chef missing it. The only other issue I can raise is that it was clearly a busy night for Soho as the sushi rice was not fully cooled. I dislike that as it makes the rice a bit less sticky and hence more trouble for chopsticks, although sushi really is a finger food.

Taking the extravagance of the Ocean’s Eleven sushi boat out of the mix, dinner and drinks for two came to just pennies over $60 and even accounting for a very nice tip for the server, I was able to provide an entertaining and very tasty Valentine’s Day meal for a very reasonable price. Soho is a great spot and should be on your must-try dinner list. Guys, just remember, if you do go for Valentine’s Day you still have to buy a card and a gift…
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Re: Soho St. Valentine's Day

Postby Big Kahuna » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:22 pm

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