Each Soba has a different personality but we all retain the same brand DNA. Our brand DNA is what makes Soba SOBA and is made up of many different strands.
First and foremost, Soba is a BAR (hence the name). We are not a restaurant that does cocktails, we are a Bar – a GREAT bar that serves GREAT drinks but also has a QUALITY food offering to boot! Cocktails are now available as standard in almost every Bar and Restaurant today so we recognise that we need to stay ahead of the curve and innovate so that we are bringing our guests something unique and something that they can’t get around the corner. However, it’s very common nowadays to go into a Bar and read a drinks list and not recognise anything – spirits you don’t know, flavour profiles you don’t recognise and Menus with limited information. Going out for a few drinks shouldn’t be an intimidating experience so we create a drinks offering with our CUSTOMERS at the forefront of our minds. We also never want to dilute our brand or lose our BRAND IDENTITY so our drinks list captures what Soba is all about – fast, casual, tongue-in-cheek, with South East Asian influences and QUALITY ingredients.
Our Food is inspired by the Street vendors of South East Asia and our Menu touches on traditional classic street food from all over the region. Our aim is to provide the most authentic Asian Street Food we possibly can and to do this we course the finest ingredients and make every element for every dish from scratch in our kitchens. Although a Menu’s inspiration can come from anywhere, a Menu cannot be authentic if it isn’t honest. We are extremely lucky to have our Executive Chef, Nik Biok, at the helm, as all of his recipes come from real life experience. Nik was born in Sydney Australia, however, thanks to his mother who was a successful immigration lawyer, he spent his childhood living in South-East Asia, spending time in rural Indonesia, Malaysia and China as a child. Some of the signature Soba recipes are inspired by dishes he grew up with – dishes he ate with the other village children in Ubud as a kid, dishes he tried at a beach BBQ in Koh Samui whilst travelling Thailand in his teens or dishes his neighbour made for him whilst he was living in Hong Kong a few years back. Over the years, we’ve never been complacent with our Menu and always take the time to try and take our dishes to the next level – we’ve been serving Pad Thai and Green Curry for 17 years but we always listen to feedback, listen to trends and work towards improving it’s taste, its smell, its presentation.
We also don’t take ourselves too seriously, which is why our Menu is AUTHENTIC but not TRADITIONAL. You can find traditional dishes on there such as Gyozas, Steamed Dumplings, Teriyaki noodles, Massaman curry, etc but there are also SOBA TWISTS – some of our past contemporary dishes have included a Dirty Bangkok Chapati Burger, a Hot Smoked Salmon Taco and even Thai Fish & Chips! We always listen to our market which is why there are dishes for the adventurous, dishes for those who like to play it safe, mild dishes, hot dishes, sweet dishes, healthy dishes and naughty dishes too.
Music has always been a big part of the Soba experience. From our humble beginnings at the Fringe in Edinburgh to our venue in Leeds, we showcase local DJs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Brad is a big house music fan and House was a huge trend in the nineties so Soba Mitchell Lane quickly became a haunt for local underground Dance DJs in Glasgow (which is why it became the obvious choice for drinkers to get themselves in the mood for a night at the Subby). Over the years, we’ve LISTENED TO OUR CUSTOMERS and EVOLVED without diluting our BRAND IDENTITY. Don’t worry, you wont find One Direction or anything like that on the playlist but, just as House music has evolved itself, our signature sound has matured and kept up with the curve so you’ll now find a soundtrack of Disco, House and Funk coming out the speakers. Eclectic and cool without taking itself too seriously (are you seeing a pattern here?).
The team are one of the most important strands of the Soba DNA as they are the people that go out and deliver all the other strands to our customers. We hire PEOPLE not CVs and then we give them the training and guidance they need to be themselves but retain the Soba brand identity. We want to create MEMORABLE guest experiences and we couldn’t do that if we gave robotic service. We want our team to use our Order of Service and knowledge of our products and go out there and do it with their own flair, their own chat and their own je-ne-sais quoi. Use your skills to serve and your charm to impress!