SoSo Food Club
It’s a food “club” because this isn’t necessarily a dining establishment exclusively: a semi-black-lit space in the back can be converted into a dance area, the aim to bring together DJs that might not normally play together.
The space that used to be home to The Contender was converted entirely by the restaurant team (headed by Nancy Chen) using a teal-and-pink colour palette inspired by Hong Kong (where she’s from).
Mouth Watering Chicken ($9) is the literal translation of a very traditional Sichuan-style dish.
All meat and seafood is sustainably sourced, medallions of chicken for this dish plated with spicy chili sesame and peanuts that put up a surprisingly good fight against normally aggressive beets.
So So Dan Dan Mian ($16) is one of several house-made noodle dishes, skinny round noodles plated in a loose coil with spicy sesame chicken.
Mix the noodles well with a thin sesame sauce and chili oil to coat them evenly so they don’t get stuck together in this light yet nutty and spicy dish that’s impossible not to inhale.
Lamb Biang Biang ($16) is made with a typical flat noodle, albeit with a spinach twist. This dish is spicy enough that it’s described as “cry-worthy” on the menu, with chunky pieces of lamb shoulder and a funky undertone thanks to a chili cumin spice mix.
Family-Style Whole Sea Bream ($34) is plated up “the Chinese way (yes, that means bone in, head on).” It’s pan-fried in a black bean and chili sauce with clams so the flavours all meld together, earthy and deep.
The clams are lovely little brine bombs, the fish fluffy and moist.
The Not-Really Buddha Basket ($14) is so named because of the use of overly “exciting” ingredients like garlic, but it is vegan. Cauliflower, shiitake, corn and spinach come off just a tad bland to me but the double-fried taro ring is yummy.
XO Lobster Mapo Tofu ($36) sees a whole lobster cooked with its own tamale, house spicy seafood XO sauce, and soft tofu and served with a bowl of steamed rice for an extravagant take on the normally humble dish.
The Mamahuhu ($13.50) is made with Fen Chiew (a Chinese vodka), Guerra Blanco, hibiscus berry tea, lemon and orange blossom. Like the food, it’s slightly medicinal and funky, but clean.
The name SoSo is a play on the typical formula for Chinese restaurant names that often feel like a mish mash of superlatives: legendary, best, excellent. Watch out for special events here like wine pairing dinners and panels.