Cleveland Cuisine: Soba Asian Kitchen

Located+on+Cleveland+Heights+Coventry+Road%2C+Soba+Asian+Kitchen+is+a+hidden+gem+of+Clevelands+cuisine

Corinne McDevitt

Located on Cleveland Height’s Coventry Road, Soba Asian Kitchen is a hidden gem of Cleveland’s cuisine

Raymond Weisburg, The Carroll News

In the heart of Cleveland’s diverse cultural and trendy hipster atmosphere emerges a fresh example of eastern traditions paired with eclectic western influences and flavors. Soba Asian Kitchen, located on Coventry Road halfway between Cedar Road and Mayfield Road, offers a quick, affordable, high protein Asian Fusion dining experience that’s extremely flavorful compared to other “make your own” establishments. Soba Asian Kitchen is easily accessible for John Carroll students and faculty.

A typical portion is presented in a large bowl liberally filled with your choice of traditional noodles, soba noodles, udon noodles, fried or steamed basil rice, topped with an assortment of customizable fresh vegetables including broccoli, carrots, cabbage, onion, baby corn or kimchi. Next, a gracious serving of a choice of sauteéd steak, shrimp, tofu, curry chicken or pork belly is added. The custom bowl is then dressed in one of the rich savory sauces that differentiates its distinct quality and taste. With a selection of craft teriyaki, Thai chili, Korean bbq, sriracha spice, yum yum or garlic butter, a hibachi fusion meal is ready for patrons without the delay or gimmicks of a more traditional setting. Not to mention the availability of side dishes and brightly-colored Japanese sodas on display.

I am inspired by elements used in different cultures and redefining their context in the form of Hibachi cuisine.”

— Jingbo Xian

An exorbitant meal including a beverage, extra proteins and a side dish to go can likely be purchased for under twenty dollars, but what truly distinguishes the character comes with the widely diverse ingredients of the flavor profiles, crossing cultural boundaries, which unites the east with the west. 

Soba’s creator and chef, Jingbo Xian has spent over 14 years in the hospitality and foodservice industry refining his craft and gaining insight of flavor formulation from Cleveland to Los Angeles and his experiences living in Tennessee. Opening its doors in 2020, Xian’s goal is to “combine Asian flavors that signature my upbringing, while adding textures and nuances that I’ve experienced being raised in the US. I am inspired by elements used in different cultures and redefining their context in the form of Hibachi cuisine,” he told The Carroll News. 

The unique experiences and mix of cultural exposure present themselves in his dishes, creating original impressions that aren’t available at other single-faceted establishments. The Curry Chicken includes undertones of a Jamaican edge, while the Pork Belly holds influences drawing from sweet American southern BBQ.

The atmosphere reflects the spirit of Chef Xiao and his cuisine, combining Cleveland’s grit, hipster free flow and hip-hop influences into a sleek Asian Fusion eatery.

Complete with pop art depictions of tigers in bling, intimate tables and a street view, it makes a worthwhile effort to visit and taste the picture Soba paints.