A Quirky Take on Asian Fusion at Shojo Boston

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Nestled among the usual suspects in the handful of streets that make up Boston’s Chinatown, the unassuming stark contemporary exterior of Shojo leads into a dimly-lit interior. I knew this restaurant would be different because it wasn’t advertising dim sum on the outside or painted in red and/or gold.  Inside, the street art inspired graphics on the interior walls also conveyed the impression that this was not your usual Chinese take-out.

Asian Fusion at Shojo Boston

Shojo is an Asian fusion restaurant in the heart of Boston’s Chinatown.  The tables are small and close together dimly lit by cage lights.  There’s a hip bar area that sells craft beers, sake and creative cocktails.  The executive chef, Mark O’Leary, has an established reputation for great food in other Boston restaurants.  I discovered this gem thanks to my blogging friends, The Two Riveras, twins who are food bloggers with impeccable taste.

Asian Fusion at Shojo Boston
A contemporary exterior
Asian Fusion at Shojo Boston
Exposed brick walls, street art and cage lights. All very achingly hip.

I LOVED their kimchi fried rice.  The kimchi is house made and had just the right amount of kick.  Other fusion options are Shojiko Chicken Tacos, Duck-Fat Fries (in a spicy Sriracha aioli).  You can get the fries ‘shadowless’ as well – a variation that is a meal in itself and the winner of Boston Magazine’s 2015 Starch Madness winner.  Here’s a general recipe for Shadowless Fries if you feel like trying it yourself.

Asian Fusion at Shojo Boston
Kimchi Fried Rice – Amazing!

The plates are small and served tapas-style which is also very different from the heaping piles of food served in traditional Chinese restaurants.  On the other hand, the Chinese sensibility of sharing plates is still maintained.  Truth be told, I didn’t really want to share my kimchi fried rice but had to play nice with the Two Riveras.  I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to share the Shojonator burger either (a burger topped with kimchi Velveeta) which is on my list for when I visit Shojo next.

Asian Fusion at Shojo Boston
A small but select menu
Asian Fusion at Shojo Boston
Ramen with tiki cups – why not?

Shojo Boston is open 6 days a week (closed Sundays).  The menu is available online although they do point out the right to change their menu if they feel like it.  They’ve also been voted among Boston’s Best food and drink places by the Improper Bostonian.  I loved Shojo so much I went back twice in the one week I was in Boston earlier this year.

Asian Fusion at Shojo Boston
Street art inspired walls

It’s a fun new take on Chinese food for a younger crowd. I’m not surprised that they don’t even bother to open on a Sunday when traditionally you go out with the family for dim sum.  The family dim sum scene is so not their style.  Yet, the flavours are traditional and not out of keeping with the neighbourhood. Although try hard, I have to say I loved it.

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This post is linked up with City Tripping and Wednesday Wanderlust.

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38 thoughts on “A Quirky Take on Asian Fusion at Shojo Boston”

  1. Going to the same place to eat twice in one week is a sure sign of a great restaurant. That Kimchi Fried Rice looks amazing and I think it’s great that they change their menu on a whim. Love it.

  2. This sounds great, a really good twist on the traditional – I only had a day or two in Boston when I visited, so stuck to the main sites, but it’s a lovely city so hopefully I’ll be back one day to explore more. Thanks for joining up with #citytripping too!

    1. I love Boston. It’s got a young heart with an old world feel. Hope you get to go back some day! Hopefully not in winter though – those are brutal.

  3. I went to university in this town, and every tie I come back to visit, there is always a plan or two that I wish existed in those days of doldrum food. We also met you for the first time in this town, and you have whet our travel appetite ever since. Nice post my friend. I think we’ll go visit Boston when we finally return to the East Coast and get us some of that kimchi fried rice.

  4. Have you been to WITS-15 Shobha? We visited this restaurant at one of the blogger suggestion for an outing! loved the fusion and the quirkiness:) always on the look out for such places (that also won’t do too much damage to the wallet:)

  5. I will be going to Boston for the weekend next month. I will have to see how far this is from where we’ll be. Would love to check it out!

  6. Shojo sounds like a place I would love to check out for sure. It sounds interesting and I so love the art work they have on the walls. If I ever go to Boston I will be checking it out for sure.

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