Larger-than-life chef and TV host Matty Matheson is cooking a one-off lunch at Adelaide's Shobosho on Thursday 20 June.
Tickets to his two dinners at Shobosho, announced in April, sold out in four hours. But the restaurant has announced a casual, walk ins-only lunch with just one Matheson-made item on the menu – a Nashville fish katsu sandwich.
"He'll be using a local South Australian white fish – maybe snapper – that will be crumbed with some Nashville spice, fried and put onto white bread," says Shobosho chef Adam Liston.
Matheson is known for his bold, meat-heavy cooking style, so the decision to rustle up a fish sandwich surprised Liston. "I was assuming he'd do a smoky beef barbecue thing. Or a burger," he says.
Not that Matheson's cheeseburger, made famous during his executive chef tenure at Toronto's Parts & Labour, would have fitted in with Shobosho's menu and aesthetic. "He wanted to fit the vibe of what Shobosho is," says Liston. "We're a Japanese restaurant that serves an incredible amount of fish. And our pork katsu sando is one of the signature dishes. He said: 'Let's play on that, with some Nashville flavours.'"
That's the idea, anyway. "I'm not sure if he'll change it," says Liston.
Liston has met Matheson a couple of times – the Canadian chef dined at Shobosho during previous visits to Australia, and asked to see the kitchen's grill, rôtisserie and yakitori set-up – and describes him as a "more relaxed" character than he comes across on screen. "After those two dinners sold out, it was disappointing to have to turn away so many people. He was quite adamant to meet as many people as he can," says Liston. To wit, diners at the Thursday lunch will have the chance to meet and greet Matheson, and have copies of his cookbooks signed.
Shobosho is no stranger to hosting collaborations with celebrated chefs and restaurants. Earlier this year they hosted one-off events with Yardbird Hong Kong and Singapore's Cheek by Jowl. Later in the year, they'll also be hosting a series of Sunday lunches with Clayton Wells (Automata), Matt Stone (Oakridge Estate) and Aaron Turner (Igni).
But first things first – those hundreds of fish sandwiches they'll be churning out come 20 June. The Shobosho kitchen is expecting to make about 300 sandos for the day, all in the name of Matheson. "We'll be making as many sandos as we can squeeze in," says Liston.
The Matty Matheson x Shobosho lunch is on Thursday 20 June, noon-3pm. Walk-ins only. Details about Shobosho's Sunday lunch series will be announced on their website and social media channels. 17 Leigh St, Adelaide, SA, (08) 8366 2224, shobosho.com.au