Soba are buckwheat noodles, very common in Japan, they date back from the Edo period where it was discovered that this wealthy dish, unlike white rice eaten by wealthy citizens, was not developing a disease at the time
there were at least a couple of soba places in every village in Japan. Nowadays, they are everywhere almost, from very basic to very sophisticated. Here is my favourite one, Honmura An.
Located just off the Roppongi crossing in Tokyo, it is very easy to find although in a tiny quiet street. the style is minimalist, modern, light wood, concrete because the owner was inspired by his New York times when he reviewed the place.
This is a family business, when the parents grew old, they asked their son to come back and run the place, which he did. Until then, he was running his own Honmura An in New York and it seems everyone knows that one rather than the Tokyo one.
it is always friendly, excellent service, food is amazing, fresh produce in season, prepared simply to enjoy the taste. I had the best Matsuyama potatoes for example. Every time I have been, it has been a delight! Yukiko San, thank you for introducing me to the best soba
Before that, I was not too keen on soba that I found sticky, tasteless, nothing fancy really. Now, I can tell you I became a fan BUT with high standards
Japan is a consumer market, people love to spend, buy, they love brands, but they also love details, nice things, brands, luxury, quality. Along with that, for over a century, there have been a lot of department stores (Takashimaya, Matsuzakaya, Isetan, Mitsukoshi, etc)
If you ever read The Ginger Tree, wonderful book written by Oswald Wynd, you will read part of the development of these stores in the early 1900’s
Japan has so much to offer when it comes to food. I have 2 friends visiting currently for 2 weeks and both of them never eat raw food nor seafood. I thought this might be a challenge but we are reaching the end of the 2 weeks and we have not finished yet our wishlist. this is endless and always so delicious, oisshiii!!
I took them for lunch on a couple of occasions, restaurants are a commodity here and you can get a set lunch for JPY750 to JPY900 easily and that will always include a bowl of rice, pickles, a bowl of miso soup and the main dish, sometimes a fruit portion, it is excellent value, almost always good and healthy at all times
really yummy place in Roppongi – right next to Midtown shopping mall, the place is called Uoshin Nogizaka. the atmosphere is like an izakaya and they provide a lot of different fishes and seafood in a great atmosphere
2nd floor is smoking area. prices are ok, menu is in Japanese, there is a limited simple English version but the fun is to choose randomly
excellent address – make sure you book in advance as it is packed Monday to Sunday steadily
Last week end, I had a memorable dinner at a friend’s place. She prepared and I watched the beauty of a nice Japanese evening
Tofu is always a win, light, you can spice up with a lot of different things
Of course, a Japanese meal always include pickles (Tsukemono), boiled vegetable and rice
The highlight of my evening was this sweet potato mousse, very creamy, rich, tasty, I loved it, I have the recipe and will rehearse and practice. As a European, I am not expert on sweet potato but this is an absolute delight
Arigato Gozaimasu Sawako San, you made my day and taught me so much that day