One of the things I was looking forward to while in Tokyo was to check out some of Tokyo’s specialty restaurants, places that have been specializing in one type of food for many years. Unlike many of the Japanese restaurants in Vancouver, a large percentage of restaurants in Tokyo hone their skills in one type of food and as you may expect, they get very good at what they do. One place that I really wanted to try was Kanda Yabu Soba, which has been in business making soba since 1880. I actually discovered Kanda Yabu Soba through my own research but I was also told by my aunt that it was extremely popular so I should be prepared for a bit of a wait. Kanda Yabu Soba is located near the Akihabara area so Jenkins and I wandered over there for a late lunch after checking the latest electronics in Akihabara.
Since it was almost 2PM by the time we arrived at the restaurant, we only waited about five minutes before we were shown to our table. I decided on the seiro soba, which was fantastic. The freshly made soba noodles were chewy with a nice bite that I really enjoyed.
Before eating the soba, I dipped it in the accompanying soba tsuyu (dipping broth) which was made of dashi, soy, and mirin. The broth had a nice umami flavour with the perfect combination of salty and sweet. I added some fresh wasabi and grated onions to my broth, which added some additional flavour. After finishing my soba, our server brought a teapot with some of the starchy water that the soba had been cooked in. I poured the water into the remainder of my soba tsuyu, which created a nice soup that is reported to have some healthy benefits.
Jenkins decided to have the hot soba version of my dish, the kake soba which came in the soup version of my tsuyu broth. This version’s soba had a little less chewiness to it perhaps due to the hot broth but was still full of great flavour. Jenkins’ dish also came with some spicy flakes which he tried out but he noted that the soba tasted best on its own and some thinly sliced leeks on top.
Prices at Kanda Yabu Soba are probably a bit higher than your typical soba joint but for the quality of soba you get, I think it’s definitely worth a try. Service is very friendly and the staff are patient with you as you try to navigate the menu, even though the restaurant is quite busy. Of special note is the lady standing in the corner of the restaurant who sings the orders out to the chefs in the kitchen.
2-10 Kanda Awajicyo, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Tel :03 3251 0287