How about a drink with some soba noodles before dark?
Drinking at a soba noodle restaurant is very chic.
The roots of drinking at soba restaurants can be traced back 300 years. Originally soba restaurants were a bit like present day izakaya bars; an oasis for workers where you had a drink after work. In those days it was considered cool to go drinking after finishing your work early, so many people went to soba restaurants early in the afternoon to have a drink. This is said to be the beginning of the “sobayanomi” style of drinking at soba restaurants early in the afternoon.
The rules of soba drinking are as follows: first get your body and mind slightly intoxicated before helping yourself to the main, the soba, and then when you are just in the right state of mind, jauntily leave the restaurant behind. Don’t stay too long; don’t drink too much. When you take the middle way in everything you do, you are vigorous and chill at the same time. This chillness is truly chic.
In this part I am going tell you four ways to enjoy soba and a drink, and the best restaurants to do that. Isn’t it great you can have some traditional Japanese food and a drink before dark! I am sure that after reading this you will go to a soba restaurant and order a drink. Make a soba restaurant your own chic and cool bar!
So the real charm of having a drink at a soba restaurant is there before you eat your soba! When going into a soba restaurant, first order a drink and some snacks, and wait for your soba to arrive.
My recommendations are “itawasa” and “sobamiso”. Itawasa is kamaboko cured surimi sliced and served with wasabi and soy sauce that you eat like you would sashimi; you dip the kamaboko into soy sauce mixed with wasabi. Itawasa is my number one choice for a soba restaurant snack.
These snacks are perfect for eating while you drink the sake little by little. When you eat itawasa and sobamiso, I hope you will find yourself ordering a second cup of sake.
*Remember that this is all you eat before the soba is just to enjoy the soba more.
The omelet is not as light as the first snack, but not being too heavy, it should still leave you waiting for the main, the soba noodles.
Dry sake should go perfectly with the fatty duck.
In the next part I will tell you about famous udon noodle restaurants. There are not only famous soba restaurants in Kyoto but there are also extremely famous udon restaurants with lines in front of them every day.