Lightly-flavored Abura soba right near Kiyomizu Temple
Nekomata is an abura soba restaurant just 5 minutes on foot from Keihan Kiyomizu Gojo Station. The restaurant’s signature dishes are crispy tempura chicken and a light tasting abura soba with the fragrant flavor of bonito and soy sauce.
Abura soba is a kind of ramen dish without soup. It is eaten after mixing the noodles together with the oil, soy sauce, chili oil, vinegar and other seasonings at the bottom of the bowl. Most abura soba dishes tend to have a fairly strong flavor and use thick noodles, but Nekomata’s abura soba is comparatively light and the noodles, an important part of the dish, are flat, custom-made noodles carefully chosen by the owner himself. The noodles go down really well and have a unique, chewy texture you will love.
The restaurant’s interior features wooden tables and stylish lighting making for a relaxed atmosphere.
Original Abura Soba (medium)
Original Abura Soba is Nekomata’s trademark dish. Simple and beautiful in appearance, the dish gives off a mouth-watering aroma of bonito and soy sauce when you mix the noodles together.
Compared with most abura soba, Nekomata’s Original Abura Soba uses simple ingredients (only roast pork, bamboo shoots, kamaboko, and seaweed). The dish is designed to be light in flavor, but for those people that like something stronger, try adding some black shichimi or spicy sesame oil available on each table. Both condiments accentuate the dish and will give it that little something extra.
Special Chicken Tempura
/ 3 pieces ￥300
Special Chicken Tempura is Nekomata’s other speciality.
This tempura is always served freshly fried. With a nice crispy batter, the tempura is quite moreish and fails to grow old. The chicken is sufficiently flavored before frying so that it can be enjoyed on its own, but it also tastes great with a pinch of salt and pepper served together with the dish.
Oiled Noodles with Garlic Specially Soy Sauce Spicy Miso
Oiled Noodles with Garlic Specially Soy Sauce Spicy Miso is a limited-time-only dish (available until March, 2016). In stark contrast to the aforementioned abura soba, this particular dish really makes an impact, and what gives the dish its punch is its strong, garlicky flavor. One bite and your mouth will fill with the strong taste of garlic, but once you’ve had one bite, you won’t be able to stop. This abura soba is strangely moreish. Just be careful if you have a date on either the same day or the next, because the smell of garlic on your breath will be pretty overpowering.
As you get down to your last few noodles, it’s a great idea to add some of the onion served together with your dish. Doing so allows you to enjoy the changing flavor that the crunchy texture and characteristic, spicy taste of onion give to abura soba. Onion goes well with all of the abura soba dishes Nekomata serves, so give it a go and add plenty of onion.