Flipping Soba on its Head – Hot Soba Packed with Love and Nutrients
Since Chikuyuuantarouatsumori was founded in 1987, they have been serving a style of warm soba noodles known as atsumori.
This restaurant was born out of the simple idea of the original owner and current owner Kobayashi's mother: "Why is it that this world is so overflowing with beautiful things, yet people seem so down all the time?"
Kobayashi's mother began the restaurant with the desire to feed people food that would be good for them. Even now, as we leave the Heisei Era behind and head into Japan's new era of Reiwa, the soba at Chikuyuuantarouatsumori, which was born out of such a motherly love, is still capturing the hearts and minds of people all around.
What exactly is "atsumori-soba"?
Up til now, the prominent form of warm soba has been kake-soba, boiled noodles placed in a warm tsuyu broth.
However, at Chikuyuuantarouatsumori, atsumori-soba is hot noodles, right out of the pot, served in a bamboo steamer. The warm soba is served alongside a warm bowl of tsuyu dipping sauce as well.
Throughout the entirety of Japan, let alone the borders of Kyoto, restaurants that serve this style of atsumori-soba are incredibly few and far between. The dark color that greets you as you open the bamboo steamer is proof that the soba is made from whole grains and is nutrient-packed.
The menu only contains two items, Atsumori-soba, and Okkake-zarusoba.
A defining feature of Chikuyuuantarouatsumori is that they don't serve anything unnecessary or over the top. However, don't look down on this simple menu, as there's a world of surprise and wonder among the tangles of black noodles, mountains of Kujo leeks, hidden egg yolks, traditionally served tsuyu dipping sauce and dried plums, waiting for you.
/ ￥900 (Inc. Tax)
Atsumori-soba, a staple of Chikuyuuantarouatsumori.
When you open the lid of the special bamboo steamer, the thick, black noodles will let off a cloud of steam that's quickly followed by the undeniable aroma of buckwheat.
Accompanying the soba will be a side of egg and Kujo leek filled tsuyu dipping sauce. This mixture gives off the pleasant aroma of Rishiri kombu and bonito flakes.
Dipping a helping of noodles into this mixture and giving yourself up to the blissful world of flavors is the Chikuyuuantarouatsumori way.
The fragrant aroma of the wholegrain soba together with the crunchy Kujo leeks and creamy egg give the whole ordeal a unique texture that is sure to have you coming back for more.
In addition to being a playground of textures and flavors, this dish is full of the best nutrients the ingredients have to offer; making it both good for your body and soul.
We recommend this dish to both those that are familiar with atsumori-soba and those who had never heard of it before.
/ ￥900 (Inc. Tax)
Okkake Zarusoba is the same whole grain soba as in the Atsumori-soba, only it's gone through a bath of ice water and served cold. Heaped into traditional Japanese Izushi ware bowls, this soba is served in a few small, individual servings. In addition to the whole egg and Kujo leeks we saw in the Atsumori-soba, the tsuyu dipping sauce here also includes Tororo grated Japanese mountain yam, giving the dish that extra volume it needs to really fill you up.
Enjoy the cold soba by dipping a hardy amount into the dipping sauce mixture. The nutritious grated yam goes down smoothly and makes this dish great for those appetite killing hot summer days.
One order includes five bowls of soba. Additional soba can be ordered by the bowl.
/ ￥300 (Inc. Tax)
Karinto are dried Japanese sweets made from deep-fried flour and sweetened with brown sugar and honey. However, these Soba Karinto, sold in the restaurant, use the store’s buckwheat flour as its main ingredient. These snacks offer the undeniable aroma of soba in crunchy, bite-sized pieces. They are also great as souvenirs, as they are light and easy to carry, not to mention, reasonably priced.
After you order your soba, you will be served tsuyu dipping sauce in a traditional tokkuri flask, a helping of Kujo leeks atop a Miyazaki Prefecture sourced egg, and dried Japanese plums. First, pour your desired amount of tsuyu dipping sauce into the egg and leek mixture. Once you have thoroughly mixed the egg with the leeks, and sauce, your dipping sauce mixture will be complete and ready to eat.
The Atsumori-soba is meant to be eaten while the noodles are still hot, so it’s best to make your dipping sauce mixture in advance, while you wait for you noodles to be served.
The special dried plums, which are Nanko-ume from the Kishu domain of Wakayama prefecture, are palate cleansers. If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of the staff; they will be sure to kindly answer any queries to the best of their ability.