Evolved Shinshu Soba with a view of the Kyoto Imperial Palace
There isn’t a soul who is familiar with the Kyoto food scene and unfamiliar with the soba restaurant Hanamomo. Brought up in Shinshu (the old name for modern day Nagano Prefecture), owner Momose honed their craft for many years before finally hanging their own noren shop curtain and opening Hanamomo in 2010.
Buckwheat, which is the primary ingredient in soba, comes into season in Autumn, and soba made using the newly harvested buckwheat is known as “Shin-soba” (Lit. New buckwheat). Hanamomo preserve Shin-soba harvested in the fields of Hokkaido, Ibaraki, and Nagano prefectures and mill it only when necessary.
Also, Hanamomo use a ratio of 20% wheat to 80% buckwheat, which gives their soba a chewy bounce.
Hanamomo also change the recipe and preparation method for their Tsuyu noodle dipping sauce and Dashi broth depending on how they are to be enjoyed and what they are to be enjoyed with.
In this way, Hanamomo painstakingly research everything, making sure that their ingredients shine and produce the best flavours possible.
Owner Momose also fills each dish at Hanamomo with the loving desire to have everyone try their family’s vegetables, which are sent all the way from Nagano Prefecture.
Every summer and winter, Hanamomo chose a different seasonal vegetable to take center stage in their soba dishes.
For example, in summer they offer “Sudachi Soba,” which is soba noodles covered in a good helping of sliced sudachi – a citrus which is similar to lime in that its juice and zest are often used in cooking.
They also offer the dish “Hiyagakemizore,” which features grated Daikon Japanese white radish and a drizzling of cold dashi broth.
For winter they offer “Negi Soba,” a bowl filled with the well-known Kyoto vegetable, Kujo-negi, literally leeks from 9th street.
With their array of seasonal dishes, Hanamomo is truly the perfect place to try all the flavors of the seasons.
As Hanamomo is a rather popular restaurant, you often have to wait quite a while if you come during the lunchtime rush; however, this shouldn’t deter you as this means they are the perfect place for grabbing a late lunch at after taking a stroll through the beautiful Kyoto Imperial Palace.