Enjoy the diverse world of soba across from the lush Kyoto botanical gardens
Situated on the chic, upper-class street of Kitayama-dori, “Zingrock” is where both soba fanatics and masters alike flock.
The reason so many converge on this restaurant is owner Sugibayashi’s deep and undying obsession with these buckwheat derived noodles.
Generally, soba noodles are made from preprocessed buckwheat flour; however, not in Sugibayashi’s case. This obsessive restaurant owner wouldn’t rest until he scoured the soba fields of Japan, from the northern region of Hokkaido to the southern tip of Kagoshima, to taste, see and choose the buckwheat seeds he’d eventually use in his restaurant for himself.
Sugibayashi doesn’t just visit these fields for the sake of buying the seeds; he goes with the intention of sitting down with the farmers and discussing what needs to be done to get an even better tasting crop next year.
As we talked to him, Sugibayashi told us, “There are two things crucial in (the making of) soba; the water, and the ground.”
At Zingrock they preserve the soba seeds at a low temperature and ripen them themselves. When needed, they peal only the required amount and spend the next few hours using a traditional Japanese stone mill to grind them. Paying close attention to the weight of the mill, the depth of the drain, and the speed and amount to which the seeds are dropping, Zingrock slowly work to grind out the absolute most fragrant buckwheat flour they can. In combination with this, they also spend hours purifying water scooped from within the mountains.
These two processes give birth to a vibrant and mildly-fragrant unique 100%-buckwheat soba.
Zingrock always offer three varieties of soba from differing farms and change the soba used each day depending on the menu and circumstances of that specific day.
The Dashi stock used as the base for the Tsuyu noodle dipping sauce also uses an in-house blend of three differing varieties of bonito flake. Zingrock keep a careful eye on the stock and alter the how long the bonito flakes are in there depending on how it looks.
We highly recommend anyone who has ever enjoyed soba noodles to come and experience the authentic flavors provided at Zingrock for themselves.