Friday, August 1, 2008

Soba Dining Den -Soba@Numazu- Izu Gourmet Guide

Soba Den is near Takazawa park on the North side of Numazu station.
It is the "sister shop" of Sushi Den which is near by. From the ourside it looks quite plain with dark paint but has a fashionable and chic style to it.
The interior features Japanese traditional and modern colors and when you enter you are greated by a counter with many large bottles of Shochu desplayed on it.
The background music is Jazz which is in contrast to the traditional decor and the kimono wearing waitresses.

It was a cold day when we went and the waitress kindly set up a heater under us for comfort.
The drink menu had a huge range of shochu so I ordered soba shochu on the rocks.You must bookahead at this restaurant and it offers the choice of 3
set menus.
The first is 3,500 yen the next is 4,500 yen and the most expensive is 6,000 yen. I ordered the 4,500 yen which was as follows.

At first was a "basket of appetizers" which consisted of 5 treats in a basket.
They were fish cake which is a deep fried minced fish called "Satsuma-age" in Japanese, pickled small fish, scallop gratain, tofu with peanut sauce and boiled white radish in miso sauce.
I was surprised by the variety and lack of soba in the basket, but enjyoed it and the tofu.

The next dish was a fish dish using minced Japanese conga and tofu formed into balls with spring onions on top. The waitress informed us that the tofu was handmade and delicious but I wasn't all that impressed.

After that we were served crab shumai with a citrus taste. They were excellent and smelled strongly of citrus and I would have liked to eat more. It made me look forward to the next dish with keen anticipation. It didn't disappoint and was baked fish with 3 types as miso sauce. There was wasabi miso, Japanese mushroom miso and plain miso all beatifully presented on a square plate.
The wasabi miso matched the white radish best and was the best tasting thing I had eaten so far. The fish was very soft with a subtle and delicious flavour.
As it was March there was a lovely display of Japanese dolls for the "hina-matsuri" and the interrior of the restaurant is changed with the season.

The waitress was very knowledgable about both the food and drink menu and could answer all my questions quickly.

The next dish was a plate of sashimi served on a long rectangular plate with a sushiroll.
The sushi roll was probably because it was Setsubun season which is a time when Japanese traditionally eat "rice and sea weed roll" or sushi rolls.The sashimi was extra fresh and tasted excellent.

After that we were served shrimp, Japanese mushroom, eggplant, brussel sprout and conger eel tempura. Normally tempura is eaten dipped in tempura sauce but hear it is eaten with 3 types of salt, green salt made with tea, grey salt made with sour plum and plain salt. I tried them all but found that the plain was best and brought our the sweetness in the tempra.

Next we had soba which was served on a bamboo basket type plate. The soba was handmade and matched the flavour of the dipping sauce perfectlly.
It's texture was just right and was almost like "al dente pasta".

Dessert was vanilla icecream with sweat red bean paste, mochi which is Japanese rice cake topped with crushed nuts.
The icecream was deliciously refreshing and went down a treat.

At the end of the meal we were given soba tea and the owner came to our seat and chatted with us. He was very friendly and easy to talk and made for a nice way to finish our meal.
It was a very good meal and given the seasonal variations in decor and menu.
I would like to go to soba dinning Den in every season to see how it changes.

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Soba Dinning Den
Address:5-14, Takazawa-cho ,Numazu
Budget:Lunch 3,000 yen Dinner 5,000 yen
Overall evaluation:
Value for money:

Please see a page here about detailed information on WIREDiCON.

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