Shimbashi Soba

24 03 2010

Whenever people ask which is my favourite Italian eatery or Brunch place, I get totally stumped. Not for the lack of but rather the overwhelming number of choices that courses through my brain (I swear you will see the blood vessel on my temple pulsating from the rush of blood to my head) but whenever someone asks me where my favourite Soba place is, the answer is just so simple and “shouting in my face” obvious, Shimbashi Soba…

There’s something that’s just so zen about enjoying a bowl of cold soba with a side of sashimi. The fluid wrist motions, a quick immersion, swishing in the dipping sauce and the gentle slurping all makes for a soothing, tranquil soba meal. Yes, to me peace of mind was always only a Shimbashi Soba away…

A sister restaurant to Shin Kuriya, Shimbashi Soba @ Raffles City shares it’s premises as well as staff with the former. The real life application of economies of scale I suppose? Anyway, I think it’s a really great idea as they are able to balance out their staffing needs should any one restaurant get too hectic. I also love it that their Buckweed Soba is handmade by a skilled Japanese chef so you know it’s truly authentic.  

J had the Shokado A(Salmon Sashimi, Teriyaki Chicken, Assorted Tempura, Choice of Cold/Warm Soba or Udon, Fruits @ $23.80++) while I had the Value Shokado(Fried Tofu, Deep Fried Chicken, Assorted Tempura, Choice of Cold/Warm Soba or Udon, Fruits @ $19.80++).

Starting with the appetizers, I didn’t really like my Fried Tofu in Mushroom Sauce much. Step 1 to a great Fried Tofu: The Tofu must retain it’s crisp batter till eaten! Sadly, the tofu here was on the soggy side that I might have actually preferred an unbattered tofu instead. Would save on the extra carbs at least…and it would have been much smoother anyways.

The Salmon Sashimi didn’t disappoint with it’s thick masterful cut. Just look how it glistens in the lighting. It’s a pleasure to eat you!

Actually, Shimbashi Soba is quite the cheaterbug. The Teriyaki Chicken only differs from the Deep Fried Chicken by means of…THE TERIYAKI SAUCE! I liked the latter more thus proving More doesn’t mean Better. Why would I want to desecrate my unadulterated crispy deep fried chicken with sodium saturated teriyaki sauce?

There’s nothing very special about the Assorted Tempura(Prawn, Ladies Finger, Mushroom). My prawn was overbattered and the batter was not as light nor crisp as I remembered munching on at the Paragon branch.

Now, the moment of truth. Is the Cold Soba as good as I remembered it? Chewy and Q Soba – Check! Pleasant and not overpoweringly salty dipping sauce – Check! Crispy Batter Crumbs, Seaweed and Spring Onions to boost the flavour and texture – Check! As I slowly went through my checklist, it inevitably hit me that while the basic fact remains that the soba was good, it still fell short of what I was used to eating here. A fluke or the simple case of differing standards between the 2 outlets? Or maybe it was because I came for dinner early and they used soba that had been prepared during lunchtime and hence not as fresh? Or maybe I was still full from my lunch at another Jap restaurant?

This is usually what happens when you arrive at any eatery with heightened expectations. You are just setting yourself up for utter and sheer disappointment. Yet, I still carry the hope and belief that Shimbashi Soba has what it takes to be my number 1 Soba place in Singapore…at least for the Paragon branch.

Bon Appetit!

 

SHIMBASHI SOBA (PARAGON)

290 ORCHARD ROAD

#B1-41 THE PARAGON

TEL: +65 6735 9882

 

SHIMBASHI SOBA (RAFFLES CITY)

252 NORTH BRIDGE ROAD

#B1-06/07 RAFFLES CITY SHOPPING CENTRE

TEL: +65 6337 8852

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