Monday, September 6, 2010

Shimbashi Soba: soba very good

Shimbashi Soba is one of the icons specializing in soba in Singapore. I had an incredible experience once in Shiojiri, Japan where I visited a home restaurant serving exceptional home made soba and cuisine. Click here to read that post.

But here in Singapore, tucked in the basement of Paragon, not far from the recent great experience at Grandma's, Shimbashi Soba also makes their own soba in-situ.

A soba specialist makes this daily...perhaps more frequently, and displays his craft from a small glass window-ed kitchen at one corner of the restaurant. He starts from grinding the buckwheat, kneading, cutting into strips.

I have eaten at Shimbashi on numerous occassions, and this post is an amalgam of the latest 2 visits.

The house soba is simply called Paragon Soba:

Indeed, a great name. It comprises of a bowl of hot soba and a bowl of cold soba. I found the hot soba to be good, but the cold soba was exceptional. The crisps from tempura flour provides an excellent foil to the cold, flavourful soba in a thick, cold rich broth...fortified with slices of Japanese seaweed - seen here dried seaweed on the right, and fresh seaweed on the left...and a piece of home made tofu. A small serving of tempura prawns and vegetable are able the side dishes.

The cold soba with tempura is also delectable:

The soba is quite good...a bit springy, slightly chewy, but very fragrant...though in an inobstrusive way so as to provide a light base to set off the ingredients and dipping sauce. The tempura was quite good, though not as good as the best specialist tempuras. The prawns were rather large, straight, and fresh. The vegetables were good too.

The duck soba is also a favourite, especially with cold soba:

I like the way they cooked the duck. Just a bit shy of medium, with a nice pink blush. And very flavourful. Chilled, it proved even nicer than hot. And the characteristic way the Japanese does eggs...a tad over half boiled, with the yolk just runny. Excellent, and pushes all my buttons.

The hot tempura soba, in also very good, but in my opinion, somewhat less good than the cold ones:

The hot broth somehow does not allow the character of the soba to shine.

They also have a very nice kani croquette:

Very crispy on the outside, and superbly creamy and almost oozing on the inside.

For me, Shimbashi is certainly a favourite...worth many revisits.

Shimbashi Soba
290 Orchard Road #B1-41 The Paragon Singapore
Tel: 6735 9882
Daily: 11.30am – 9.30pm
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