WHAT IS SOBA?
Soba is the Japanese word for buckwheat, most commonly used to refer to a type of thin noodle made from buckwheat flour and wheat flour. Soba is often served in a hot broth with traditional ingredients such as green onions, shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu, and tempura. It can also be served cold, with a side dish of cold broth for dipping.
It is said that in the early 15th century, a Chinese priest brought a new type of wheat called “buckwheat” to Japan. During the Nara period, buckwheat began to be used to make noodles. Soba noodles became popular in the Edo period, yet the Edo elite regarded it as a lower class food. In the Tokugawa era, every neighborhood had one or two soba restaurants, a perfect spot for a casual meal with sake. In the late 1800s, many soba restaurants redecorated to accommodate the traditional tastes of the aristocracy and were successful in enticing the noble class to eat the healthy buckwheat noodles.
The popularity of soba today has resulted in factory-made soba and imitation soba to plague grocery shelves and restaurants.
At Sobaya, our soba is proudly handmade from scratch every day by chefs who have mastered the craft of soba-making.
OUR handmade SOBA
We only use natural ingredients to make our soba, no artificial additives. We import our sobako (buckwheat flour) from Azumino, Nagano, and buy first grade sobako milled by Kurashina Mill. These area are best known for sobako in Japan. Our chef expertly mixes 80% sobako with 20% wheat flour and small amounts of water, then thinly expands the dough using a wooden stick. the smoothly rolled dough is cut in identical widths with a soba knife. Every process is by hand and with layers of skill.
Our soba soup is made from dashi broth and Kaeshi (ripened soy sauce mixed with Mirin (sweetened sake) and sugar.) Dashi is the most important factor of Japanese cuisine and good dashi is the key for all dishes. We simmer high-quality bonito and kelp in charcoal-filtered water to make a dashi broth that is special to Sobaya.
Our soy sauce is a special blend for soba, called Soba-zen, the best brand brewed by Higeta, three times more expensive than regular soy sauce. (Soba-ya is the only restaurant in the U.S. using this brand.) The recipe is a secret, but the smooth, ripened flavor depends on careful temperature conditions. We store the sauce for 4 to 6 days in a cool, dark room. Depending on soba dishes, mainly hot or cold the chef blends certain ratio of Dashi and Kaeshi.
Dashi, Kaeshi, and Sobako are the three fundamental pieces to a beautiful soba noodle dish. We strive to make a special soba experience for you with these three in mind.
The design of Sobaya is inspired by traditional soba restaurants in Japan. It features a Noren (small curtain) and Kanban (logo sign). The interior embraces warm tones and strong woodgrain, and a soft shoji screen.
The best soba requires 3 elements: Hikitate (fresh flour), Uchitate (fresh noodle) Yudetate (quick serve). The timing is the most important factor, we will serve customers the best soba as quick as possible. We encourage slurping, to enjoy the flavor of the broth and the noodle together. Our soba flavor is subtle and gentle, and ready to enjoy once it arrives. Pair it with our full menu, stop by for a simple meal, or make it fresh at home.