[Jakarta] When you hear about the word “soba”, first impressions may be the thin buckwheat noodles either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup.
I never considered myself that big a fan of soba, but that changed after I visited Abura Soba Yamatoten – a chain brought from Shinjuku Tokyo. The outlets located at Senayan City Mall, PIK Avenue Mall, Grand Indonesia East Mall, and Mall Kelapa Gading 3.
I was delighted to learn that they serve dry, soupless “soba”. On top of that, what they mean by “soba” turned out to be a thick, chewy ramen.
Abura Soba which originated from Tokyo (more commonly known as Mazesoba in Singapore) is an oily type of ramen without soup. “Abura” literally means “oil”.
Abura Soba Yamatoten serves up a variety of choices, from Beef Abura Soba, Shio Sudachi Abura Soba, Karami Ontama, Creamy Tarako, Tan Tan, to Aburi Chashu Soba.
There are also donburi rice bowls, such as Aburi Chashu Don and Amakara Tori (chicken karaage) Don.
Having visited the various branches a couple of times, my favourite turned out to be the Jya Jya Abura Soba (IDR 73k, SGD7.30) which reminded me of Korean jjajangmyeon (which I am a big fan of).
Noodles used are Jukusei Kiwami noodles, made from Hokkaido’s wheat.
Compared to jjajangmyeon, this soba have a thicker sauce and good mixture of savory and sweet notes.
I would usually add a few dashes of vinegar and chili paste to elevate the flavours, when mixed well you get hints of sourness, savoury and spiciness all in a single bowl.
If you think the taste too intense, add an Ontama (IDR 10k, SGD1.00) to balance it out and for some gooeyness.
In contrast, the original Abura Soba (IDR 74k, SGD7.40) which is the most famous item on the menu, can be rather bland.
This is despite adding some vinegar and chili oil as instructed.
While the soupy or saucier version of Tan Tan Noodles is more commonly available here in Indonesia, The Tan Tan Abura Soba (IDR 72k, SGD7.20) is a more unusual drier version.
Good level of heat, that could send some sweat on your forehead.
For side dishes, you may consider the Pork Gyoza (IDR 36k, SGD3.60) which was presented with a rectangular paper-like crisp.
While the fillings was still rather moist, the portion could be bigger to enjoy the full oomph.
Other side dishes include Bamboo Shoot, Chicken Karaage, Grilled Corn & Cheese with pepper, Edamame, Potato Salad and Wasabi Potato Salad.
Of the lot, I would recommend getting the Soft Broiled Pork (IDR 56k, SGD5.60) – generous portion, nicely charred, making a great companion to the abura soba dish.
I had been patronizing Abura Soba Yamatoten a number of times, and seems like they do take serious about quality control, despite having numerous outlets nationwide.
Possibly one of the best chewy Mazesoba noodles you can find in Jakarta.
Abura Soba Yamatoten
Senayan City Mall, Lower Ground LG Floor #08-A, Jl. Asia Afrika No.19, Jakarta Pusat 10270
Tel: +6221 7278 2257
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
PIK Avenue Mall, Dontonbori, 2nd Floor, 2F-JT T7
Grand Indonesia East Mall, LG Floor #13&15
Mall Kelapa Gading 3 Ground Floor #G-58A (Gourmet Walk)
* Written by DFD͛’s Jakarta Food Correspondent @iknowhowtoeat who loves exploring NEW food places in both Indonesia and Singapore. DFD pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.