Tokyo Soba, an eatery originating from the capital city of Japan, has pulled up to Singapore serving (no prizes for guessing) – freshly made soba.
It is not considered a new name in Singapore, but has recently expanded with a fuller-sized eatery at Tanjong Pagar Icon Village with more comfortable sit-down area.
This used to be more of a hole-in-the-wall Japanese eatery which sits diners at a shoulder-to-shoulder counter, with just a few more high tables scattered around.
Safe to say it is easier to get a sit now, but one still hopes that queues are not too long during rushed hour. If not, dinner times are the less hectic hours here.
While the noodles are not quite handmade, the machine deployed in the store is capable of producing consistently quality strands of buckwheat soba.
Each time you go back for a meal, you will get the same standard of soba in your bowl.
The menu is really all about toppings, as the soup base and noodles are mostly the same.
The top three are the Ebi-Ten Soba ($16.50), Deep-Fried Pork Cutlet Soba ($16.50) and Healthy Natto Combo Soba ($16.60).
Other recommendations include the Braised Bee Soba in Japanese Sukiyaki Style ($18.50), Kaisen Kakiage Soba ($18.50), Buta-Nanban Soba ($15.50) to Ten-tama Soba ($14.50) which is mix vegetable tempura with half-boiled egg soba.
The signature soba is the Ebi-ten Soba ($16.50). It comes with two pieces of prawn tempura that is freshly coated and fried, producing juicy prawns encased in a light and crisp batter.
Depending on the season, if the prawns received by the eatery is smaller, an extra piece of prawn is served to compensate for the difference.
Of course, the star of the show is the soba.
Each bite is firm but smooth, a definite step up from some restaurants where the soba is grainy.
The soup, made from simmering bonito flakes and konbu (kelp), is umami from the components naturally contained in the ingredients.
As it is not too heavy, it is easy to slurp down when your noodles are done. Plus there is no additional MSG included.
The other recommended best seller is the Tonkatsu Soba ($16.50), topped with a succulent piece of pork cutlet.
The well-prepared tonkatsu is deep-fried, becoming crispy but still tender within. You will be tempted to finish it before the soup softens the breading.
For a healthier meal, the Nebaneba Soba ($16.50) uses only nutritious toppings and vegetables. If you can stomach the acquired taste of natto, you can then enjoy the rest of the yam, ladyfingers, seaweed and leek.
Between the hot and cold versions, I would personally prefer those served in the warm broth – it was considered mild but comforting and flavourful.
Some those who prefer a more traditional take, the Tsukimi Soba ($12) is also served, which has the simple seaweed, half-boiled eggs and leek.
Although there are rice bowls, maybe you may want to first focus on the soba.
After all, Tokyo Soba brings you the recipes right from Tokyo, and it would be a waste to not savour the best it has to offer.
12 Gopeng Street, #01-12/13/14 Icon Village, Singapore 078877
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11:30am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
* Written by Daniel Ang @DanielFoodDiary and Dean Ang. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.