Motoki a popular soba joint

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Nagano Prefecture produces quality soba (buckwheat noodle). Accommodating numerous soba joints, Motoki is widely known as one of the best soba restaurants in the region.
 
Its unique “ginjo soba” (extremely well-grounded buckwheat noodle) attracts soba noodle enthusiasts, while countless celebrities, imperial family members, and the Prime Minister frequent the joint to enjoy the unique flavor and texture.
 
Upon entering through a façade with eye-catching brown banners with the name of “Motoki” in hiragana lettering in white, the interior is wide and cozy.
 
Getting on a tatami floor, we ordered mori soba (cold buckwheat noodle) for 1,300 yen and tempura soba for 1,700 yen.
 
Soba noodles usually are dark gray, but that of Motoki was crystal clear. According to a staffer, they ground selected buckwheat produced by local farmers into 30 percent. By getting rid of gray layers of the buckwheat seed, it became a beautiful transparent white.
 
The flavor and texture of noodles were different from the soba I’ve had before. The pleasant aroma of the noodles spread through my mouth the more I chewed. The chewy yet extremely sweet and smooth flavor stood out in the refined soy-based broth. The shrimp and vegetable tempura were hot and crispy and went well with with the high-grade buckwheat noodles and broth.  

Motoki

Hours: Wed. – Fri. and Mon., 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., 5:30 – 8 p.m., Sat., Sun. and holidays 5-8 p.m.
Location: 2-2-32, Kaichi, Matsumoto City, Nagano Pref.
URL: www001.upp.so-net.ne.jp/soba-motoki/home.html (Japanese)
Tel: 0263-36-3410

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