Popularity of Tokyo soba joint says it all

Popularity of Tokyo soba joint says it all

by Allen Onstott and Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

No matter where you are, there are dead giveaways that a restaurant is worth your time.

First - the number of people waiting in line or if it’s nearly filled to capacity.

Second - the general age of the people willing to eat there. The higher the age, the better the value in many cases.

Yoshibo Rin had both. Even the waiting benches outside were filled with soon-to-be customers.

Located only a couple of minutes from Nezu Shrine, one of the most prestigious in Tokyo, this popular soba noodle joint draws tourist’s attention with its eye-catching orange banners and curtains with the name of “Nezu Yoshibo” in classic Japanese lettering.

The shop’s six tables have enough seating for 20, however, the shop is very popular, so people are often waiting.

Seasonal flowers and Koimari ceramic tableware on black wooden tables, created a somewhat classical Japanese atmosphere.

Since opening 14 years ago, select buckwheat produced in Hokkaido has been ground five or six times a day, enabling customers to always enjoy the extremely fresh aroma and chewy texture. The process is put on display as staffers can be seen making the noodles through a window. We were unable to catch the artists at work, but the tasty, handmade noodles made the day.

First up was hot roasted rice tea, which had a very unique and smooth taste.

A little steep at 1,700 yen, the duck soba noodle soup had a slightly dry texture, was quite meaty and deliciously tender. A hint of a smoky flavor tasted more like steak than chicken. The meal was substantial, as it included three meatballs and two wrapped and grilled onions, which helped add to the developed flavor of the broth. It was a sophisticated taste, not oily in any sense of the word.

The eatery, which does not have an English menu, offers not only tasty noodles, but its tempura dishes are also very popular among locals.

Order a hot soba noodle with tempura for 1,700 yen to enjoy crispy shrimp or vegetable tempura, which really goes well with the buckwheat noodles and refined broth.

Be sure to drop by the place the next time you visit Nezu Shrine, as it certainly will offer a special time blessed with tasty high-grade noodles in peaceful Japanese atmosphere.

Yoshibo Rin

Location: 2-36-1 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo (5-minute walk from Nezu Station of Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)

Price Range: Lunch 1,000 -2,000 yen ($8-16), Dinner 3,000 -4,000 yen ($24-36)

Popular items: Tempura soba noodle and Kamo Nanban (duck meat and onion soba noodle)

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