Somehow, I am sick again (ugh)…..Or I just got allergies all of a sudden. It can only be one or the other, so I am hoping and praying that I am sick (weird right), because I really REALLY don’t want to deal with allergies all spring. It’s so hard to tell which one it is, but I’ll pretend I am sick for the time being. So when I am sick, my “go to food” is usually Vietnamese pho at this restaurant in the hood or I make myself my delicioso ginger chicken soup at home. But for some reason I was craving soba, and well soba is healthy, so it might just be my new “go to food” when I am sick. So for lunch, Boo-chan and I high-tailed it to soba house Ohnoya Tomigaya (そば處 大野屋 富ヶ谷店) in our neighborhood yesterday.
1. For those of you who are wondering, soba (そば／蕎麦) in Japanese means buckwheat. But most people recognize soba as thinly cut noodles made from buckwheat flour. 2. Soba noodles can be served hot in a broth or cold with a dipping sauce. FYI it can assist with weight-loss (YES!) and has many health benefits.
Ohnoya was established in 1948. 1. The main shop is located just around the corner in Moto-Yoyogi Cho (元代々木町). Both shops are deeply rooted in their respective local areas. The appearance and atmosphere of both restaurants are different. 2. Ohnoya Tomigaya (the one we went to) is closer to both Yoyogi Hachiman Station and Yoyogi Kouen Station (代々木八幡駅／代々木公園駅). It’s opened for lunch Monday thru Saturday from 11:20-15:00, and dinner from Monday thru Friday 17:30-22:30. Saturday dinner, Sundays and National Holidays are closed.
I have been here a few times for lunch and always find that it is really crowded. Usually all seats are full, but the turn around time is very quick, because the majority of customers are men. And men eat quickly and leave. So even if there is a wait, it’s probably no more than 10 minutes.
So why are there so many men in this joint? Of course women like soba too, but the lunch portions are rather large and leave men feeling satisfied. Lets take a look a the menus (apologies for the glare, they are in plastic stands on the table). 1. A la Carte Menu. There is cold and hot soba or udon with a variety of toppings and rice bowls. 2. Soba and Rice Bowl Set Menu. For a tad bit more, you can pair your soba or udon with small rice bowls, such as curry, oyakodon (chicken and egg), tanukidon, natto don, negi toro don (fatty tuna with onions) , maguro don (tuna), and katsu don (pork cutlet with egg). Which means a happy full stomach! You can also get a full order of rice bowls with a small soba.
1. I had the One rank up-Tempura Soba (天ぷらそばー上 jyo), which means shrimp tempura. Everything is served on wooden trays. The shrimps were large and the sides that weren’t exposed to the broth were still crispy. It was decorated with spinach and pieces of kamaboko (fish cake) cut in a crown-like shape. The broth was simple, just what the doctor ordered! 2. Boo-chan had the Roasted Duck Soba (本鴨南ばんそば hon kamo nanban soba). Since I was sick I didn’t try Boo-chan’s soba. But the roasted duck looked good, it was served with cut Japanese long onions/white onions (長ネギ). It also came with a small bowl of rice.
After eating, I felt warm. My nose began to run again, probably because I just ate hot soup. While we dined there many customers came in and out. I did however see a couple of women come in solo to eat. I didn’t get a chance to snap a picture of the inside of the restaurant, because it was just too crowded with people coming and leaving, not to mention the waitresses running trays of food out and clearing tables.
To sum up the interior I would say dark brown stained wood. It matched the appearance of the entrance and felt antique. It was clean and more upscale then your regular soba shop, especially because it serves a variety of Japanese sake and alcohol. Ohnoya continues the tradition of “drinking at the soba shop” (そば屋で飲む) held from the Edo Period.
I like eating soba noodles. When I first moved to Japan, I thought it was strange and rude to slurp up my noodles (authentic way of eating). But now I feel it’s a must!! So be sure to slurp your noodles too–hahaha. What type of noodles do you like to eat? Anything in particular?
ms fancy pants tokyo & katsu-don/cold mori soba set (prior visit)
- Soba House Ohnoya Tomigaya (そば處 大野屋 富ヶ谷店)
- Lunch: Mon-Sat 11:20-15:00
- Dinner: Mon-Fri 17:30-22:30.
- Saturday dinner, Sundays and National Holidays are closed.