Since I heard about the freshly made-in-house soba from Miyabi, the place had been on the top of list to-try.
I heard on NPR that Washington State produced one of the finest grades of buckwheat, the main ingredient in soba noodle.
As a result, most of our buckwheat were exported to Japan.
Even though this main soba ingredient was called buckwheat, it was not in the wheat family and hence was gluten-free.
Buckwheat was actually seeds that were closely related to rhubarb.
It was prized as a healthy food with its high protein, vitamin B and minerals content – it reminded me of quinoa.
Soba noodle was difficult to make because of the lack of gluten, resulting in a dough that was hard to stay together.
We went with a group of friends for the night.
I got the truffle mushroom seiro and DH got the Tom Yum clam soba; some of our friends had the chyashu soba.
“Seiro” referred to cold soba noodle that was boiled, cooled and washed, then served on a steamer mat with different dipping sauces (traditional dipping sauce being wasabi in dashi soup stock).
I preferred soba cold (seiro, or mori, and zaru with seaweeds) over hot (nanban soba in broth) – I felt that the signature “brittle” texture of the noodle disappeared when they were soaked in hot broth.
“Brittle” was the best term I could think of to describe the noodles, as the texture was not a crunch nor crisp nor bouncy, but the noodles did break down easily like a brittle when our teeth descended on it.
The noodles, on the other hand, had the starchiness to hold together when held up by chopsticks.
Miyabi’s soba was great with this “brittle-ness”, dense and smooth, and loaded with ironically, wheat flavor.
My truffle mushroom dipping sauce was earthy, deep and rich with multiple kinds of mushrooms including crimini, buttons and shiitake.
It was terrifically savory – highly demonstrating the umami taste.
Umami, was a term coined by Japanese to describe the unique taste of protein glutamate, which was the base of MSG.
Glutamate was naturally existing in fish, tomatoes, and mushrooms.
The dipping sauce was very salty, as dipping sauce generally was.
Our waitress came with the water that was used to cook soba, called “soba yu”, to dilute the dipping sauce to soup.
Soba yu was very nutrient-rich as it contained the minerals and vitamins that leaked from the noodle cooking process; the waitress also said it aided in digestion,
It was all in all a very satisfying and filling bowl of noodle for me.
DH’s Tom Yum Clam Nanban soba had fantastic spicy tom yum soup, tart, and with fresh clams, it was tasty as well.
With my friends, we also got a few appetizers to share and I LOVED their foie gras tofu!
It was a rich, smooth and decadent!
It looked like tofu but full of delicious truffle and foie gras flavors; extremely creamy as if it was butter in the mouth.
We had a couple orders to share, and I ended up ordering one after the meal (to share again!) so I could leave the place with that excellent flavor in the mouth!
The other interesting dish was an agedashi tofu made with buckwheat.
It had a denser texture, similar to a very firm tofu; and a little gritty from the ground buckwheat likely.
It reminded me of mashed taro in the fried taro balls at dim sum.
My friends also liked their chicken wings and beef tartare as well.