Beauty, Culture, Gourmet,

Soba noodles paradise! – Visiting the award-winning “Chojuan” in Nogizaka

Nogizaka Chojuan

When we think about Japanese food, we assume Japanese people always eat “rice”. That’s true to some point, but in fact, Japan is also famous for its various kinds of noodles. Besides western style pasta, there are “ramen” and “udon”, “somen” and “soba”. This time, I would like to introduce “soba” buckwheat noodles that are recently trending in Europe and the US! 

The entrance of "Chojuan"

The entrance of “Nogizaka Chojuan”

My friends and I visited the noodle restaurant “Nogizaka Chojuan” located in “Nogizaka” (maybe you have heard of “Nogizaka” because of the Japanese idol group). This restaurant was awarded the “Chairman’s Prize of the Minato Ward Shopping Street Federation” in 2016. In other words, it’s an award-winning, delicious restaurant! Perfect!

Prize

This restaurant is the proud winner of this prize^^

“Soba” is different from “udon noodles” that made from wheat flour only. Soba noodles are made of (or with) buckwheat flour. The history of soba is very long: it’s one of the most famous Japanese food, commonly eaten especially at New Years, but it is not known so much in foreign countries.

Soba

Soba noodles are slightly grayish. That’s because of the healthy buckwheat.

However, recently soba noodles are being recognized as a healthy diet, and bloggers’ come up with creative soba recipes, like “soba salad (“Otsu salad”)” etc. Using soba for healthy food options is gaining popularity.

(★ There are several kinds of soba. Some are made of 100% buckwheat flour, some are mixed with wheat flour. If you are allergic to wheat, please check the percentage of buckwheat used for the noodles!)

Nogizaka Chojuan

Inside “Nogizaka Chojuan”. It can be crowded at weekdays (especially around lunchtime)

Nogizaka Chojuan

“Chojuan” in Nogizaka is a noodle restaurant with a Japanese and Western mixed interior. There are no low tables, so it’s perfect if you have problems with you legs or knees. The menu is fantastic with a lot of options: no matter with how many friends (with different tastes) you come in, there’s a menu that fits every taste. No worries!

Soba kitchen

I got special permission to film inside the kitchen. The chef can feel if the noodles are perfect or not.

They have duck soba, tempura soba, soba with curry and a deep-fried cutlet (“katsuretsu”) topping and great lunch sets (only available from 11 o’clock to 14 o’clock). The price is about 1000 yen on average. At night, they also serve sake and snacks.

Hot soba

Hot soba noodles with pork meat and veggies.

The biggest point is whether to choose “hot soba noodles” or “cold soba noodles”. If you choose “hot” your noodles will some in a soup, if you choose “cold” the noodles will be brought on something like a square strainer.

Let's eat! "Itadakimasu!"

Let’s eat! “Itadakimasu!”

I love soup, but unless it’s a very cold day, I would recommend choosing cold soba. That is because I get the impression that you can taste the unique flavor of buckwheat. Take a some of the buckwheat noodles with  your chopsticks and hold it in your “tsuyu” pot (dipping pot with sauce in it). You don’t have to completely soak the noodles – but it’s really up to you and how you like it. You can chance the taste of the dipping sauce by adding spices, like wasabi. Eating noodles with chopsticks need a little bit of practice,  but soba tends to be not as slippery as for example “udon noodles”. I’m sure you’ll manage to eat your soba noodles somehow! ^ ^

This tempura was DELICIOUS!

This tempura was DELICIOUS!

I had a set with tempura: a very common combination. Not only the award-winning soba, but also the tempura was very tasty! I also tried soba with “kochi” rice cakes for the first time and it was also very delicious.

Mochi

Soba noodles with “mochi” (glutinous rice cakes) – yummy!!!!

When you finish your soba, something like a teapot comes out. It’s “sobayu” – the cooking water of the noodles. Fill it in your dipping pot and drink it – it’s supposed to be very good for your health. ^ ^

Sobayu

This pot contains “sobayu” (the water that the soba noodles were cooked in).

The atmosphere of the restaurant is bright and the food wonderful. I’m sure that I’ll take my friends and family here when the come to visit from Germany next time.
How about trying one of the “hidden” famous dishes of Japan?

Nogizaka Chojuan

We’ll definitely revisit!

 


Address:

Nogizaka Chojuan
http://www.nogizaka-chohjuan.com/index.html
1-15-18 Minami Aoyama Minato-ku, Tokyo

 Access information:

The nearest station is Nogisaka Station (metro Chiyoda Line).
From Exit 3, go up to the top of the overpass, turn around and walk about 1 minute.
It is also close from Tokyo Midtown (“Roppongi Station” of the Toei Oedo Line).

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writer

I was born and raised in Kiel/Germany. When I was 16 I came to Japan for the first time. I fell in love with this beautiful country, so I returned after my university graduation. Since then, I have been living in Tokyo - and I don't plan to change anything about that ;-) My hobbies are taking a stroll around the city, taking photos and drinking coffee.

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