Soba gluttony

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Gluttony isn't so bad when it's all based on soba.

We tried a restaurant in Asagaya last night on the recommendaiton of a friend. We splurged on the 4,000 yen "all soba" course and were presented with eight courses, all involving buckwheat. Everything was astonishingly good and as each course arrived we declared it better than the last.

Three dishes really stood out. Soba miso is a unique presentation of soba grains mixed with salty-sweet miso paste, spread on a small wooden paddle and lightly grilled. It was accompanied by translucent slices of daikon and cucumber. We scraped bits of the miso off the paddles and wrapped a slice of daikon around it. Mmmmm.

Soba tofu squares were topped with grated cucumber. The taste was very rich and earthy and the texture a little bit firmer than soy-based tofu-- the wheat gluten was well developed and heading towards gummy. It was a simple, subtle and surprisingly filling dish.

My favorite was soba sashimi. There was no fish involved at all. Instead, it was triangular sheets of soba noodles served cold with a pile of shaved gobo (burdock root) and wakame (a sea vegetable). The dipping sauce was soy and wasabi and there was a sweet soy sauce as well.

If you want to go, the restaurant is tucked behind the Suginami City office at Minami-Asagaya 1-15-18.

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