Think you can make a good noodle? How about if you made an absolutely delicious noodle, would it be the same the next time, every day, over and over? Could you make this thousands and thousands of times? The exact same way? And just that? (Would you even want to?) Apparently in Japan you don’t have to go to a high-end restaurant to witness this type of phenomenon. More a craft than just cooking, there definitely seems to be an emphasis on doing one thing over and over, so that each time the product comes out with the same high quality consistency. We’ve read about the legendary training in certain old school sushi places where the trainee spends two years just learning to make the rice without touching a single piece of fish. Two years to get the consistency and taste of rice just right every single time. We went to a soba place in Kyoto and came away with a similar impression…

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The place is called Misoka-an Kawamichi-Ya. They specialize in soba – the buckwheat noodles that many here dip in a chilled soy vinaigrette and slurp up loudly without shame. We read that they make this by hand every day and have been doing so for the past three hundred years! A couple of pics below of what patience and persistence looks like…

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The plate I got included both hot and cold soba with shrimp and veggie tempura. Kirsten had a huge bowl of hot soba with dried mackerel on top (sorry no pic for this. Think we forgot about the camera soon after the food appeared). I’ve had soba noodles before. The taste here was very similar but it was the texture that was slightly different. These were more like al dente angel hair pasta. Everything was delicious. I also didn’t realize that after you’re done dipping the cold soba in the soy vinaigrette, they bring you hot water so you can finish the leftover vinaigrette as broth. Nothing gets wasted in this meal!

Mo says MMMMM