Thursday, September 8, 2005

I Love Cold Cha Soba!

where have you been all my life?

It's taken me years but I can finally say, with conviction, that I love Japanese food. I love Teppanyaki. I love Sashimi. And now I love Cha Soba. Love, love, love! Impassioned. Enraptured. By the taste of cold buckwheat noodles slithering down my throat. OOooOoWaaaah!!!!!

Just two weeks ago, I decided to try some Cold Soba for the first time in my life. While I am fairly adventurous where food is concerned, I had always stayed away from cold noodles - after all, why would anyone eat noodles cold? But having seen many a Japanese guy slurp down his Cha Soba hungrily, I had finally decided to take the plunge myself. And what a plunge it was.

Last Sunday, I was overcome with powerful desire to eat the stuff. And so I dragged Mae down to KLCC where we lunched in style. Nippon Tei is as upmarket as Japanese restaurants go. Unless you count that super-expensive place down at Shangri-La Hotel (whose name eludes me now) where we once ate, in a party of 8, up to RM 1,600 worth of ingredients! But Nippon Tei was bloody expensive too. RM 32 for a single serving of Cha Soba and a side of Tempura Prawns.

Most places serves Cha Soba with a cup of Mentsuyu soup, a raw quail egg and spring onions for garnish. You break the egg into the soup, throw in the spring onions and dip your noodles inside. One of the reasons I never ordered this was also for the fact that I didn't quite know what to do with all the stuff. Heh. Thanks to years of observing Japanese guys go at it, I was finally ready. And now, thanks to my posting of the subject, you too can go out now and enjoy a cup of healthy, delicious, cold buckwheat noodles without making a fool of yourself. Besides, it's a really great diet food too!
By the way, after lunch that day, we stepped out of Nippon Tei and walked past Genki Sushi. Genki sells their Cha Soba for only RM 8. Dammit! I could have had 4 servings of the stuff. Last week alone, I ate cold noodles three times. Yes, I'm making up for lost time. And writing this has stirred up my appetite for the stuff again. *sigh*

"Honey, I wanna eat cold noodles," I tell Mae. "Again!?" Mae exclaimed, annoyed, "Why don't I just cook you a Maggi Mee and keep it in the fridge for you." Yeah, Mae is a regular clown. She mocks me again and I'll have to seek solace in a nice cup of Cha Soba.


  1. haven't tried Cha Soba yet, but i did slurp down Cold Noodle when i was in Pyongyang. errr, maybe it was freezing cold then. an acquired taste it must be, ;)

  2. in japan, they have express noodle bars, but usually for hot noodles though. and there'll be no seats, ppl just stand at counters and eat. simple, but nice and v. typical japanese. one of the things i miss abt that country.

  3. this thing looks good. but i've always been a sashimi & sushi kinda guy.. soba isn't really one of my favorites, will eat it once in a while tho. like in buffet or something.

  4. you can always cook some soba yourself and left them in the fridge to keep them chilled. it doesn't has to be maggi mee when it comes to home-made version ... haha.
    plus, you'll save big bucks!

  5. I don't like japanese food - to bland for my taste :((( tempura is nice though ;p anyone tried baby octopus? Well i didnt i just sat and watched ppl gulp it down - errr humm

  6. nippon tei is nice. i wld go for typical jap restaurants anytime over places like genki sushu & sushi king. hv u tried kiku zakura? another good place.

  7. Oh.. i love cold soba too..! and japanese food anytime.. and anyday..!
    Unfortunately for me.. the closes jap restaurant is 4hrs drive away.. bummer..!
    I miss ASIA..!!
    i wanna go HOME..!!
    where all the GREAT food are..!!
    ok .. enough of whinning for the nite..!
    peanut butter sandwich here i come.

  8. Man, I am not a fan of Japanese food, but since Uncle James recommend, have to try loh~!

  9. I LOVE cha soba as well. By the way, there is a difference between cha soba and zaru soba.
    Cha soba = Greentea buckwheat soba
    Zaru soba = Buckwheat soba
    Cha soba is always more expensive than Zaru Soba.
    You should try Sugimoto's (Sri Hartamas) Ten Zaru Soba (Soba with Tempura) nice and CHEAP!

  10. I love the picture you took of the prawns as I can see the KLCC background.
    Emma is right, just buy them and make it at home. I usually eat the buckwheat soba with toasted sesame seeds which is nice.

  11. The Jap restaurant next to iThai near Atria (same row as Public Bank) is good too. You might as well give it a try since you frequent Damansara Jaya often.

  12. I love Mae's humour!
    Never tried the soba 'cos sked lau sai because of the raw egg. But I just may give it a shot now that James proved he did not lau sai because of them.

  13. u really shuld try kiku zakura (mid valley or times square) coz their gyoza and bentos is really good n worth every cent :D...i'll go there whenever i need jap foods...

  14. ahem time to promo the best Jp restaurant ever of course it's because I worked there for a number of years and my family is a regular customer. Ikkyu Restaurant is located in a nondescript area of Taman Desa (where I used to live) It's in the business building at the end of all the shops. I highly recommend you try the place, it's not too pricey but the food quality is excellent since it's run by a Japanese family, you can rest assured all the ingredients they use are 100% authentic. Be sure to try the chicken nanbang set, and their tendon (tempura and rice)
    On Zaru Soba, you can purchase the soba noodles yourself, cook it and use hondashi(should be purchasable in any Jusco?) and soy sauce to make the dip. Get yourself some quail eggs and chop up your spring onions. Me, I like to deep fry droplets of tempura batter to add to the sauce, crunchy, cold and yummy! I do the same thing with udon for zaru udon, and since hondashi is used for hot soup also, I make kake, kitsune and tempura soba/udon. Good luck!

  15. I recommend "Nihonbashi" restaurant at Sri Hartamas area for good Japan food. They serve a lot of regular clients who are Japanese..

  16. Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it in the pot, 9 days old. Heh! I like my Japanese noodles hot. I can never figure out how to eat this cold the first time I was introduced to it. Where to put the sauce, where to break that little quail egg onto...

  17. I knew I would love cold soba even before trying it; and I was right after the first mouthful! A simple meal, yet so nice. It is especially good when you eat it on a hot day! eh, how come you like all my favourite foods huh? :P

  18. i dont like cold soba as well
    but jap fried rice and jap white rice i like
    yah yah..wht is the difference ebtween chinese fried rice , jap fried rice, korean fried rice... but i still like jap fried rice...and normal rice
    tht shangri-la jap rstaurant is Zipanggu

  19. Hahaha... I'm sure the Koreans have nothing over the Japanese in this department, Belacans!
    My kinda place lah, Norzu. I love eating standing up.
    It's pretty good, KY. I expected to get a little squeamish about the quail egg but that turned up pretty okay too. I don't expect they give you quail eggs at a buffet, though.
    Yes, Emma. My thoughts exactly. I'm sure I can get it at Jusco or Isetan!
    Visithra, I once ate a Wagamama in Bangsar before the place closed down and I ate the most horrible fried rice ever. Thank goodness the rest of Japanese cuisine is agreeable to me. :)
    Yah Olivia, if I went to Nippon Tei more often, I'd probably go bankrupt. :) Kiku Zakura sounds familiar, though I can't seem to remember where I saw it.
    Peanut butter, BigBoK? Aww...
    Good for you Jason. Everything must try! :)
    Thanks Ying Yi. That's was informative. No wonder the noodles are green some places and brown in other restaurants. :)
    Thanks Boo! Oh yah, Nippon Tei served theirs with sesame seeds. Lovely.
    Time for another Cha Soba, MOTT?! :lol:
    Hmm, I will try it, Ah Pink. It's about time I went someplace else other than that Hakka Noodle shop. Hahahah!
    Hahha, you just enjoy hearing Mae torture me. Right, Lilian? But do be careful about the lausai bit. My stomach is stronger than most people! :lol:
    Thanks for that recommendation, Weiz. I will check it out.
    An authentic Japanese restaurant run by a Japanese family?! I'm so going, Gwen!!! I was surfing for cold Soba recipes but all of them listed Japanese ingredients so I guess I'll probably just buy those ready-made soup base in a can! :)
    Ok, Egghead, though I noticed that a lot of Japanese guys do go to Japanese restaurants a lot. They must miss home pretty bad. :lol:
    And now you know, Primrose. Mae too was a little hesitant at first, but now she loves the stuff too. :)
    Hahhha, then we must dine together, DomesticGoddess. I'll even let you treat me. Hahahahah :)
    That's right Zbjernak!!! Zipanggu!!! What a lovely sounding name. I never tried Japanese fried rice, though.

  20. Hmm, when I go back, I hook you up ... you belanja. Set! :D