After walking past Shimbashi Soba at Paragon for so many years, I finally decided to try their soba. I couldn’t get over having bad soba at Healthy Soba IKI and needed a decent one to restore my hope that one can get good soba in Singapore.
Shimabashi Soba is known for their freshly handmade soba made at the shop, including the milling of the buckwheat flour. Many a times I had stood at the window, watching the Soba Master made and cut the soba. Quite an enjoyable process to watch.
When we arrived at Shimbashi Soba, there was a short queue as the restaurant was full. We had to wait a little while for a free table. When a table was cleared, the staff did a very thorough cleaning of the tables, chairs and any other items on the table. They would also remind customers to keep their masks on and only remove when the food was served.
Menus and Our Orders
We were given a number of menus after we got seated. Initially, I wanted to order from the Lunch Set Menu but got distracted by Takane Ruby Soba menu. I thought since I wanted good soba, I might as well go for the best and ordered the Takane Ruby Autumn Tempura Seiro. I realised later that I could have upgraded to Takane Ruby Soba by topping up S$2 even if I had chosen from the Lunch Set Menu.
Nothing from the Lunch Set Menu attracted Mum either. She chose the Beef Tsukemen Seiro from the main menu instead. I was looking at the dessert section and found Soba Cha Cream Mochi with Soft Serve interesting. I ordered a portion and requested for the dessert to be served later.
Takane Ruby Autumn Tempura Seiro (S$24.80)
Takane Ruby Autumn Tempura Seiro – Chilled Takane Ruby buckwheat noodles served with dipping sauce, tiger prawns, Japanese mushroom and vegetable tempura.
The Takane Ruby Soba has a lighter colour compared to the normal soba served at Shimbashi Soba. I couldn’t really taste much difference between my Takane Ruby Soba vs the normal soba in Mum’s dish. Mum said the Takane Ruby Soba had a slight sweetness compared to the normal soba. The Takane Ruby Soba was al dente and quite tasty when eaten with the dipping sauce.
The tempura plate had 2 tiger prawns, 2 sweet peas, 1 big maitake mushroom, 1 big piece of brinjal, 1 piece of seaweed and 1 quarter of an oyster mushroom. The tempura was on the oily side, I felt they could afford to do it better to make it lighter and crispy. I was only comparing the tempura to what I had at Watami and not Tempura Tendon Tenya.
The dipping sauce was on the salty side. Best not to pour all of the sauce into the cup especially if you want to make a soup with the Soba water. Otherwise it would be too salty to drink. With just enough dipping sauce, a tasty broth could be made with the Soba water. I’d also tried it with the Bonito soup they have in small flasks placed on the table. The Bonito flavour was quite strong and with a bit of dipping sauce, it was quite tasty.
Beef Tsukemen Seiro (S$20.80)
Beef Tsukemen Seiro – Chilled plain noodle served with beef, mushrooms, carrot, radish, fried beancurd, sweet bean and soft boiled egg in warm dipping broth.
In the bowl of Tsukemen dip, there were 2 pieces of fried beancurd, 2 pieces of carrots, 2 pieces of radish, 2 sweet peas, some golden mushrooms, 1 onsen egg and 4-5 slices of fatty beef.
Mum felt her soba noodles were too hard for her liking. I suggested she add all the soba noodles into the hot Tsukemen diping broth to let it cook and soften further. She seemed to enjoyed the soba better after soaking in the dipping broth.
Soba Cha Cream Mochi with Soft Serve (S$5.80)
Soba Cha Cream Mochi with Soft Serve – Homemade mochi served with buckwheat tea cream and buckwheat tea soft serve.
The Soba Cha soft serve was delicious with a creamy soba taste and bits of buckwheat. The buckwheat cream was very good too, with texture like a thick kaya paste. Eating the soft and chewy mochi with the Soba Cha cream and some of the crispy rice puffs created a very interesting texture. We thoroughly enjoyed the dessert albeit the melting soft serve.
We noticed the soft serve was already melting when they brought the dessert to our table. I was wondering if they had left it sitting out for too long until I touched the plate. The plate was warm; that explained why the soft serve was melting. I understand the need to sanitise the plate by keeping them hot but ice cream should never be served on a warm plate. We had to eat the soft serve quite quickly as it was melting more and more.
I paid a total of S$60.50 (inclusive of service charge and GST) for 2 Soba meals and the dessert. It was a decent price, but when I started comparing to Sushiro, lunch at Shimbashi Soba seemed a little expensive (raw fish wins over soba anytime in my books). Mum thought it was pricey especially when we had very value for money lunch and tea sets at Basil Thai Kitchen and Le Shrimp Ramen, just a few doors away.
With the S$60.50 spent and through their membership program, I was entitled to a S$10 voucher for the next visit at Shimbashi Soba or any of their other restaurants. I liked that their membership program was online and I didn’t have to download any app! Do note that there is a 6mths validity date from the first stamp. (Update: I totally forgot about this and didn’t get to use the voucher. Oh well…😕)
Service at Shimbashi Soba was very good and I appreciated the staff keeping the place sanitised. Shimbashi Soba was quite tasty especially with the dipping sauces. I like to have time to enjoy my desserts, especially a delicious one like the Soba Cha dessert and hope Shimbasi Soba would stop serving soft serve on warm plate. Melted ice cream isn’t as nice and not quite becoming of a restaurant standard.
Yes, I would eat at Shimbashi Soba again and would try the Lunch Set next time. Most of the customers ordered the Lunch Sets; the portions looked decent size and filling. Their Tea Set promotion also looked quite value for money.
Mum was harder to please, she still felt Daiso soba was the tastiest and had more buckwheat flavour.