Say hello to Shimbashi Soba

A few days back, K and I had to go out to get our passport photos clicked for some application. We went to this mall called Nex at Serangoon. The lady at the studio informed us that she will need about 20 mins to develop the photo.

K was in his usual “I want to try something different today” mood. This boy is always in a “I want something different” and thank God for variety because it does become hard otherwise to find “something different” everyday!

K wanted me to try Ramen and had been raving about the same for a while now. Unfortunately, all the Ramen they had had a pork base soup and we did not try any of it. The restaurant guy was too sweet when he added, “But we are keeping in mind the needs of the vegetarian and will soon have something yummy”. He said it with a twinkle in his eye that I am trying to mimic but just cannot.

K then took me to a small town of sorts inside the mall itself where there are several Japanese eateries. I love Japanese food – especially their tempura and have had a harrowing experience with the wasabi as well.  The first time I was at Sakae Sushi, I was eating some egg sushi and I needed something spicy, I took a big lump of wasabi and popped it in. What ensued was rainfall and flood from my eyes. I never ever ever had thought that wasabi could be a potent tool of mass destruction.

We got pretty excited thinking of what we could eat. I know that I am doing my best to portray ourselves as not just foodies but live-to-eat-never-forget-that types. Kya karoon control hi nahin hota and all that.

We walked in and found a nice little place that had vegetarian options. This place specializes in soba and was called “Shimbashi Soba“. Soba means buckwheat in Japanese and refers to think noodles made from buckwheat. If you curious to know more about it, you may want to read this .

We loved how the place looked. So cozy and such a lovely feel to it .

After looking at the menu, we tried to guage the taste and excitement quotient of the food through their descriptions. After placing the orders, we settled down to reading their write-up on soba when they served us green tea. We ordered the unlimited supply of green tea.

The hand-out had some illustrations on how drawing out soba requires a high level of craftsmanship because it is a form of art in several ways. It is always so interesting to read about these little knicky-knacky tid bits.

Isn’t the container beautiful? It so fell in line with the theme and the surroundings.

To be honest, this kind of tea does require some degree of “acquiring a taste” on your part. I usually associate tea with milk and so always want milk tea as my first choice – the sweet milk masala chai. But now, over time, I have gotten to a better point on the familiarity scale for several hundred varieties of tea served across different parts. The first few sips seemed a bit bland but it got better later. I did not use my unlimited supply though. Maybe eventually I will.

Then came K’s soba!


K ordered chilled soba. This one was called Tenchirash​i soba chilled noodle with tempura. It had chilled soba underneath and blanketed with lots of crispy tempura. It looked yummy maybe because I love tempura so much. This one had seafood and so I did not really taste it. Anyways, even if it did not, I don’t think K would have agreed to share this with me.  We usually wait for our food to arrive before deciding to share – if we love our food too much, we declare a “no sharing” and later proceed to still nibble each others’ plate out. We are so shameless, I tell you!

And then mine made a grand entry.

I ordered warm soba. Mine was called Yuba and kinoko healthy soba. It looked really yummy. I guess I am still developing the taste for appreciating soba but I loved the beancurd skin they had dunked in the soup. There was a whole bunch of baby button mushrooms that had a nice texture and were tasty as well. They also give finely chopped spring onion to go with it and that’s an awesome combo altogether! I had also asked for a soft boiled egg and it was a lovely combo. Just that, when I ran out of egg and the beancurd skin (K took 2 pieces, I counted), life became a bit dull on the soba front.  If I were the chef, I’d add in some more beancurd skin though!

K loved his tempura and I could hear him go crunch-munch-crunch-munch. He kind of made sure that I heard him crunch by chewing near my ear from time to time. I felt J and could only wave my egg yolk hapelessly.

We had a good time here. The staff are friendly and take in special requests like a top-up egg or some soy etc. even if it does not come alongside the dish.

P.S. Starting from this one, I plan to start sharing my experiences in different eateries and restaurant reviews (if you can call them that).


  1. greenboochi · August 14, 2012

    Wow Wow Wow 🙂 I am so so impressed with the food and more so because of your words and the lovely narrative 🙂

    I am glad you are going to do this regularly.. but my only worry is.. all your eateries are going to be around S’pore and how will I get to taste? :opps:

    The scene pretty much would be the same with me and S too 🙂 Sometimes, I end up eating from his plate and refuse to share my yummy dish or I will MAKE him eat mine fully 😀 We also have that no-sharing policy sometimes you see.. its not declared.. but we start practicing it soon after the food is served.. not even looking up to check what the other one is doing.. he he he.. 😀

    • kismitoffeebar · August 14, 2012

      Gbieeeee 🙂

      Thankeeeeeeee ! Don’t you worry – all this will probably urge you to make a trip down sooner. I will try to share reviews from as many places as I can – even India ! Maybe someday when you travel it will be helpful ?
      Also, Japanese restaurants may have similar items on the menu and you can try them out when you encounter one.
      hehehehe – am so glad you have a similar scene with S 🙂 Sigh, I MAKE K eat mine as well many many times 😛
      Hugs! 🙂

  2. Privy Trifles · August 14, 2012

    Yummmmyyyyy post!!

    I cannot comment about the food though as I have not eaten it but your narration does really make it seem soo yummm…lucky you 🙂

    Will be looking forward to your such posts as they are giving me ideas to make such policies (like no sharing) with my would be in future to have fun like you do!

    • kismitoffeebar · August 14, 2012

      Thanks so much Privy !
      hehehehe @ – giving me ideas to make such policies (like no sharing) with my would be in future to have fun like you do!
      I wish you get to try similar food sometime soon 🙂

  3. lifesong · August 14, 2012

    I had never heard about Soba or tempura before. You have given a lovely description of all the food. I realize that I know very little about foods from SE Asia. So I am going to be looking forward very enthusiastically to your these series 🙂
    And since you will cover mostly the veg options, I will know what is the best thing to eat in case I land up in that part of the world someday 🙂 Good for me 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · August 14, 2012

      Hullllooooo Lifesong!
      Definitely – you must land up in this part someday (soon) and we can munch on these together 😛
      I will share as often as I can 🙂

  4. The Girl Next Door · August 14, 2012

    Sounds like an interesting and fun experience! 🙂 Glad you guys had fun! 🙂

    I have never had Japanese food, but would love to try it out sometime. I don’t know if we have a taste for it now or not. Should find out.

    So you are planning on making all of us J with your restaurant reviews and food experiences, eh? They are all going to be based in Singapore…. how will I try these places out?

    • kismitoffeebar · August 14, 2012

      Thankee :))
      Pls do try it sometime – sushi maybe easier to accept and soups (some of them) may take a bit of time. I once had green tea noodles but did not quite appreciate it though it was a signature dish.
      hehehehe – no making you all J but sharing experiences. I miss food from back home so severely many a time !
      As for how you will try this out, I hope these motivate you strong enough to come off here and try them yourself – better still, I’d love to help you try it 🙂 🙂

  5. Destination Infinity · August 14, 2012

    I wonder why other countries have lesser options when it comes to vegetarian food. Secondly, I need South Indian vegetarian food. There is a difference between the kind of foods we get in bglore and chennai. But I can live with that small difference. Also, since they don’t concentrate on Veg. foods, I wonder how tasty they might be. These are all big hurdles for traveling outside India, at least for me. Because I want good food ALWAYS 🙂

    Destination Infinity

    • kismitoffeebar · August 14, 2012

      Other countries – well, usually meat is quite staple and they are not bound by reasons other than choice usually. In India, there are several reasons for being veg. other than by choice. and then, there is also a happy variety of veg in India but is lesser outside because they prefer using chicken stalk and meat in general.
      Veg. food is tasty 🙂 I guess if you like a bit of adventure and wish to give different things a go once in a while, then it is easy. I do come back home to home-made food 🙂

  6. techie2mom · August 14, 2012

    Wow, the place looks really cosy, i immediately fell in love with it 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · August 14, 2012

      Ya, it is techie2mom 🙂 It really is! 🙂 and add warm soba to it 😛

  7. techie2mom · August 14, 2012

    and nice new header 🙂

  8. Visha · August 14, 2012

    I have not eaten or heard about even one of the many items which you discussed here 😦

    yaay to the new food and travel writer on the block 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · August 14, 2012

      Okay try sushi for starters mainly coz’ it is rice and not too different for a start 🙂
      hehehehe thankee ! That does sound big, though!

  9. Bikramjit Singh Mann · August 14, 2012

    WOW.. I have not tasted japanese food ever, never had the chance to do so, seeing ur article now makes me things i shud visit broad street here in uk as they have a lovely japanese place there ..

    the foood is yummmyyyyyyyyyyyyy .. so when you inviting fellow bloggers for a taste then 🙂 he he he he

    • kismitoffeebar · August 15, 2012

      Please do give it a shot Bikram 🙂 Some maybe bland but you’d have given it a shot! 🙂
      Arey, anytime – just come off and I will take you out for a taste and a mouthful 🙂

  10. Mom of A and a · August 15, 2012

    looks so yummy! When I first went to a Japanese restaurant, I did not know what wasabi was. I saw this green paste, assumed it was a dhanipatta-mint concoction and liberally applied in on top of my sushi. After my first bite, I felt like the top of my head just blew off!!
    I’ll try to get the ‘twinkle in the eye’ face and get back to you!! 😀

    • kismitoffeebar · August 27, 2012

      hehe Mom of A and a, I have no idea how i missed your comment. sowwie!

      Wasabi was exactly that to me before I had my mouth on fire and I flooded the table with tears.
      hehe – I’d love ot catch that twinkle! 🙂

  11. Ritika · August 15, 2012

    I shouldn’t have seen this early morning,everything looks sooo delicious ! The place looks so cozyy

    Plus new template ! Yayyy 😀

    • kismitoffeebar · August 15, 2012

      woohoo ! Thankee 🙂 For all the loveliness you get in Indore, you will surely have lots of options to treat your tummy Ritika 😛 Now, I did the mistake of seeing my post and have nowhere to go to !

      • Ritika · August 15, 2012

        There is always Poha and Jalebi 😀

      • kismitoffeebar · August 15, 2012

        Satyavachan ! 🙂

  12. Jas · August 15, 2012

    The food is looking damn yummy and I am specially excited about Soba. 🙂 How I want I am out there with you 😦

  13. kismitoffeebar · August 15, 2012

    Ya Jas 🙂 You must try it 🙂 Just come off no Jas ! Take a vacation during hero’s vacation and come off 🙂

  14. lostinmylilworld · August 20, 2012

    food looks v tempting and so is ur description.. Like others I too hv not tasted Japanese Food… Since Hubby eats Non Veg and I dont, there are times, where we stick on to our own plates, coz I cannot share his food, but if it is both veg, both the plates will be attacked at the same time.. The worstest part is when I save my last piece of anything say some jilebi/sweet dish etc.. He hogs onto it even before I cud safeguard it!!!

    • kismitoffeebar · August 27, 2012

      Hello Deepsi ! 🙂

      Any opportunity, taste Japanese food 🙂 Some of their sushi and tempura is to drool for! I am still learning baout their food as well.
      Oh I can so relate to that jalebi-saving – it always happens. Sometimes, I just eat it all off because the whole purpose of saving gets defeated anyways. I do feel guilty later though 😛

  15. Swaram · August 27, 2012

    The place looks so so warm and lovely!:)
    And ur description of the food and taste makes me hungry at this hour lol 😛

  16. phatichar · August 28, 2012

    Mosa ri idu…bari thinodra bagge ne post maadthira 😦


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