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Thursday, March 8, 2012

JR OOTSUKA: Iwafune Soba (buckwheat noodle) served with Aloha... Can't go wrong at Chef Masa's

There's lots of love for Hawaii in Tokyo... and you'll never really know until that random conversation about where have you been begins.

Masa's family has owned this restaurant for over 40+ years and he took over in 2003 with a full renovation of the traditional Soba shop.  It now has a beautiful cozy atmosphere with Jazz in the background.

I sat down with my good friend Scott and we didn't order anything... he's been a regular since 2004 and Masa knows all his favorites.  So this sesame seasoned greens was our starter...

Think this is baked tofu with miso paste inside... 

Another must... Ebi-Age?  Not sure what the name was but always good.

Of course a staple at any Sushi or Motsu-nabe restaurant... hot egg made in a rectangle pan.

Masa is very selective with his Nihonshu and Shochu... 

So we just went for the Osusume... a very subtle sweet Imo-Jochu... had 2 cups, very good.

Time to close out the meal with my favorite (think its called) Tori-Nanban... Slices of grilled duck on hot soba.  Warms you right up in this cold Tokyo winter... very good.

Scott went for the regular soba... now if you as any Japanese how to best eat soba they will go for it like this. Dip it into a cup of soba soup (think its shoyu based)... the only true way to understand and appreciate both flavor and texture of this.   Masa's hand made soba style dates back to the Edo period of using 8 parts soba and 2 parts wheat.  If you see this at train stations or standing soba shops for cheap its because to cut costs they have 3 parts soba and 7 parts wheat.   Price of Soba powder is seven times that of wheat...

Counter seating... we were sitting behind these chairs where there are 2 small tables each able to fit 4-5 people.

Closed with some Hot Japanese Tea... Testing out my new acquisition, a Pentax F1.8 manual lens on the Pentax K-M (K2000)... the 55mm makes it quite a tight shot in a close restaurant atmosphere.

Hawaiian CD and picture of Diamond Head in the restroom.  This guy loves Hawaii and visits whenever he can.

And so we closed out the store and headed off to Masa's high school classmates shop BAR MOO in the same neighborhood.  With a solid Tabelog ranking of 3.81 points there really is no reason not to give it a try!

Mother waving goodbye... Oh, place is just 1 stop from Ikebukuro Station.

Shop: Kyo Chisou Iwafune
Address J: 東京都豊島区南大塚3-53-9 毛塚ビル1F
Address E:  Tokyo, Toshijma-ku, Minami Ootsuka 3-53-9

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