When most people think of Japanese noodles, ramen might come to mind. But during our trip to Japan, we discovered another delightful noodle: soba.
Soba, which translates to "buckwheat" in Japanese, is a noodle crafted from buckwheat flour. Compared to the wheat-based Udon, soba has a chewier texture and a unique flavor profile. It can be enjoyed both cold and hot.
During our visit to the Odaiba area, we were eager to sample the renowned halal soba. If you're keen to know more about this place and the dishes we tried, stay tuned until the end of this article!
Shinshu Sojibo is located at 6F Odaiba City Aqua Chome-7-1, Daiba, Minato City, Tokyo, Japan 135-0091. The restaurant's location is ideal—it's inside the Diver City Tokyo Plaza Mall.
Reaching the restaurant is hassle-free. Hop off at the Daiba Station on the Yurikamome Line and walk a mere 500 meters. Fun fact: this mall is in close proximity to the gigantic Gundam statue.
Once inside, head straight to the mall's 2nd floor. You'll easily spot Shinshu Sojibo with its enticing food display right outside. The miniatures in this display are so lifelike; they genuinely resemble the actual dishes.
Stepping into the restaurant, you're greeted with a classic ambiance. Wooden décor dominates the setting, giving it a warm feel. There are plenty of tables, ensuring no waiting time for diners.
Each table is also separated by a high partition, guaranteeing diners their privacy. Shinshu Sojibo welcomes customers every day from 11 am to 9 pm.
While soba is the star of the show, the restaurant also offers a mouthwatering Japanese-style curry rice. As if that's not enough, you shouldn't miss out on their tempura.
Most dishes come as part of a set menu, like the cold soba and tempura combo. However, if you prefer ordering individual items, that's an option too.
Every table is equipped with a pot of Ocha (green tea) and a glass. That's the main beverage offering, keeping things traditional and simple. And if you're concerned about language barriers, their menu is available in English.
An important note for those observing dietary restrictions: Shinshu Sojibo possesses a halal certification from a local body, ensuring all their offerings are 100% halal. Even the seasonings are halal compliant—they don't use mirin or soy sauce containing alcohol.
I opted for a bowl of soba paired with tempura. The soba noodles were soft, not overly chewy. The clear soup broth was surprisingly flavorful, despite its transparent appearance.
Unlike udon, this soba soup lacked the strong Dashi taste. Garnished with finely chopped green onions and cilantro, the dish was a treat.
Accompanying the soba was the tempura, crispy on the outside with a generously sized, tender shrimp inside, devoid of any off-putting fishy odor.
My husband chose the Beef Curry rice. Served on an oval plate, the dish had rice coupled with beef drenched in Japanese-style curry.
Unlike the robust Indian curry, Japanese curry is milder, lacking any spicy or sour notes, yet rich in texture. It usually contains chunks of carrots and potatoes, but this particular dish featured only potatoes. A side of pickles rounded off the plate, adding a refreshing touch.
To complement our meal, we had Ocha. Although we didn't technically order it since it's available on each table. I'm unsure if it comes at an additional cost, but refills are available.
To sum up, our halal soba dining experience in Tokyo was genuinely memorable. It introduced us to flavors we had never encountered before. If you ever find yourself in Tokyo, Shinshu Sojibo is a must-visit. Who knows? Maybe you'll like them as we do!