Matsugen – Soba Good in Tokyo

In Japan, Restaurants by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch1 Comment

Ramen, ramen, ramen. Everybody loves ramen these days, including us. However, it’s important not to forget about soba.  While in Tokyo, we had some excellent soba at Matsugen in the Ebisu neighborhood.

Inside Matsugen Tokyo Japan

Inside Matsugen

We arrived at the comfortable, upscale restaurant at an odd time, so we were the only diners. In other words, it was the perfect time for lunch.

Lunch at Matsugen


After we were seated, we ordered draft Sapporo Kuro Rabel beers and perused the comprehensive menu that went well beyond soba. Prices were reasonable. We both opted for the Matsugen Soba since it sounded interesting in a “best of” kind of way, which turned out to be a good choice.

Beer and Chopsticks Matsugen Tokyo Japan

Beer and Chopsticks


We were served the hand-made soba noodles in beautiful pottery bowls along with savory sauce on the side. As expected, each noodle was uniformly constructed.  Firm yet delicate, the noodles were made by hand as they have been for over 150 years. The nuttiness of the  buckwheat noodles stood up to the flavorful Japanese toppings that included yam, shisonori, scallion, egg, sesame, okura, wasabi, cucumber, yoga, bonito and Jew’s mallow.  That’s a lot of goodness for 1,160 yen or approximately $12.

Matsugen Soba Matsugen Tokyo Japan

Matsugen Soba

Matsugen Soba - Up Close Matsugen Tokyo Japan

Matsugen Soba – Up Close

We dug in and decided that ramen is definitely not the only noodle game in town.

Mixed Up Soba Up Close at Matsugen Tokyo Japan

Matsugen Soba – Tossed and Ready to Eat

Perfect Noodles at Matsugen Tokyo Japan

Perfect Noodles

As we enjoyed the meal, other diners trickled in, and the buzz picked up. We made our way to the bottom of the bowls and thought we were done, but then the waiter brought us broth to pour in our bowls so that we could enjoy the remaining flavors in a different way.  So delicious.  We later learned that we could have ordered more noodles for the broth.  At least we’ll know for next time.

Broth in the Bottom of the Bowl at Matsugen Tokyo Japan

Broth in the Bottom of the Bowl

After ending the meal with some soba tea (Mindi) and French white wine (Daryl), we left the stylish restaurant with full bellies and a new respect for soba.

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