Buckwheat Noodles

Soba Restaurant Kuki

Meals are prepared carefully and with integrity.
A taste-conscious soba restaurant run by a parent-child team.


Address: Ra-bu 69 Kochi, Omaki, Nakajimacho, Nanao City
Phone: 0767-66-6690
Website: http://www.kukisoba.com/
Hours: 11:30 - 18:00
Closed: Wednesdays, every 3rd Tuesday (the following day if it is a national holiday)
Parking: 12 spaces

■Soba made possible by home-made flour
The base of the soba known as Gen soba is the buckwheat crushed using a stone mortar every morning. Three kinds of buckwheat flour are made using old types of buckwheat with varying grain sizes, and these are blended to produce different characteristics. Translucency, a mochi (sticky rice cake)-like texture and fragrance - when all three factors have been achieved, Kuki soba is ready. 
The most popular version is the Inaka Seiro, at 1,050 yen, made from 100% soba flour. The fattish noodles are have a mochi-like when chewed, and release an appetizing fragrance. The Seiro, cold noodles dipped in sauce, are the standard dish, but there are six hot versions, including tempura soba at 1,500 yen. If you're really hungry, try the set that includes Seiro soba topped with grated Japanese yam and accompanied by a bowl of rice, for 1,200 yen.
The restaurant, which is in a remodeled private home that was built in 1888, used to be wife Miwako's family home. The Kukis lived here as newlyweds, and the house must hold many memories for them. There's definitely a nostalgic air about the place.

Kamo (duck) Seiro 1,600 yen. Get 100% soba flour noodles for an extra 200 yen.
Kamo (duck) Seiro 1,600 yen. Get 100% soba flour noodles for an extra 200 yen.
  The cushions around the table give it a nostalgic aie, as though you
The cushions around the table give it a nostalgic aie, as though you're visiting a relative's house.
 

Wajima Yabu Honten

Freshly ground, freshly kneaded, freshly cooked - a soba restaurant that sticks to the basics.


Address: 4-bu 45 Waichi, Kawaicho, Wajima City
Phone: 0768-22-2266
Hours: 11:30 - 15:00, 17:00 - 20:30
Closed: Tuesdays
Parking: 10 spaces

■Devoted to hand-kneading
Yabu Honten is located on Waichi Street, one street over from Wajima City's Asaichi Street. Every day, buckwheat grown in Wajima and Fukui is ground in a stone mortar to produce just enough homemade flour to make that day's soba. The merit of this restaurant is its freshly ground, freshly kneaded, freshly cooked soba.
The slightly thin noodles have a bit of an edge, and a firm feel when you bite into them. The broth for use with cold noodles is made from high-quality dried bonito, and is clear with a great deal of flavor. It brings out the flavor of the soba perfectly. One of the famous sights in Wajima in the winter is the phenomenon known as nami no hana, or wave flowers - frothy winter waves. The Nami no Hana soba was created as an image of that froth, which is popular tourism feature in winter in Noto, using grated Japanese radish and small shrimp. At 1,000 yen, it's very popular with tourists. Ippuku soba (400 yen) is a hot soba in a broth made from dried mackerel and high-quality dried bonito, and the size is just right for a snack.

Soba is prepared in several different ways in this Soba-zukushi at 2,300 yen
Soba is prepared in several different ways in this Soba-zukushi at 2,300 yen
  In one corner of the restaurant is a shelf with soba-related books
In one corner of the restaurant is a shelf with soba-related books
 

Noto Teshigotoya

With no regard to time, this soba is made completely by hand


Address: Sojiji dori, Monzencho, Wajima City
Hours: 11:00 - 16:00
Closed: Tuesdays (the following day if Tuesday is a national holiday)
Parking: 5 spaces
 
■Chewy noodles that slip down your throat
Teshigotoya was originally started by the Hoshino family, who ran a tofu shop that had sold tofu to Sojiji temple for over 100 years. Currently the second son, Keisuke, makes the soba noodles. He uses fragrant buckwheat flour from Fukushima and Fukui that is ground with the husks still on. Although the noodles are thin, they are very chewy, and the flavor hasn't changed since the shop was originally opened.
 
■From the serving dishes to the ingredients, Noto is scattered everywhere
Hot soba noodles in broth with homemade soymilk are 840 yen, while 100% buckwheat soba noodles are 900 yen. This shop's noodles are slippery and slide right down your throat. Other choices are available, including soba served in lacquer ware dishes made by the late Isaburo Kado, a famous lacquer artist who has received high praise both in Japan and overseas. And as the name implies (teshigoto means made by hand), the noodles are handmade for a unique taste.
 
■A restaurant that will be around forever
Keisuke's dream is that 15 or 30 years from now, Teshigotoya will still be in business. "If that can provide some liveliness to the town, I will be happy," he said straightforwardly.

The soba served on a shallow dish (840 yen) is usually Nihachi soba (80% buckwheat flour and 20% wheat flour). It is spread on leaves collected in the mountains from Ishikawa Prefecture
The soba served on a shallow dish (840 yen) is usually Nihachi soba (80% buckwheat flour and 20% wheat flour). It is spread on leaves collected in the mountains from Ishikawa Prefecture's prefectural tree, the ate.
  From the left: Hoshino, Keisuke, and employees Hashitani and Yamaguchi.
From the left: Hoshino, Keisuke, and employees Hashitani and Yamaguchi.
 

Yume Ichirin Kan

Nature, people, tradition - Noto combines them all in this soba (buckwheat noodle) restaurant!


Address: 28-1 Aza Tome, Noto-cho, Hosu-gun
Phone: 0768-76-1552
Hours: 11:00-17:00 (Open after 17:00 by reservation)
Closed: Mondays (except when Monday is a national holiday)
Parking: 10 spaces

■Searching for "the real thing"
The owner of this restaurant, Takaichi Noriyuki, is dedicated to protecting "the real thing." He stores at low temperature freshly-ground gen-soba (buckwheat with blackish husks) brought in from Togakushi, in Shinshu, and he hand-roasts flying fish to produce a stock called ago-dashi. All his efforts are in pursuit of the true soba flavor.

■A taste of Noto
Recommended dishes include Oroshi soba (soba with grated Japanese radish) at 1,050 yen, and Tenita soba, which comes with wild greens tempura in spring and summer, and mushroom tempura in fall and winter for 1,800 yen. Every item on the menu is made with deep respect for the ingredients raised in the nature of Noto and by people there. The building, a historic private house in Suzu that was dismantled and moved to its current location, adds to the charm.

■Development of products from local ingredients
New products developed from local ingredients, such as kitchen cheese made from smoked tofu for 525 yen and jam made just from blueberries and sugar for 630 yen, have also been well received. Takaichi-san's desire not to create fake products has taken root.

Itamori soba 945 yen. The garnishes are also handmade.
Itamori soba 945 yen. The garnishes are also handmade.
  Takaichi Noriyuki making soba. He is an enthusiastic proponent of using local ingredients to develop products.
Takaichi Noriyuki making soba. He is an enthusiastic proponent of using local ingredients to develop products.
 

Noto Sojiji Soba-zen

Traditional Monzen soba eaten with natural yama-imo (Japanese yam)


Address: Toge Wa-1, Monzen-machi, Wajima City
Phone: 0768-42-2950
Hours: 11:00-17:00
Closed: Wednesdays
Parking: 40 spaces

■Soba that maintains traditional techniques
This soba originated in Monzen-machi, the town centered around Sojiji temple, which was founded about 700 years ago and was the head temple of the Soto sect of Buddhism. At that time, people who came to worship at the temple were treated to Monzen soba. Unlike most soba, which is made by adding water to buckwheat flour, Monzen soba uses only grated yama-imo (Japanese yam) to make the dough, which is then kneaded and shaped into noodles. This yama-imo grows naturally in the mountains, and is called Jinenjo.
 
■A flavor grown in the nature of Noto
The staff at Soba-zen are all local people who grew up eating Monzen soba. This soba is still hand-kneaded every morning using traditional techniques. Experts go into the mountains to harvest wild yama-imo, which is grated with the skin on and added to buckwheat flour made from unpolished grain from Noto. The stock is also homemade in a large pot with lots of konbu (kelp) and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes). The hot soba, which is much more fragrant, is highly recommended. With reservations, you can also participate in soba kneading, from 3,000 yen.

Kakesoba Gozen 1,000 yen. The hot soba is served together with dishes made from fresh seasonal ingredients.
Kakesoba Gozen 1,000 yen. The hot soba is served together with dishes made from fresh seasonal ingredients.
  The staff of Soba-zen. From the right: Manager Nushi Yasunori, chef Azuma Makiko, and soba kneader Morishita Shin.
The staff of Soba-zen. From the right: Manager Nushi Yasunori, chef Azuma Makiko, and soba kneader Morishita Shin.
 

Mori Soba

Freshly kneaded soba and Noto mountain food and seafood


Address: 7-8 Kawajima, Anamizumachi, Hosu-gun
Phone: 0768-52-0025
Hours: 10:00 - 15:00, 17:00 - 21:00 (Last order at 20:30)
Closed: 2nd and 4th Tuesdays (the following day if it falls on a national holiday)
Parking: 11 spaces
 
■A casual soba restaurant at the foot of a bridge
The Sakaebashi bridge crosses the river that flows through the town of Anamizu, and at the foot of this bridge you'll find Mori Soba. The rather thin soba is prepared fresh every day using fragrant and tasty buckwheat flour from the Kurohime plateau in Nagano prefecture. Attention is paid to details, such as the refreshing stock and locally produced soy sauce used. Homemade udon noodles and a variety of set menus are also available. It's known as a comfortable place for a family to get a great meal.
 
■A shop that gathers the flavors of Noto
The restaurant owner, Morita Kazuya, was born and raised in Anamizu, and it's very important to him that local ingredients are used. The onions, rice, and yama-imo used are all locally produced. From Nov. 20 to the end of April, freshly harvested oysters are also on the menu. There's a fireplace inside the restaurant for roasting oysters, and the seasonal oyster soba (700 yen) and full-course oyster meal (3,990 yen, reservations required) are also popular.

Lots of sticky Japanese yam is placed on top of the soba. Yamakake soba 1,000 yen.
Lots of sticky Japanese yam is placed on top of the soba. Yamakake soba 1,000 yen.
  The restaurant
The restaurant's owner, Morita Kazuya, is also very knowledgeable about Japanese sake, and if you ask, he might even bring out some of his best bottles.