Dashin Soan (Soba), Shimokitazawa

the charming entrance

Finally some time to add a new entry!

This new post in a while features Dashin-Soan, an establishment serving a typically Japanese item: the cold "Soba" (noodles made of buckwheat flour) . But not your average soba you'll find for ¥300 at cheap eateries in stations or chains... The "superior" quality one.

the "waiting" space with the garden in the back

To be honest, I don't care that much about sobas as I am much more of an Udon guy (thicker noodles made of regular wheat flour), but I definitely like this place. I haven't been there a lot as it is a little out of the way (a good 15mn walk from the station), but the traditional decor and garden around the restaurant creates a soothing Japanesque ambiance and the noodles have been excellent every time we've visited the place. Not to mention the Shinganji temple right across the street with its giant gingko tree and a locally very popular shrine, the Kitazawa Hachimangu a block away, so the post-lunch/dinner promenade is worth it.
Dashin Soan is very popular, so you might have to wait a little bit before being seated, but the wait is on a bench outside by the garden, so it's not stressful at all.

everything is nice and classy

We waited about 10mn before being welcomed in the elegant restaurant: everything from the furniture to the dishes is chosen with taste.

In order to fully enjoy the noodles' flavor, my wife and I both ordered their recommended Akisoba (Autumn Soba) noodles, freshly boiled then washed and chilled in cold water, and eaten dipped in a cold dark brown Tsuyu broth (a mix of dashi, mirin and shoyu).
Akisoba designates the Sobas made of buckwheat planted between early June and mid-September and harvested between late August and late December.
Dashin Soan's noodles are totally homemade, from shelling and grounding the wheat, to making the dough and thinly slicing it into fresh noodles.

the supersized noodles

The noodles come in a large plate with two holes in the middle (that you don't see on the picture) that act as drainers for the excess water. Freshly grounded Wasabi and thinly-cut Negi (Spring onion) are served on the side for your liking. Japanese usually add both in the broth.

The grey noodles are square, about 2mm in width and a hint brown because of the tiny bits of grounded buckwheat shell mixed in the flour. The Koshi (firmness) is quite strong and the bite al dente. We ordered the supersize, which did not seem to be a lot at first but it's actually filling: you'll see... just don't slurp and swallow. Chew and savor those, and you'll find yourself really full. Plus, that will let you fully enjoy the taste of the buckwheat, slightly reminiscent of the wonderful aroma of a rustic Pain De Campagne country bread.

the freshly boiled and then cold water chilled noodles

At ¥1,300, it is not a very cheap lunch, but everything from the decor to the noodles is upscale, and you should thoroughly enjoy the experience.

Last but not the least, if you want to eat the noodles the real Japanese way, you should order one or two little entrees to munch on with some nice sake and finish your nice meal with a plate of noodles.

Dashin Soan is closed on Tuesdays, open the rest of the weekdays from 11:30am to 15:00pm and 17:30pm to 21:30pm; from 11:30am to 21:30pm on weekends and notional holidays
3-7-14 Daizawa, Setagaya-Ku
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