Kojimaya: The Best Hegi Soba Restaurant in Niigata
Today, I went out to “Kojimaya (小嶋屋)”, a Soba restaurant in Niigata Prefecture, to eat Japanese buckwheat noodles with my family.
Kojimaya is a famous Soba restaurant in Niigata whose head office is located in the city of Tokamachi and has many branches around the prefecture.
In the past, the restaurant has presented its buckwheat noodles called “Hegi Soba (へぎそば)” to the imperial royal family of Japan several times.
What is Hegi Soba?
Hegi Soba is a regional buckwheat Soba noodle that originated in the Uonuma area in Niigata Prefecture.
The main characteristics of Hegi Soba is to use seaweed called “Funori (布海苔)” when making noodles and to be served on the wooden square tray called “Hegi (へぎ)”.
Kojimaya’s Soba Noodle Dish
Soba Cha (そば茶) and Yuzu Shichimi (ゆず七味)
When we entered the Soba restaurant Kojimaya, a waiter led us to a table, and in a minute after we took our seats, he served us buckwheat tea “Soba-Cha (そば茶)”.
Drinking the hot buckwheat tea, we chose what we each wanted to eat from the menu and ordered them. I ordered “Gosai Soba(五菜蕎麦)”, buckwheat noodles with 5 side dishes.
Gosai Soba (五菜蕎麦)
Gosai Soba (五菜蕎麦)
The 5 side dishes for Gosai Soba were Yasai (vegetable) Tempura, grated Daikon radish, grated yam, boiled spinach, and boiled wild vegetables. They are usually eaten with Soba noodles one by one.
Once Gosai Soba was served to me, I poured the broth for Soba noodles into the cup from the small pitcher like a Sake bottle.
Then I sprinkled “Yuzu Shichimi (ゆず七味)“, a spice mix of Shichimi Togarashi and Yuzu citrus, and lastly added Wasabi and finely chopped green onions to the cup.
Shichimi Togarashi is a traditional Japanese spice condiment consisting of ground red chili pepper and other 6 aromatic spices and commonly sprinkled over Soba noodle soup.
There were accompanying two glass cups on the tray. One is for eating Soba in the usual manner, while the other is used for eating Soba noodles with side dishes.
The Soba noodles had a nice fragrance of buckwheat and a firm, bouncy texture, and the soup went very well with side dishes.
Soba Yu (そば湯)
Soon after the waiter saw us almost finishing eating Soba noodles, he served us “Soba Yu (そば湯)”, the hot water in which Soba noodles had been cooked.
We diluted the sauce for Soba noodles with the hot whitish buckwheat water, pouring into the cup, and then we enjoyed the broth and finished off the noodle dish.
The Soba restaurant, Kojimaya was very crowded, but we really enjoyed the authentic Hegi Soba buckwheat noodles.
|Kojimaya Soba Noodles 200g×10 (No soba sauce included)||Kojimaya Soba Noodles 200g×5 (Soba sauce included)|