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Soba Factory

Address:199, Soi Sukhumvit 22, Sukhumvit Rd., Khlong Tan, Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110 Thailand

Tel:+6620595999

Service day:Everyday, Service hours: 12:00-22:00

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Official description

Of the more than thousands of kinds of noodles in the world, Japanese soba is among the most distinctive. By appearances, soba is similar to many of its counterparts, but where its flour comes from makes the delicacy very unique.

Most noodles are made from cereal grains; soba is buckwheat-based. Despite the "wheat" in its name, buckwheat is a non-grass crop, a flowering plant that yields edible, grain-like seeds known as pseudocereal. And, unlike wheat, buckwheat is triangular in shape, gluten-free and rich in complex carbohydrates.

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Rating

Editorial Reviews

A bowl worth embracing

Come to Soba Factory if you'd like to indulge in the refined culture

Hot soba with braised duck.

 

Of the more than thousands of kinds of noodles in the world, Japanese soba is among the most distinctive. By appearances, soba is similar to many of its counterparts, but where its flour comes from makes the delicacy very unique.

Most noodles are made from cereal grains; soba is buckwheat-based. Despite the "wheat" in its name, buckwheat is a non-grass crop, a flowering plant that yields edible, grain-like seeds known as pseudocereal. And, unlike wheat, buckwheat is triangular in shape, gluten-free and rich in complex carbohydrates.

In Bangkok, there's one dining venue dedicated passionately to the authentic making and eating of soba.

The 78-seat Soba Factory is not only an eating joint where guests can indulge in refined Japanese gastronomic culture, but is the atelier of Mizuho Nagao, a soba master from Fukuoka, who passes on three generations of his family's soba expertise.

Soba noodles are prepared with fresh dough that's made daily by the restaurant's in-house soba master, Mizuho Nagao.

Chef Nagao began developing his skill when very young, and went through many years of practice before becoming a certified soba master. His father is one of Japan's highest-respected noodle virtuosi, in 2005 deemed Best Soba Chef by the Japanese government.

It is quite common in Japan that when you order soba, a level of buckwheat content in the noodles is to be specified. The noodles can be made with 100% buckwheat or consist of a combination of buckwheat and wheat flours.

To make the noodles, the dough is to be hand-cut with a specially crafted soba knife into fine strands. High-buckwheat dough is too delicate to be pulled and stretched to create a mass of stringy fibres (in the way of Chinese lamian, for instance) without breaking apart.

Here the soba comes with either 80% or 100% buckwheat content, and is offered only in fresh form. This means the noodles are prepared with dough made daily. They are cut and boiled immediately upon order by Chef Nagao himself.

Seiro soba, or plain cold soba (290 baht for 80% buckwheat, 390 baht for 100%), is a perfect choice for enjoying the high-quality noodles.

The 78-seat space is dedicated to authentic soba culture.

The light-brown noodles are served chilled in a wooden basket accompanied by dipping sauce, finely sliced spring onions and freshly grated wasabi. It is to be eaten within 10 minutes of being served, by dipping the noodles into the sauce and slurping them up.

You can add a meaty frill to your cold-soba experience by having them with chicken soup, duck soup or assorted tempura, on the side.

A cold soba with duck soup (455 baht) turned out to be pleasing. It offered two different mouthfeels at one go thanks to the piping-hot duck soup in which gummily supple pieces of braised duck meat came simmering.

A selection of yakitori and other flame-grilled skewered meat are also on offer.

In the hot-soba category, options include plain or toppings of chicken, beef, duck or nagaimo (slimy yam). My recommendation is the beef (445 baht), featuring good portion of thin wagyu slices on a bed of 80% buckwheat noodles garnished with leek and green onion in a salty-sweet broth.

To cater to guests looking for meat-centric fare, the restaurant has a complete selection of yakitori (grilled chicken on skewer) as well as other robata-grilled meat and seafood items, Japanese favourites and a variety of salad, appetiser and rice bowls.

Assorted yakitori (610 baht), ideal for a casual gathering and best complemented by cold beer, features 10 choices of flame-grilled skewered chicken, ranging from salted thigh meat, teriyaki-marinated wings and pickled, wasabi-coated loin to minced meat. The latter is recommended dipped in raw egg yolk right before eating, to create an extraordinary mouthfeel.

Pork belly, beef ribs, beef tongue and glazed eel are also available on skewers.

Seafood addicts, meanwhile, are promised gastronomic joy with burikama, or grilled whole collar of a fully-grown yellowtail fish (390 baht), grilled teriyaki squid (260 baht) and grilled fillet of salmon (310 baht).

Yet should you gear toward a vegan alternative, don't miss sampling homemade fresh tofu (300 baht). The soybean mixture is curdled upon each order (it takes approximately 15 minutes to coagulate). The fresh curds, in a large sharing portion that can serve up to four diners, are enjoyed simply with a garnish of dashi (dried fish stock), ginger, green onion and salted cured soybean paste.

If carbs and meat aren't your dietary preference, go for the signature salad of crispy, deep-fried soba noodles, baby spinach leaves and house-made sesame dressing (180 baht).

At the end of the meal and before dessert, there's a complimentary surprise from Chef Nagao. It's an offering of sobayu -- the water used to boiled soba. Chef Nagao comes to pour each cup of the milky, high-nutrient drink and urges guests to drink it as they do tea.

Matcha shiratama shiruko (180 baht) is a must-have dessert. Served chilled in a verrine is a unification of cold matcha cream, morsels of homemade glutenous cakes and roasted puffy rice, a refreshingly luscious way to end the meal.

On weekdays, the restaurant has a selection of value-for-money lunch sets on offer. Prices are 350 baht and 380 baht per set.

A platter of cold soba with assorted tempura.

Location

199, Soi Sukhumvit 22, Sukhumvit Rd., Khlong Tan, Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110 Thailand

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