Soba places that are so good
Authentic Japanese soba is hard to come by in Singapore. Made with buckwheat flour that gives it a unique nutty flavor, soba is often viewed as a sideshow or an afterthought at many Japanese restaurants. However, when done right, this noodle dish can be incredibly satisfying to slurp up.
We’ve sussed out six soba places where you can get a taste of #legit Japanese soba. Whether paired with hot broths and ingredients for a hearty meal, or with cold dipping sauces for a refreshing lunch, these noodles are soba, so good.
1. Tokyo Soba
Image credit: Tokyo Soba Singapore’s Facebook page
When you step into Tokyo Soba, you’ll notice that many of their customers are Japanese—an indicator that their soba is legit.
The soba noodles here feature an 80%-20% buckwheat to wheat flour ratio. They are cut using a high-tech noodle-making machine, which allows them to maintain similar quality standards as their sister joint in Japan named Yomoda Soba. At this Singapore outpost, you will find quintessential Japanese soba dishes alongside some innovative twists. For a more classic pairing, the Prawn Tempura Soba ($14++) and Tori Karaage Soba ($12++) are great choices.
Address: 12 Gopeng Street, #01-16, Icon Village, Singapore, 078877
Opening hours: Mon-Fri11:30am to 3pm, 5pm to 11pm, Sat-Sun 11:30am to 11pm
Tel: 6410 9353
2. Healthy Soba IKI
Image credit: Healthy Soba IKI Official’s Facebook page
100% buckwheat soba noodles are extremely hard to find—even beyond Singapore. But there’s one place in town you can get just that.
With the ethos of serving nutritious food that nourishes both your health and taste buds, Healthy Soba IKI in One Raffles Place serves pure buckwheat soba noodles. Made with buckwheat flour from Japan, the buckwheat dough is cut into noodles right as an order is placed, before being cooked on the spot.
Aside from good quality soba noodles, the extensive variety served at IKI is another big draw. Whether it’s the simple Mori Cold Soba ($9) with dipping sauce or the local-inspired Herbal Chicken Hot Soba ($15), you’ll find something you like. They even have an Unagi Soba ($15) dish that has become a crowd-favourite over the years!
Address: 1 Raffles Place, #04-47, One Raffles Place, Singapore, 048616
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am to 9pm, Sat 11am to 3pm
Tel: 6438 6022
Image credit: Shimbashi Soba’s Facebook page
Tucked away in the basement of Paragon Shopping Centre, Shimbashi Soba is a hidden gem for excellent and authentic Japanese soba. Adherence to quality is the reason why this award-winning Japanese joint has made its mark as a handmade soba specialist.
Here, the soba masters knead and slice the soba noodles by hand, to ensure that they achieve the right length and texture. Every batch is cooked with finesse, with the noodles tossed in boiling water before being quickly dipped in chilled water to produce springy noodles that hold their shape and bite.
There are over 40 different soba dishes in their repertoire, from classic cold noodles served with sides of sashimi and cooked meats, to more creative dishes like their Kimchi Chicken Nanban Soba Noodles ($18.80++).
Address: 290 Orchard Road, #B1-41, Paragon, Singapore 238859
Opening hours: Daily 11:30am to 10pm
Tel: 6735 9882
Image credit: @ootoyasg
Don’t dismiss the food served at chain restaurants to be generic and mediocre; the popular Japanese chain Ootoya has handmade soba that’s surprisingly legit.
With the aim of serving healthy and hearty set meals that taste like home, Ootoya makes their soba noodles by hand from scratch, and prepares them to order so that they stay bouncy and chewy. The soba dipping sauce is made with fresh bonito shavings for a deeper flavour.
5. Hana Japanese
As the saying goes: we eat with our eyes first. Known for their Insta-worthy creations such as their Hana Pop Noodles in overflowing instant ramen cups, Hana Japanese nails presentation down to a T.
One of the originals on Hana’s menu that brought them to fame is the Flying Cha Soba ($18++). This dish is presented in a way that makes the cold soba noodles appear as though they’re suspended in mid-air.
Other than its eye-catching presentation, other elements of the Flying Cha Soba are straightforward. It’s topped with nori and chopped scallions alongside tsuyu and a quail egg, which can be mixed into the cold dipping sauce for an extra creamy texture.
Address: 583 Orchard Road, #01-17, Forum The Shopping Mall, Singapore 238884
Opening hours: Daily 11:30am to 10pm
Tel: 6737 5525
6. Bentoss Hokkaido Restaurant
Image credit: @japan_lover_sg
Located in Japanese supermarket Medi-ya’s Great World City food court is one of our favourite soba places, Bentoss Hokkaido, which serves Japanese soba in all kinds of combinations.
Their simple Oobei Ten Soba, with jumbo tempura prawns, starts from an affordable $12.80. Although quite a bit pricier at $25.80, the Salmon Kaisen & Mini Soba is a unique hybrid of chirashi and soba—just the thing for those who can never decide between rice bowls or noodles. Bonus: There’s no service charge here!
Address: 177 River Valley Road, #B1-50, Liang Court Shopping Centre, Singapore 179030
Opening hours: Daily 10am to 9pm
Soba places to check out
While there are many good donburi and sushi joints in Singapore, there are not many that do soba well. Thankfully, these six places won’t disappoint. If you know of any other good soba places, share with us in the comment section below!
This article was updated on 21 November 2020.