Ramen burgers. Bulgogi tacos. Cronuts. Sometimes the stars align and the gods see fit to bless the world with visionary new dishes–the kind that make people say, “Is that even possible?” Eventually, those same people end up wondering why no one came up with the concept sooner.
One of our Japanese writers was able to experience the joy of culinary experimentation firsthand during a recent trip to Tokyo’s Nadai Fuji Soba, which is now serving… wait for it… French fry soba! Though at first glance you might think someone spilled their Happy Meal over a plate of noodles, the tasty result is sure to make you a believer.
The concept of French fry soba originated with Osaka’s Hankyu Soba Wakana. The dish later secretly made its debut in Tokyo through major soba chain Nadai Fuji Soba, which began offering the variation on traditional soba at limited locations. Curious as to whether fries and soba really could make a good pairing, our writer decided to try it for himself. The experience ultimately left him thinking French fry soba is going to become a staple among soba fans.
Available at three restaurants:
As of now, Nadai Fuji Soba is offering the groundbreaking dish at the following three Tokyo locations: 1) Kanda 2) Shibuya Shimoda Building 3) Uguisu. Though there is as yet no official word regarding whether the chain will be rolling out its product in all its restaurants, the public’s enthusiastic reception seems to suggest such a move is likely.
More expensive than croquette soba
The dish costs 440 yen (US$3.68), which, somewhat surprisingly, sets it slightly higher than the fried chicken soba available for 410 yen ($3.43). It’s also more expensive than the 410-yen croquette soba, even though both dishes have a similar mouthfeel. Our writer couldn’t help wondering how the addition of french fries, a regular offering on fast food menus, could raise the price above the other options. Was the extra money worth it? Let’s see…
Won’t the fries be too salty?
Since the fries are prepared on the spot, it takes about four minutes for the food to come out. After waiting expectantly, our writer finally had a chance to dig in. Let’s get right to what we need to know: It works! It really works! Though he expected to receive seasoned fries on top of his soba, it turned out this was not the case; the fries had no extra salt. The reason? You dip the fries in the broth instead. A stroke of genius worthy of a Nobel.
Even tastier over time
Though the fries weren’t necessarily crunchy, they also weren’t soggy, allowing you to really savor the flavor of the potato. Nor did the fries taste out of place with the soba. It also helps that the shape of the fries themselves prevents them from getting in the way when you’re slurping up the noodles. As time passes, the fries gradually soak up the flavor of the broth, making them even tastier than before.
A surefire hit with soba lovers
Despite expecting the dish’s very different flavors to clash, our writer was pleasantly surprised at how well everything came together. In his opinion, this has all the makings of a staple, with guaranteed appeal for both soba newcomers and longtime aficionados.
And there you have it! Personally, we’re tempted to go buy some convenience store soba and dump a bag of fries on top. What could go wrong? On second thought, maybe we should make a trip to Nadai and try the real thing first.
Name: Nadai Fuji Soba, Shibuya Shimoda Building
Location: 35-6 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya, Tokyo–Shimoda Building
Hours: 24-hour service
Photos © RocketNews24
▼ French fry soba makes landfall in Tokyo!