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Musashino: Inventive handmade soba with a traditional twist

by

Special To The Japan Times

It is not so unusual to find soba specialists that offer a good selection of other dishes. But Musashino does it the other way around. This small but fully fledged ryōriya (traditional restaurant) offers multicourse kaiseki meals, based around premium wagyu beef shabu-shabu hot pot. But at lunchtime, owner Hideki Kasamuta also prepares excellent and inventive teuchi (handmade) noodles. And he is more than happy if that’s all you want.

Each serving (¥950) includes five or six different kinds of soba. Some are fine and delicate, others chunkier, and several contain other ingredients, such as poppy seed or aoba (green perilla leaf) or lemon zest. Kasamuta arranges small portions of them in a hollowed-out tube of bamboo, so you can taste and compare. Each is little more than a couple of slurps, but you can order second helpings (an extra ¥650) if you want a more satisfying snack.

Musashino is hidden from view on a street not far from Omotesando Hills (look for the indigo banner and then follow the signs upstairs). Since it has only four tables, reservations are recommended, especially in the evening.