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Kazami

Review excerpt: Ohata’s noodles at Kazami are every bit as refined as the setting — so elegant that he calls them “soba,” which is short for chūka soba (“Chinese noodles”), rather than mere ramen. Both his shio (salt) and shoyu soba are light and refreshing, perfectly suited to the summer weather.

The noodles are served in a seafood soup prepared from Hokkaido konbu seaweed and five kinds of dried fish. To counterbalance any residual fishiness he blends in Noilly Prat vermouth, and adds a dash of chicken oil at the end to leave a light sheen of extra flavor.

The toppings include two slices of meat, standard chāshū (braised pork belly) alongside a confit of pork shoulder that is cooked sous-vide (slowly at low temperature) leaving it a delicate pink color. The bowl is completed with slivers of deep-fried tofu, some cooked greens, a square of nori seaweed and half a golden, oozing aji-tama (soft-boiled egg).