What makes Matsubara-an so popular — in both Harajuku and Kamakura — is the extensive menu of side dishes to delve into before your noodles arrive. Traditionalists will be happy to find classic sobaya (soba shop) snacks, from sashimi and chilled tofu to itawasa (slices of fish cake served with freshly grated wasabi root), and a good selection of premium sake. There are plenty of crossover starters as well, such as the house-special, bagna cauda: a selection of vegetable sticks served with a rich, hot, anchovy-based dip. The charcoal-grilled chicken is good. The seared duck breast, nicely moist and pink inside, is even better. The a la carte menu even offers substantial main dishes, such as wagyu steak.